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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

A Group Bike Ride To Granite Mountain: Poppies!

"Just living is not enough... one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower."  Hans Christian Andersen

Copious rains from November and December of last year are generating early crops of poppies here in southern Arizona.

What a difference a year can make...In regards to Sonoran Desert vegetation, last year was almost as desiccated as it was disappointing. The mighty saguaros were more laconic than iconic. All shriveled and sickly looking, they were mere dehydrated, anorexic shells when measured against "normal."  There were no green patches of grass, few flowers, and the Brittle Bush...well, they looked brittle and dead. There was a pervasive aura of brownness such that we had to look to granite and sunsets to get our usual color-fix. Not so this year. It is as green as a gardeners thumb around these parts...and, right now, boondocked near Oro Valley in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains, it is snowing!  

Thanks to a tip from Jim and Gayle, we now make a stopover at McDowell Park on our way to, and from, our winter playgrounds near Tucson. Whether a hiker or biker, the largesse of McDowell's trails are undeniable.

Here are a few photos from our trail ride to Granite Mountain with Chris, Gayle, and new friends, George and Tina...     

After 4 or 5 bike-rides in as many days, it was time to give our butts a break and go for a hike.

Peace out,
mark and bobbie


  1. Delightful beautiful post and a big smile at the skeleton holding a flat innertube :) y'all remind me of happy kids at recess!

  2. Looks like a great place for a bike ride and I imagine the temperatures are still comfortable at this time also. There is nothing like a good rain storm to transform the desert . Now we heard today that California is in for a wet February, plus we are already ahead of the norm for precipitation at this point so again I would imagine Arizona will be benefiting from out good fortune. Looking at the Zion web cam this morning the Temples & Towers of the Virgin peaks and slopes were covered with snow so it may turn out to be a super spectacular Winter in the SW desert this year also. Hope you are carrying a poncho :)
    Oh and the Castle Hot Springs resort comes as no surprise, hey those 1% have to have a place to CHILL too :) (they better not put that wall up just yet, as the resort is going to need some workers who won't mind sleeping under the stars & those temperatures.
    Stay Thirsty My Friends

  3. That was a great ride. Lots of fine single track at McDowell. Looks like more flowers to come with all this rain! (This is your pal Chris. Seems “anonymous” is the only way I can comment)

  4. Beautiful country! I can't believe there are flowers blooming already. We're supposed to get a snowstorm on Saturday (snow all the way down to Portland! Yeah!) Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

  5. Wow, looks like a great year to visit McDowell!

  6. Lovely photos...so nice to have spent time with you two....Tina and George

  7. Enjoyed the rides and hikes, but especially your company! Glad you were able to spend a little more time at our favorite place.

  8. So wonderful to see all the green and flowers.

  9. Gorgeous! The desert is really blooming!


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