Saturday, May 16, 2015

2015 Tucson: Sentinel Peak (5/16/2015)

Saturday, May 16, 2015
We had been convinced to start today by driving up Mount Lemmon, but we awoke to find the top of the mountain socked in by clouds. Since it was another cool overcast day, we were then convinced to go to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum where the animals would be active in this weather.
Today, we headed west of Tucson.
What are those spiky things on the hillside?
Carnegiea gigantea/Saguaro Cactus
Everywhere to the west of Tucson are the saguaro!
Our first stop was Sentinel Peak, which the locals call "A" Mountain, due to the huge letter 'A' on the side. This volcanic rock mountain gave its O'odham/Pima name to Tucson, being at chuk-son/the base of the black mountain. Later when the presidio was built in Tucson in 1775, sentinels stood here to lookout for marauding Apaches.
Karen with a saguaro
When Karen picked her way up the rocky incline for a photo with a saguaro, she spread her arms for balance, not realizing how close she was to the cactus, and it stabbed her several times in her palm!
Karen next to the letter 'A'
The whitewashed letter 'A' was first placed here in 1916, by students of the University of Arizona.
Looking down the letter 'A'
View of Tucson from Sentinel Peak (See the clouds covering Mount Lemmon?)
Climbing to the top of the 'A' we saw that indeed the top of Mount Lemmon was covered in clouds. But the rest of Tucson was very sunny! Today was sunburn day.
Looking up at the letter 'A'
Karen rightfully reminded me I should not be wearing sandals where there was so much broken glass. Too much partying at the 'A'!

Next: Arizona Sonora Desert Museum.

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