Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Catalina and Oracle State Parks

Hi all,
Saturday was our 39th anniversary. We started the day out going to a swap market in Tucson with Dorlen and Darlene. We got there at 10:00 and many stands were just setting up. Dorlen said the sale isn't near as popular as it once was, way less stands although easier parking and no crowd to fight through was appreciated. Dorlen  got a nice score on some old golf clubs that he is making yard ornaments out of. We both bought some peppers and not much else.
 They then drove us to the Mission San Xavier del Bac, the oldest mission in the United States. We watched a video showing some of the delicate repairs made to the structure and art work inside. This is still an active mission and services were being held today.
Darlene & Dorlen
 Dorlen and Darlene have been very great showing us around town. We drove past the Pima Air and Space museum that may be worth another day trip. They showed us properties owned by Paul McCartney and Arnold Schwarzenegger. They believe Arnold just bought it so his name on the property would make money on a sale.
 Back home I helped Dorlen get his Tin Lizzy out. A 1926 Model T he took us out for a fun ride. Quite the thing seeing how these old things ran and imagining a road trip in one.
 Overall a neat way to spend the day.
 Sunday Wendy and I gave D&D a break and headed to a couple nearby state parks.
Catalina State Park is just 20 miles north of Tucson.  This 5,500 acre park sits at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Numerous hiking trails amongst thousands of saguaros and other desert life.
 It also has 120 campsites and a equestrian area for those with horses.
 The place was really packed today, we circled the lot twice to find parking at the main trailhead. Not planning on this being a big hike day we took a 1 mile nature trail. It was a nice hike and the views just beautiful.
Next up was Oracle State Park, about 20 miles further up the road. Oracle is a 4,000 acre park that has felt recent cutbacks. It only operates as a day use only park on weekends from Oct. through Apr.
 It acts as a wildlife refuge and a Center for Environmental Education. When we arrived they were holding a informational discussion of the reintroduction of big horn sheep in the Catalina Mountain range. This began in 2013 and it has become a hot topic lately as they have killed three mountain lions that they believed responsible for killing many of the released sheep.
 The park has hiking trails and a old ranch house from the former landowners.


  1. We stayed at Catalina our first year, we really liked it and will definitely go back. Lots of areas to hike and bike too!

  2. Belated Happy Anniversary!

    Looks like a fun couple of days all around.