Camino de Santiago, September, Garmin GPS Purchased

I’m having fun with my new Garmin GPS Watch.  It is amazing to watch the miles add up as my stamina builds.  I am, however, feeling lost without my heart rate monitor – simple solution – purchase the monitor that works with the Garmin I have.

Yesterday, while on my hike up Sabino Canyon tram roadway, I kept hearing click, click, click.  I had totally worn out the “street shoes” on my Leki Trekking Poles.  So after the hike, I headed to my favorite outdoor store, the Summit Hut, and replaced the worn out shoes.  There is no sound more annoying both at home and on the Camino as the click, click, click of carbide tips hitting the pavement.  Now you probably are asking yourself; why is she walking on pavement and not on the trails of Saguaro National Park?

The answer is simple.  I encountered a very large diamondback rattle snake on the Cactus Forest Trail several weeks ago.  The snake was just three feet away from me lying across the trail, I did not see it until it began to move off the trail.  My initial instinct was shock and I immediately froze like a deer in the headlights.  The second thought was to pull out my camera and take a picture because I was sure nobody would believe me when I told the story.  Then the final thought was to back away carefully and head out of the park.  I was about 4.25 miles into the trail on a 4.5 mile out and back, it took me a while to get back to the trail head.  On my trek before the snake sighting as well as after, I did not see another hiker.  It appeared I was the only one on the trail that morning.  Once back home, I decided with the summer here and the snakes out and about, I should leave their natural habitat to them and walk the more people inhabited routes.rattlesnake

So what does the local news report last night?; a hiker in Sabino Canyon coming face to face with a mountain lion and another case of a mountain lion walking down the street through a neighborhood north of here.  My friend, who lives a couple of miles from my home, encountered a mountain lion in her backyard a while ago.  I guess the lions are coming down from the mountains in search of food and water; it has been unbelievably hot and dry here. saguaro national park mtn lion

The Park Rangers are warning hikers of the dangers of mountain lions at Sabino Canyon, but I am sure that is for the hiking trails and not the tram roadway.  The tram roadway is full of walkers, runners and cyclists every morning; we here in the desert must get our exercise very early during the warmer months of the year.  Yesterday I was at the Canyon at 5:30 am and walked the entire 3.8 miles up and then walked the same back down; all before the sun got too hot.  Oh by the way, the temperature reached 111 F yesterday on the east side of Tucson.

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