07:20 For once I get up first. Shortly before 9:00 we are ready to go. First on Hwy 10 further west for about 30 miles, then south on 146 and west again on 9. More than 50 miles just desert, now and then some houses, or cows and (wild) horses. Signs indicate that there would be deer/antelopes as well, but – not today.
At Portal we take the road (20 miles of gravel road) first back into the canyon and then over Fly Peak (9666 ft el.) to Chiricahua National Monument. We are highly rewarded for swallowing all that dust: besides lots of deer we also see a black bear which we did not really expect to see here anymore. It wasn’t too shy and Marco was able to take some beautiful pictures – that was definitely the highlight of the day!
The Chiricahua National Monument was picturesque with its gray greenish columns and pinnacles of rock and reminded me a bit of Bryce Canyon.
From there we take scenic Hwy 186 to Wilcox and then Hwy 10 to Tucson. We stay on the Hwy all the way through town to make ourselves a picture of the best hotel and restaurant locations. At the end of town we exit the Hwy and drive through Saguaro National Park where we see about 8 different kinds of cactus including the huge Saguaras. I’m afraid that I only see Marco again once the batteries of the camera are empty – honestly, we are both completely fascinated. Once through the park we turn around and drive back into Tucson again where we look for a hotel.
We stay at the Red Roof Inn and have a nice dinner (still dusty as we are) at a family run Italian Buffet.
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