Days seem to go by faster near the end of anything, but we decide to slow things down and stay another night. Big Dog wants to move from Site 165 to Site 168 (“More level.”) although he thinks 167 is best. They all seem pretty much the same to me. They are all pretty nice considering how big the campsite is and how they’re catering towards campers with RVs. I’d noticed how many RV camps squeeze sites together to keep the infrastructure centralized, so we appreciate the landscaping – the privacy garden is a sweet touch.
After lunch, we head out on the 22 miles of dirt road they call the Big Loop Drive.
“I don’t know why they even have a Saguaro National Park in Tucson. There are far more here!” I marvel. There are big ones, tall ones, many armed ones, no armed ones, little stubby baby ones. Some are in comical poses and you make up names and stories for them. “Stick ‘em up.” “Don’t shoot me.” “Hi Bob.” “Button Dick.”
The organ pipe cacti are made of fat pipes coming up in a bunch. Many of the chollas here are the chain fruit cholla looking very much like Sideshow Bob.
Arch Canyon Trailhead is at about halfway on the loop. There’s a natural arch on the cliffs above and a trail. Does the trail take you all the way there? We get to a sign that says “beyond this is rocky and dangerous” but keep going. We are on the back side of the mountain/cliff and I am grateful for all the traction my sneakers afford.
Two ladies – I call them the Biology Nerd Ladies – have gone ahead of us and are climbing higher. We can see them way up on the cliff. Guess we COULD go to the arch if we wanted to. Big Dog does not.
By the time we are done with the Loop it is after 4pm and near the end of another fabulous day. No ranger talks tonight. Just chow and chilllll.