Road trip - southern Arizona

Mar 3rd, 2010, 08:30 AM
  #1  
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Road trip - southern Arizona

In late February, I took a six day road trip to southern Arizona, primarily to photograph the migratory birds which winter there. I made a number of photos and I’ll get them organized and on the web within a few days. Once I do, I’ll post a link to them here.

I traveled in both directions on Saturday so I was able to miss the heavy traffic in Las Vegas and Phoenix but I had my own weekend based problems – more of which later.

On these kinds of trips, I don’t normally “dine out”. Usually, meals are a quick stop somewhere, often taken back to the hotel. The one exception on this trip was a visit I had with friends from another travel forum at Givas, a small Italian Restaurant on the east side of Tucson. I had a fettuccini with a tomato and mushroom sauce that was excellent. My friends enjoyed their dinner as well and I would recommend it.

I stayed at the Hilton on east Broadway ($60 Priceline). It was what you would expect from an urban Hilton and I had no complaints.

Most of my days were spent going from place-to-place where migratory birds congregate in and around Phoenix. On two of the days, I took longer side trips visiting Patagonia Lake State Park, Buenos Aeries National Wildlife Refuge, Sasabe and Nogales, AZ and the San Xavier Mission church.

During my photographic forays, I saw dozens of bird species, many of which I had never seen before. In addition, surprising to me for southern Arizona, I saw a herd of Pronghorn Antelope. I also saw ground squirrels, long-eared jackrabbits, cotton tails, coyotes, and javelinas

On the way home, I made a short stop in Wickenburg, AZ. This is an old pioneer town and they’ve made an effort to keep some of the original buildings in good repair. I ate lunch in the Bar-7 Restaurant which is located in an old saloon and had an excellent turkey and green chili sandwich on grilled sourdough.

The weekend I drove home was race weekend in Las Vegas so I thought I’d be clever and take the Lake Mead bypass, both for some good scenery and to avoid the freeway traffic through and north of Las Vegas. Big mistake! For those of you who have not been on it, the lake shore road is narrow, two lanes, and very twisty and curvy. There are very few places on it that are safe to pass. Once I got past the Lake Las Vegas cut-off and was committed to the route, I got behind a very large group of bicyclers on some sort of an organized ride. After many miles of 10-15 mph, they finally turned off.

Then, once I got back onto the freeway, I wound up in a full-closure of I-15 for a traffic accident which I probably would have missed had I just used the freeway in the first place. 2.5 hours later, it finally opened and I made it home without further incident.

It was a good trip, the weather was cooperative for most of the time and I’m ready to go again.
dwooddon is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2010, 09:57 AM
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Let us know when you get your pictures up, it will be nice to see the birds.
emalloy is online now  
Mar 5th, 2010, 03:06 PM
  #3  
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I now have my photos on-line. They can be seen at http://www.worldisround.com/articles/358214/index.html if your are interested.
dwooddon is offline  
Mar 5th, 2010, 03:58 PM
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Loved the pictures, thanks for posting.
emalloy is online now  
Mar 6th, 2010, 08:44 AM
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Hi Don, Sounds like a great trip despite the traffic issues. Loved your pictures; Saguaro NP is one of my favorite NPs. Did you take any pics of the Lake Mead bypass scenery?
As an aside, i just received an email with pics of the new hoover dam bridge. Amazing!
ellen_griswold is offline  
Mar 8th, 2010, 07:21 AM
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ellen - its nice to hear from you again. I did not make any photos on the Lake Mead bypass. It is starkly scenic but because most of it is desert monotone, it does not photograph well unless the light is just right.
dwooddon is offline  
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