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Catalina State Park, Oro Valley, AZ

The neat thing about Catalina State Park is that it feels completely remote, with amazing views and wonderful hikes, yet is directly adjacent to all the services of Oro Valley and Tucson. Convenient, yet peaceful.

Catalina view.jpg

The real reason we are here has nothing to do with the hiking, however. Once we complete the purchase of our house, Catalina is a park we'll probably never camp in. It's too close to home. So camping here a couple of days before we pass papers for the house is sort of a last-chance opportunity.

Our Google Earth location.

Another last-chance opportunity is hiking in mild weather. This time of year it's not unusual for the weather to be in the 90s and to start breaking into the low 100s. But right now we're having a few cool days, topping out around 78 or 80 degrees, so it's perfect for hiking. By the end of this week, we'll be more inclined to head for the swimming pool.

Catalina hike.jpg

Our hike today was about three miles. We concentrated on butterflies, since they were out in abundance today. It's tough to capture a butterfly in flight, but I got a few blurry shots, enough for Emma to identify a Pipevine Swallowtail, and a Sleepy Orange. A few others escaped without identification, like masked robbers at a 7-11. We'll catch them next time!

Catalina corsage.jpg

The other marvelous thing about the desert this time of year is that the blooms just keep coming. I am amazed at the diversity and intensity of the colors. There are several types of prickly pear cactus that grow here, and their flowers range from peach to rose to bright yellow.

Sometimes you can find all three colors on a single cactus. They are lovely enough in their form and color to be a prom corsage. I wonder if anyone has actually tried that? The spines can be easily trimmed off, much like the thorns of a rose.

A small announcement. Trailer for sale. I have decided to sell the 1953 Airstream Flying Cloud I found last fall in Virginia. I was hoping to take it on as a project later this year but it doesn't look like that will happen, so it's for sale. You can see photos of it as found in our Flickr photo album.

Since the photos were taken, the trailer has been moved to GSM Vehicles in Plattsburgh NY (Google Earth location), cleaned up a bit, and otherwise left alone. It's a very interesting trailer with all original appliances and a great layout for one or two people. But it does need a good restoration. As-is, where-is, $3500 or best offer. Colin Hyde at GSM will be happy to restore it for you, too. Interested? Contact me.

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