Friday, March 7, 2014

Tucson Mountain Park

Beth and I started out looking for Ironwood National Monument. We drove through part of Saguaro National Park.
 We found the road that goes through Ironwood National Monument.
 We passed a large open-pit Copper Mine.
 Ironwood is a relatively new National Monument....declared so by President Clinton in 2000. However it has not been developed, and the road soon became impassible to all but high-clearance or 4-wheel drive vehicles. We turned around.
But it was a beautiful day full of other possibilities.
 So we headed into Tucson Mountain Park, passing many hiking trails...for future reference.
 That's Tucson in the valley.
 We stopped to check out this place.
 Outside we learned about and met this endangered frog.

 Inside, the animals were taxidermied.
 There were many moth and butterfly specimens from around the world.
 As well as beetles and other insects.
 This scorpion was living in an aquarium.
 Saw bird species that I will probably never see living in their natural habitat.
 These animals were posed in the act of killing their prey. There were entire animals and trophy heads from every continent.
 But both Beth and I agreed we prefer to see our animals living and free in their natural settings.
 So we continued our drive through the mountains.
 We stopped at scenic overlooks but did not do any of the hikes...the day had gotten too warm.
 The road through here is called Gates Pass.
 Named for the pioneer who built the first road through in the late 1800s.

 The CCC built this rest area and shelters.

 Tucson Mountain Park...a place I will have to revisit to do the trails.

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