FRIDAY, APRIL 21, 2017:

Today I arrived at Tucson's Best Western Plus Tucson International Airport Hotel.


Today I traveled a total of 99 miles in and around Tucson.

The highlight of my day was the Sky Island Scenic Byway.
Climbing more than 6,000 feet, the Sky Island Scenic Byway begins with forests of saguaro cacti
in the Sonoran Desert and ends in a cool, coniferous forest on the Santa Catalina Mountains.
Breathtaking views and a climate change that would be similar to driving from Southern
Arizona to Northern Montana. Each thousand feet up is like driving 600 miles north
offering a unique opportunity to experience 4 seasons in one trip.

56 minute video of my activities in the Tucson, Arizona area.

Hello Folks,

I spent today in the Tucson area. I had breakfast at the hotel and then set out for the day around 9:00. My first stop of the day was the east unit of Saguaro National Park. This unit of the park is located on the far east side of Tucson. At the park I drove the 8-mile Cactus Forest Drive.

Next I drove the Sky Island National Scenic Byway. This is a really scenic drive. The drive starts out at elevation 2500 feet and lots of cactus.

The cactus soon disappears as the road climbs some 6600 feet through the Santa Catalina Mountains to Mount Lemmon. There were numerous vista points during the 25 mile climb to the top.

I spent several days in Tucson about twenty years ago and never did this. I can't figure out why. It was a beautiful drive. Both the picture above and below were taken at the Seven Cataracts Vista Point.

You can see the road winding through the mountains in the picture below which was taken near the top at Windy Point.

I turned around and returned to Tucson the same way I came. I had to cross nearly the entire city of Tucson when I got back to the bottom of the mountain. Tucson doesn't have an outer loop or interstate crossing east to west, so it took quite some time to cross the city on surface streets. Just west of downtown is Sentinel Peak. That is where the picture below was taken.

Tucson doesn't have much of a skyline, but below is a closer look at downtown Tucson.

Weather continues to be nice, but it did get quite warm today. Weatherman said it was the warmest day of the year so far at 95 degrees. My old bones had had enough for the day so I picked up an In N Out burger and headed back to the hotel.

I have been surprised that these slow hotel internet connections have been good enough to stream HD video from my Netflix account. I just run a hdmi cable from my laptop to the tv and I'm all set. I just finished up the latest season of Grace and Frankie. I'm now finishing up watching The Crown.

That's it for today,

Click on email photos for the large full-size photograph.

MONDAY, APRIL 24, 2017:

Today I drove 122 miles traveling between Tucson and Mesa.

I spent the final night of the trip at the Best Western Plus Mesa Hotel.


I am safely back home. Since I last wrote on Saturday evening I didn't do much. On Sunday I visited the western unit of Saguaro National Park. It was just more desert and cactus which I have already seen plenty of. On Monday I drove back to Phoenix and this morning I flew home.


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