Saturday, November 14, 2015

2015-34 An Excursion to Mt Lemmon (A BONUS REPORT)


Mt Lemon Day Trip

What a fun tour group!

A Bonus Report:

Elaine and John
Ada and Jack
Ruth Ann

62 Miles, and approx. 2 hours drive

Departure:  9:30 am

As the winter season begins here in Tucson for all of we Rv-ers seeking sunshine and fun activities, Elaine commented to a small group of us that she had downloaded a free app onto her smart phone.  The app called the Mt Lemmon Science Tour is a guided voice tour of the route leading up the mountain.  Additional slide photos and info are also available on the app, not for viewing by the driver of course.

So on Friday, we all piled into two cars and began the 62 mile drive which would take almost two hours to reach the top of Mt. Lemon.  With a short stop at Mc Donald’s for coffee and to help Jack set up the app on his phone, we were off and touring.

the tour begins

The tour takes us through 4 or 5 bio-life zones starting of course with the desert, grasses, low pine scrub and forests on up to the taller majestic pines and Douglas firs.  Seeing a thick green forest of pine trees is such a refreshing change from the desert scenery we enjoy all winter.  Lots of geologic and bio diversity information as well as history are presented along the tour.  Elaine and John had connected their smart phone to the cars stereo system so we had awesome theatre sound for the presentation.  John was the driver extraordinaire as he stopped at many of the pull-outs along the way to give us all a chance to ewh and awh over the scenery and of course take pictures galore.

the first bio-zone

looking down on Tucson

I particularly liked the road leading up to the top of Mt Lemmon as it was well paved, lots of curvy twists and turns with breathtaking views all along the way and best of all there were guard-rails everywhere.  Tons of hiking trails and camping sites are available all along the way.  Not too many could accommodate a travel trailer or RV unless it was under 25 feet and had it’s own power as the campsites all appear to be dry campsites.

touring girls

beautifully maintained road leading to the top

The tour with all of it’s stops including lunch at the very top which is at an elevation of 9,100 feet and return trip takes pretty much all day so if you go plan accordingly.  Talk about having fun, our group was perfect, having lots to share along the way in between our educational tour presentations.  Elaine was the social director, John the skilled driver and the one with witty comments, Ruth Ann sharing her many years of experience in travels and family history moving out west to Colorado provided tons of perspective on life out here.  I of course took as many pictures as I could and contributed a few bits of hopefully fun banter along the way.

bio zone 2, the grass zone

the road ahead

Cascade waterfalls and pools below

overhanging the highway


what a fun road

Elaine in flight

two flighty birds

best tour guide award goes to....

Returned to Desert Trails:  3:45 pm

Ps, we even saw small patches of dirty snow left over from last year.  Imagine!  Before descending back to desert level where the temperatures were a pleasant mid 70’s.

On Top of Mt Lemmon

a rare sight to see a forest in Tucson.... called Sky Islands

the small village of Summerhaven on top

radio towers

and the trip back down

Just one more adventure to check off my ever expanding bucket list.  Though I will probably do this one again as it was so much fun.

the entire photo journal on PICASA

No comments: