Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Saturday Excursion

 My big weekend is over and I am basking in the memory of a lovely day spent picnicking on MT. Lemmon with my son, Mark, my daughter Gail, and two dogs.  On the way down I took pictures from the moving truck with  a dirty windshield.  

Start with our picnic spot and continue with me from the tall pines down to the Saguaros at the foot of the mountain. 

I think this looks like a profile of an ancient king.  Or perhaps you will see a cartoon animal.

If you look closely you can see 3 parts of the highway as it curves around the mountain.

Notice the strata of the geologic layering

These rock climbers are nuts.

 The following is copied from Wikipedia.

Mount Lemmon is the highest point in the Santa Catalina Mountains, located in the Coronado National Forest north of Tucson, Arizona, United States. It is 9,157 feet (2,791 m) above sea-level, and receives approximately 180 inches of snow annually. Mount Lemmon was named in honor of botanist Sarah Lemmon, who trekked to the top of the mountain with Native American guides by mule and foot in 1881.[citation needed]


Summerhaven is a small town near the top of the mountain. It is a summer residence for many but there are some year round residents. There are many small cabins most of which are being rebuilt after the Aspen Fire of July 2003, and recovery is still taking place.[clarification needed] It is near Ski Valley which is the southernmost ski destination in the continental United States.

Mount Lemmon Station Observatory

View of the telescopes on Mount Lemmon
At the peak of Mount Lemmon is an astronomical observatory, which was formerly the site of an USAF radar base of the Air Defense Command[citation needed], and the building that formerly housed a military emergency radar tracking station for landing the Space Shuttle at White Sands Missile Range. Although the United States military had a presence on the mountain for several decades all their facilities have been abandoned and were given to the United States Forest Service. The area and buildings that makes up the Mount Lemmon Station Observatory are leased from the Forest Service by the University of Arizona. The telescopes on the mountain are still used for astronomical research today by organizations such as the Catalina Sky Survey, and The [Mount Lemmon Sky Center], The University of Arizona Astronomy Camp program,[2] the University of Arizona, and the University of Minnesota. The educational resources at the top of the mountain make it a unique research and teaching destination.

Windy Point

The location 'Windy Point' was built by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, using a large number of prisoners over a period of 18 years, and is a popular place for outdoor weddings.[citation needed]

Catalina Highway

Catalina Highway climbing Mount Lemmon


Barry said...

One of my favorite drives. Miss it!

joared said...

Has been many many years since we drove up there. Like your photos and thanks for sharing. Glad you had a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

Darlene sees an ancient king. I see three bears: an adult holding a baby bear with a young bear leading the parade.

Thanks for the tour, Darlene!
Cop Car

Anonymous said...

Oooh - now I see the king - facing to the right! (My bears face a bit to the left.)

Darlene said...

*Barry - It's a favorite drive of we Tucsonans when it gets hot.

*Joared - I doubt that it has changed very much. They have added lots of picnic areas with tables and bar-b-cues that you can't use due to the threat of fire. Summerhaven is new because it was destroyed in the fire.

*Cop Car - I see your bears - especially the middle one. It's like finding shapes in the clouds and lots of fun.

Nana Lorena Royer said...

Hi, Darlene! Enjoyed your photos and remember some of the views from my trip up there with my son. He could be one of those rock climbers, by the way. I really like your short hair cut--very becoming. We're planning an October trip to Tucson, if all goes well. Hope to see you then

Darlene said...

*Nana Lorena Royer - What exciting news. I do hope we will be able to get together in October. I'm glad you approve of my hair cut. No muss, no fuss; just wash and wear.

Rummuser said...

That makes me want to come and visit you soon.

Darlene said...

*Rummuser - I'm waiting with a warm welcome.

Vagabonde said...

I enlarged your photos – they are fine. I especially liked the one with the bird flying – it’s quite hard to catch a bird in flight – I know as I have tried many times. The rock formations are astounding. I have never been in that area and would love to go.

Hattie said...

Lovely. You did a good job on those photos. I kind of would like to do a road trip in Arizona, to the more interesting areas. May do that sometime.

naomi dagen bloom said...

Thanks for the trip with you, Darlene. Could be a king, or wherever one's imagination wants to travel. Every now and then, as I watch clouds, something specific seems to be in the shapes.

Darlene said...

*Vagabonde - I would love to show you the Arizona you don't hear about on the news. With your photographic skills you could find lots of subjects.

The rock climbers didn't enlarge well because I had already cropped and enlarged it from a distant shot. I wanted to show the three guys making use of their rock climbing skills so tried to get a close-up.

*Hattie - Thank you and please do come and see our Sonora Desert.

*naomi dagen bloom - It looked like the profile of a king to me. He has a beard and an odd head piece that reminds me of a medieval cap.

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Darlene, thank you for this get away for me on this 100+ morning.
Sure looks different from the hills of Tennessee.
Great images...