Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Last night's narrative about my Monday hike in Sabino Canyon ended with me entering mountain lion territory before starting down a rather steep trail, bound for Sabino Dam. Let's pick up the story there:
Once I made my overly cautious way down the first step of Bluff Trail, the downward grade turned out to be more reasonable than I originally thought. It made its way up and down through the foothills of Sabino Canyon, not attempting to be the easiest or fastest possible route, but not being particularly devious or rugged, either. I spent most of the long walk panting, but my exercise-induced asthma never kicked in, and after a while my legs were pleasantly sore.
Soon the trail overlooked Sabino Creek on my left, which briefly widened into Sabino Lake. A couple of guys were down by the water on the other side by way of a different trail, but on my side it was a long way down. I stayed on the heights and kept going.
One of the more interesting and picturesque moments along the trail came not from the water on my left, but from the rock formations right in front of me, soon to be next to me and directly overhead. The trail got a little steep and tricky here, and I picked my way a bit. But it was well worth it for the view and the photos.
Meanwhile, though, the lake on my left opened out into a small sandy beach. Tucsonans sometimes joke about Sabino Canyon being the only place in the area where one can go to the beach. In fact in summer, people sometimes do go wading.
Here is one of the stone outcroppings along the trail, with a bird's nest on a sapling growing out the side of it. At first I accidentally saved this picture with the bird's nest on top. I still think it looks better that way.
A good look at the outcropping as I went past it made me almost wish I could try rock climbing someday. But even if I had the nerve, which I clearly don't, my poor coordination and often-injured ankles would make such an activity a very bad idea.
Guess I'll settle for walking past the rocks instead, on a well-defined nature trail. Here's the view looking back.
I still have more photos I want to show you, but I don't want to overload any one entry. We'll get to the dam and the home stretch tomorrow night. See you then!