foothills outside YumaIn the morning, we packed up and drove to the Mexican border.  We had seen the great fence along the highway at an earlier point and realized it was a border fence.  How odd for those of us who live in Canada.  We had to go back and take a picture!  Having driven south for 25 miles or so, we quickly got back on the road and drove east to our next destination Tucson.  The desert changes here again.  There are really dry parts, then the cacti got bigger and more numerous so that it felt like a forest.  There was ranching somewhere along the way as we could smell the cow manure but we didn’t see many cows at all.

The coolest thing was our encounter with our first roadrunner!  He crossed the road quickly and off he went.  Of course, I didn’t have time for a picture.

We camped at the KOA in Picacho.  It was probably the most charming campground we’ve seen. Full of cacti and western paraphernalia, it couldn’t have been cuter and friendlier.  As we drove in, the outdoor bbq was on and huge steaks were being grilled.  Being Valentine’s Day, we were told to book early as they were expecting a larger crowd for dinner.  We managed to get in for 7:45pm and shared a 22oz steak and all the fixings.  Leon even found room for some very delicious apple pie and ice cream!  The pool was not too hot but the hospitality was certainly incomparable.

We got up, packed up and were on our way to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.  We had a bit of trouble finding it as there are no signs off the Interstate.  We drove into Saguaro National Park (pronounced Sw-aa-ro) and were amazed at the beauty of the cacti, the red hills and the blue sky.  We eventually found the museum, which is a desert park with all kinds of natural exhibits, and spent the afternoon there. The park is named after the Saguaro cacti.  These are the ones we see in the comics that look like a man with arms.  We had seen them all along our drive so far and didn’t know the name of them.  By the time they get to be 7-8 feet tall, they are actually 70-80 years old.  Imagine!

On the way out of the museum, we drove through Tucson Mountain Park which has a high pass.  Another beautiful drive!  All in all, I have very much enjoyed Tucson.  It was more what I expected of Arizona, wild and colourful.