Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence
January 6, 2013. Finally we found a day when the weather conditions were favorable for a ride up to Mount Lemmon, north of Tucson. We had tried to schedule this trip several times, but, Mother Nature kept things interesting. Several snow storms came along and dumped up to 30 inches of snow and with that the roads were closed or they were so crowded there was a traffic log jam getting up there. Little did we know that these inches of snow would provide us with unexpected water falls over the next week or so. This road is currently known as the Sky Island Scenic Byway, there is a map here. It is about 27 miles long and they say to allow 3 to 6 hours to drive up and back. We spent about 4 hours driving, enjoying and shooting photos. I took over 420 photos, D took well over 600.
Starting out it is hard to not stop at each and every pulloff, and we were doing that when Man noticed the number of vehicles going UP with us were many, and the numbers were increasing by the minute. So, we made a decision to drive to the top with as few stops as possible and on the way down we would take advantage of the pulloffs.
We did stop a few times, here we are looking down upon Tucson, in the flat valley. Lots of saguaros, mountains in the far, far distance and civilization in between.
Rock structure, gorgeous.
Our first bit of snow, about 5,000 feet. By now there are no longer saguaro, they only grow in altitudes to about 4,000 feet. It is interesting to note how as you go up in altitude they just stop growing, it can be quite blatant and sudden. They know, too cold up higher! LOL
This amazing photo was taken from Jolly as we were traveling/driving up the Sky Island Scenic Byway (as in yes the truck was moving when I shot this photo). I am not sure exactly what our elevation was, but, I looked out the window towards Tucson and behind the clouds I could see the sun glowing and this wondrous ring. This photo was not edited other than one quick auto correct, which I believe intensified the colors only marginally.
With snow comes sledding, plastic discs, cardboard, plastic sleds, we even saw someone using a tarp to slide down the slippery slopes. We saw license plates from many states and from the state of Sonora Mexico. Every one was having a grand time (bar the person that the ambulance was there for, sighhh).
Coolers and food and family and fun, they came prepared for it all!
At Summerhaven we found an outdoor cafe. Yes, you do see dogs, Huskies, yes, they looked quite comfortable.
Now, here is something I had not seen before. Shoveling snow into and onto the vehicle. My understanding is that the challenge is to get the snow down into Tucson and build a snow man or have a snow ball fight. OKKK, good luck with that. Shovel away - - ohhh, it helps to have a luggage rack on the top!
And, in Summerhaven, I found Santa's home. I know, the photos is out of focus, sorry. Nope, no sign of the happy man, probably sleeping off the holiday rush.
Summerhaven is the end of the road, so, we turn Jolly around and head back down the "hill". Along the way we shall have a tail gate lunch, and enjoy lots more gorgeous scenery. Come back, I'll share it all with you next time.