Tuesday, April 03, 2007
The window of Ventana Canyon is an oval opening 15-feet high and 25 feet across- a hollow at the top of a Santa Catalina Mountain. A 6.4 mile climb to a 7,000 foot elevation would have carried us above the saguaro into the land of of ponderosa pines. Our best intentions had us out the door at 7 am, reality clocked us arriving at the trail head at 11. Where the trail hugs the cliff recess, we rested in the shade, a cool 80 degrees or so. Two-and-a-half miles in, we gave up hopes of reaching the Maiden Pools, knowing we should come back bright and early, another day.
So, the hike was shorter, hotter and included more complaints than would have been ideal. Still, the canyon was gorgeous. Lizard, bird, snake, one large mystery mammal, and a possible road runner sighting added to the excitement of a steep grade. FYI- Arizona has more rattle snakes than any other state. Ragged chocolate mesquites interlaced with the polished palo verde were were spectacular before the near cloudless sky. Occitillo are beginning to bloom, orange flowers at the height of the the poles.
In the shade with ice water and sandwiches waiting, Buttercup was a post-hike refuge. Until she lost power on Speedway just before rush hour. WHAT?!?! We changed the filter, replaced the pump... it's not the gas tank, doesn't seem to be the oxygen sensor or any electrical relay. If I had a sense of humor about this, I'd think she's conspiring to keep us in Tucson. Maybe she likes the scenery.