Today we explored the beautiful Sky Island Scenic Byway, a 28-mile road in the Santa Catalina Mountains and that starts just north of Tucson. The terrain is like a trip from Mexico to Canada, with vegetation ranging from cactus at the beginning to pine, fir and spruce trees at the top -- plus a ski resort. Along the way were dozens of picnic areas, scenic view points, campgrounds and hiking trails. Jim had hiked a few of the trails when I was in Ohio, so he was a great tour guide. At the summit was Mt. Lemon Ski Valley, the southernmost ski resort in the United States (if you don’t count Hawaii, which I read has some skiing.) The ski resort was started during World War II by a group of skiers including novelist and adventurer Lowell Thomas. We had lunch at the nearby Iron Door restaurant. It was a very scenic day.
|Saguaro near the beginning of the scenic byway.|
|Cooper playing in the water at the Babad Do'ag Vista, which is Tohono O'odham (the local Indian tribe) for "Frog Mountain."|
|Pine trees near the top.|
|Mt. Lemon Ski Valley.|