We left the last town and headed west today. Even though this morning the heater ran for a short time, by the end of the day we were using the vent and a/c. I wore only a t-shirt and sweatshirt rather than long underwear, t-shirt, sweatshirt, jacket, and gloves. The other day we were in a town where the high was 30 degrees and today the high where we are was 60+. 30 degree difference. Our original plan was going to take us north back into the cold, but we have decided against that. We are going to keep in the warmth as long as we can.
Today we went to another National Park, which pisses off the dog. We were quite upset that they don't ever have to wear winter uniforms. Those in the park service understand that statement. And I have realized that I have become spoiled during this trip. Yes, yes, I know I already am, but being at Chaco all by ourselves really spoiled me today.
We arrived at Saguaro today to a bus full of people. The visitor center was packed, the sidewalks were packed, and they were walking over everything. I stamped my NPS passport, Murray grabbed a map and guide, and we got the heck out of there. But the bus was not the only people. There was another group in a white SUV. They pulled up and about 10 people piled out of the vehicle. It was like clowns coming out of a VW. They were loud and I was crying CHACO CHACO.
We traveled along the 8 mile road, stopping where people weren't, and driving by other pullouts where people were. There were numerous places I wanted to stop and take a photo, but I didn't want to be like the visitors I constantly yell at or kindly ask to move at the other park.
We attempted to do some birding. But the only types of birds we saw today were Silhouette Birds. You probably won't find those in a typical bird book, but birders will understand what kind of birds those are.
When we stopped to take this photo of this dead cactus, which was a little down from the car, we left Jenna in the vehicle. Sometimes when we leave her in the vehicle, she climbs into the back where luggage is piled to the top of the backseat and waits patiently for us. I often wish I could hear what she is thinking. I know most of it is cuss words and why aren't you taking me. She eventually gets over it I hope!
I asked the nice park ranger what the quickest way would be if we were heading to Phoenix. He told me to go back out to I-10. Of course, he told me to take a certain road, but upon leaving the park, we saw a sign that said I-10 left. So we followed it. As the road wound east, we wanted to head west, we laughed. And heck, if we would have followed the other way, we wouldn't have seen the deer cross the road. We've been in this situation a couple of times as well and since we are on a vacation, we don't give a shit. Actually, we pretend we are in the Amazing Race game and everyone else is behind us. HA HA.
We finally found our hotel, checked in, actually declared Jenna this time, and went to the Texas Roadhouse to eat dinner. Funny thing is they don't have any in Texas. It was one of the best meals I have had in a long time. They had awesome bread with honey butter, great pina coladas, the steak was done right, and the shrimp was delicious. And of course Jenna loved the leftovers.
Tomorrow we head to the big city, but not after visiting some other places. We'll be hanging with family and friends for the Christmas holidays. Every one have a great one!
more photos as always