ENCHANTING WEEKEND IN TUCSON, Part 2: PEAK-TO-PEAK, CHEEK-TO-CHEEK

Mt Lemmon_Panorama1

SUMMARY

Elizabeth and I have just returned to our Scottsdale home after an exquisite weekend in Tucson.  Overall, it is hard to beat a weekend like this. It had a little bit of everything that constitutes fun, both in earthly and spiritual senses.Peak-to-Peak Tucson Cheek-t-Cheek

We attended a marvelous opera, and went  peak-top-peak, cheek-to-cheek 🙂 – from Mt Lemmon (8,200 ft) to Kitt Peak National Observatory (7,000 ft).

We watched the sun for the first time through the world’s largest solarsolar telescope, and saw two giant solar spots or flares. And then we drove back to Tucson through a torrential monsoon thunderstorm which cleared the air and dropped the temperature 30F. We finished the weekend this morning (Oct 20) with an 8-mile hike in the Sabino Canyon.

PEAK-TO-PEAK, CHEEK-TO-CHEEK – MT LEMMON

The first peak we conquered on this beautiful Sunday morning was Mount Lemmon. At 9,100 feet, it is the highest peak in the Catalina mountain range.  We got to about 8,200 ft, roughly the elevation of Summerhaven and the surrounding hills.

The temperature there was 56F.  Just to give you an idea about the difference  elevation can make, the day before, the high in Tucson was 91F.  And when we returned from Mt Lemmon around noontime, it was 85F.

Here are some still shots we took on our way up the mountain…

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IMG_2414 IMG_2416  IMG_2418 IMG_2419 IMG_2420 Dead Pine Summerhaven Giant Pine Summerhaven

IMG_2426 IMG_2427 IMG_2428 Mt Lemmon 2

You may have noticed a lot of dead trees on the hillsides around Summerhaven. At first I thought it was an avalanche as there was no sign of charring. But I have since found out that that’s because the fire that consumed this area took place over 11 years ago.

Here’s what the Aspen fire of June 2003 looked like contemporaneously.

MtLemmon_Summerhaven_Recovery_From_Aspen_Fire

MORE TO COME FROM OUR TUCSON WEEKEND…

2 Replies to “ENCHANTING WEEKEND IN TUCSON, Part 2: PEAK-TO-PEAK, CHEEK-TO-CHEEK”

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