on July 27, 2007
One afternoon in Tucson, we went out to the Douglas Spring Trail at Saguaro National Park. This trail is in the east part of the park. To get to the trailhead, take Speedway Blvd. east from Tucson to the end of the road. There's a small parking lot, which was almost empty on this weekday summer afternoon. There is no visitor center or other facility at this trailhead. As always when hiking, be sure to bring plenty of water.The park has many trails, and you can combine them for just about any length of hike. We just took a nice easy walk—we went about a mile just before sunset, then turned around and walked back. My friends had hoped that maybe we’d see a javelina, a wild piglike animal that eats the prickly pear cactus. We didn’t, but I turned a corner and saw a rattlesnake crossing the trail. It was big, about 4 1/2 feet long. I stopped immediately--seeing one of those gives you a quick adrenalin rush. The snake didn’t seem to notice us, and took its time slithering across the path. We had to wait until it moved on, as there wasn’t an easy way around the trail.The park is home to many kinds of cactus, including its namesake saguaro, the tall cactus with long arms pointing up. There had been some rain recently, and everything was in bloom. Walking in the desert is one on my favorite things to do, and Saguaro Park is some of the most beautiful desert I've seen. I loved every minute of our short hike.
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