We spent nearly a week in Tucson and accomplished a lot while there. We helped our friend Linda have a yard sale and clear out Norms tool shed. We were surprised how many tools he had in that tiny shed! Linda presented us with the enlarged photo of the Goat Canyon Trestle that Norm took when we hiked the 12 mile stretch of railroad from Jacumba to Ocotillo, California back in 2005. That was my first hike with Norm and we have fond memories of that day with him. We really miss our friend since his rather sudden death in April.
We spent an afternoon with Mel, Wes & Greg at their house in Oro Valley and Mel brought the boys to our house and we went to the Desert Museum to watch Raptor Free Flight. Greg loves all the animals and was intrigued by the garden eels in the aquarium. Wesley doesn't have much interest in the animals, but likes to hear about the dangerous ones.
On Veteran's Day we played with the Arizona Banjo Blasters at the Voyager RV Park in Tucson. What a great crowd! Everyone sang along and enjoyed a lot of toe tapping! They especially enjoyed our Red Hot Mama's rendition of "Wrong Keyhole"!
Back in Portal the road through Cave Creek Canyon that was washed out by Hurricane Odile in 2014 is finally fixed. The roadbed was repaved and the creek bank is being reinforced with large boulders in wire cages. Culverts have been replaced and a lot of rock has been brought in to reinforce the banks. The road up South Fork has been repaired to just beyond the two forest leased cabins and a large turn-around is there. We don't know what the plan is for beyond that point. It's definitely going to be foot or bicycle traffic only from that turn-around to the picnic area at the trailhead. The creek re-channeled itself, so there is no roadbed beyond that new berm and it seems unlikely that any trail building will be done anytime soon.
We've been to the San Simon Cienega a few times and there are more cranes each time we go. There are lots of Coots, Wigeons & Ring Necked Ducks as well as Vermillion Flycatcher, Red Tailed Hawk, Northern Harrier, Swallows of some sort, and many mixed Sparrow flocks. We bushwhacked to a treed area east of the pond and kicked up a pair of barn owls one day. There may have been more than two, but we only saw two at a time, so it's hard to say.
The road into the Cienega is worse every time we go there. Glad we have a 4x4.
Our Portal neighbors joined us making music a few weeks ago to and we're working on making it a monthly gathering after the holidays. Sing-alongs are so much fun we think it will be a successful community activity. Who can resist singing along to "Ain't She Sweet" or "By the Light of the Silvery Moon"?