The second, Ray Umashankar
, was home.I have not written email to him in months and do not think he
would remember about our trip.But he
suggestion : Go to Tombstone tonight and take in the town in the morning ; forget Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument because with our plan to be back in Phoenix Monday morning, we just would not have the time ; on our return to Tucson on Saturday, visit nearby Sabino Canyon which is just beautiful ; then take in Saguaro National Park on Sunday before heading back for Phoenix.
That made sense to us
The only problem was that by the time we reached the KOA in Tombstone, we learned there were some other great places to see in the general vicinity, Chirihahua National Monument and Fort Huachuca.we will have to see how our time goes tomorrow, but i be afraid we have not allowed enough time.
Just before Tombstone we reached a couple of interesting towns ; Benson, with neat Christmas lights up, and a small town called St. David.
Earlier in the day we had called Ray Umashankar
was the internet contact I talked with on the phone yesterday.He
gave us some travel suggestions for the area, and helped us schedule our time.He
recommended we visit Sabino Canyon on our way back to Tucson from Tombstone.It was almost 3 p.m. when we reached the area.Along the way we passed an airfield which appears to be a graveyard for old planes.Hundreds of them just lined up on the tarmac.On the other side of the road we saw old junk helicopters.
As we neared Sabino Canyon in the Coronado National Forest, we called Ray
would be out in fifteen minutes.
It was fun to meet him in person.he
be an engineering administrator with the University of Arizona.His
wife is a professor.He
brought along a book he
had read recently regarding one man's four-year motorcycle journey around the world.He
wanted us to be aware of the book and the author.He
thought that might give us some ideas for a book of our own.
We asked Ray
to put the state of Arizona on the back of our van.He
did the honors very well.Then surprised us by insisting he
buy us each a ticket for the tram ride into the Sabino Canyon.He
said it was probably too late in the day to start a hike.
As we pulled away on the tram, we waved to our new friend from Arizona.The ride itself was really great.It was narrated which made the area really come alive.Such beautiful scenery - mountains, streams, rockbeds, lots of trees including the green-branched Palos Verde, and, of course, hundreds of Saguaro cacti.One saguaro we saw high up on some rocky cliffs silhouetted against the sky was said to be about 50 feet tall and weigh 5 to 7 tons! Wow.