Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Saguaro Wonderland

March 11, 2009
22.3 miles
6.0 mph

Saguaro Wonderland – that’s what the bumper sticker for our local KOA campground reads. I think I would have to agree. For the last two days we have been riding amongst these large tree-like cacti. Luckily, both of us have managed to keep the rubber side down. There is not much room for mistake is this prickly landscape.
The saguaro (pronounced, “saw-wah-roh”) is native to the Sonoran Desert. This ecosystem is found in Arizona, small parts of California, and two states in Mexico. The tall, green, and spiny cactus have a lifespan of up to 150 years and can take half that time to develop their side arms. Saguaros bloom in April and May and, with the pollination from bats, bear fruit in June. Different varieties of birds make their homes in saguaros. Some do the actual excavating, others just move in later. Harming this cactus species is against the law, so think twice before you build a house in a saguaro forest.
We’ll be moving on tomorrow to the southern sections of the Black Canyon Trail. I can’t begin to describe how much I’ve enjoyed the trail thus far. You can’t imagine the commitment and dedication that it takes to design, build, and sustain a trail like this. My hat is off to everyone involved. If your interest is piqued, visit the Black Canyon Trail Coalition’s website. And if you’re ever down this way, stop and check it out.

Steering clear of the cactus so far,

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