Having exhausted our welcome at Gilbert Ray, one of our favorite campgrounds in the whole wide world, we were forced to move on. So now we are back in Madera at Bog Springs, a close second favorite to Gilbert Ray. If I could get away with it, it would suit me fine to just bounce back and forth between the two all winter long...according to temperature and forecast. There seems to be plenty of vacancies in both, as long as you arrive on a weekday. Both camps offer great hiking and biking opportunities.
There are three generous sites at Bog Springs that can easily accommodate Goldie and Sue Bee, and still have enough room for company in big trucks (Cowboy Brian).
We met Susan and Maikel at Saguaro East's main entrance. They were taking us to a newly finished trail constructed in Saguaro National Park's 4000 acre acquisition in the '90s. Oh goodie; new territory!
Mountain biking is allowed on the Loma Alta trail... obviously an old ranch road before the acquisition. We only saw one couple though, riding high dollar Ellsworth's (drool).
We hiked Loma for a couple of miles to access Quilter, passing the ruins of an old windmill and tanks left over from ranching days.
Take binoculars, they will help you find "crested" saguaros beyond the trail. There are also and a couple of spectacular crested barrel cacti trailside.
We also found some saguaro with multiple arm deformities, as if they overdosed on fertility drugs.
...not to mention four really goofy looking hikers.
I always get a kick out of saguaros with "personality." It would be fun to do a post with photos of expressive saguaros and let readers suggest "captions" for them. I'm afraid a few would be X rated :)
All in all it was a warm day of hiking an area we had never been to before... thanks to Susan's tireless research and her bold-to-the-point-of threatening interrogations of innocent passers by (But I swear to God, lady, I don't know where any crested saguaros are! I'm from Minnesota for crying out loud! Now get off me).
I hope you are taking notes. These are gold nuggets I'm passing along to you here.
Now go take a hike!
Mark and Bobbie :)