We returned to the trail today with a different kind of hike! Maybe not quite as challenging as a five mile trek with a 1000 foot elevation gain, but much more beautiful. We finally turned off Highway 60 east of Phoenix at the Boyce-Thompson Arboretum.
The hike started out on the beautifully groomed paths of the arboretum at the visitor's center.
At first, I thought the bird above on the distant rocks was a decorative sculpture.
But when I zoomed in, I realized it was a vulture stretching its wings while sunning on the rocks.
We spotted this turtle sunning on a rock in the pond.
Just past the pond, we left the flat paths and headed up a steeper trail.
This is a little trick they use to keep people from cutting the trails. Kind of like signs in the very climbable mesquite trees at a popular restaurant near us that warn kids to watch out for scorpions.
The historic home below sits on a cliff above the far east end of the arboretum. I could definitely live there!
More interesting rock formations.
After following the trail along the creek, we crossed a suspension bridge and climbed up the rocky path on the other side.
At high noon, the temps were still really comfortable, whereas the highs down below in the Valley of the Sun were almost 90 degrees today.
After an up and down scramble over the trail, we crossed back over the creek again and ended up in the Australian exhibit, which included this rustic outback house.
I've been bugging Craig for a new SUV. What do you think?
Soon, we were back to the plant lined flat paths near the visitor's center.
I snapped a photo of these gorgeous African daisies at the sale tables next to the parking lot.
To be continued!