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John B. Deitz

Build: 100521.2

Day 11
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Monday, 8 August 2005.  Mt. Lemmon

First thing in the morning I took the Road King to Harley Davidson of Tucson for an oil change.  Ron led the way, which was fortunate.  The storms of the night before had closed some roads .  In many places, bridges are not built over dry riverbeds and streams (called washes), so that when a heavy rain does occur, water flows over the road and may close it for a day or so.  Ron knew alternate routes.  Although I had originally planned to just wait for the bike, decided to leave it there.  When I picked it up later that afternoon, they charged $100 for an oil change?  I bought the mandatory t-shirt though.

Ron and Hal then took us to the top of Mt. Lemmon in the Santa Catalina Mountains on the northern outskirts of Tucson.  The ride up started misty with low lying clouds which we thought might make the vistas less viewable.  But it did clear somewhat as we were going up, and by the time we came down it was mostly fine.

Ron cooked another great meal -- roast beef -- and we watched Shirley Valentine.  Ron and Hal's movie collection is impressive!

At the Base of Mt. Lemmon (above)
Tucson's elevation is about 2,500 ft.  Mt. Lemmon rises to about 9,160 ft.

Ron at the first scenic overlook (right)
Tucson stretches out below us.

At this overlook, we are surrounded by majestic saguaro cacti and the elements of the desert.
That's Hal leaning against the cactus (left).  Close-up of bird's nest and prickly spines (right).  (If you now think Hal is actually leaning against the cactus, look at close-up picture again.) 
The saguaro grows very slowly perhaps an inch a year but to a great height, 15 to 50 feet.  This one is more than 25 feet high, perhaps 300 years old!

Wind Point Vista is about half way up the mountain.  Tucson is visible in the distance.  This picture was taken on the way back down.  We were in the clouds on the way up.

There are several interesting rock formations at Windy Point

We're nearing the top of the mountain here, and looking north.
Much of the mountain areas were destroyed by the Aspen Fire in 2003.  While we saw much evidence of the burn, the forest appeared to be well on the way to recovery.

We had a nice lunch in the little restaurant to the left.  Most of these buildings were destroyed by the fire.
Mt. Lemmon is also a ski resort -- the most southerly in the United States.
Distance:  No riding miles. Accommodation: Ron and Hal (WiFi)  

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23 October 2007