Tanque Verde-Rincons

There are two types of people in this world. Those that have guns, and those that dig.

Blondie (The Good- Clint Eastwood) to Tuco (The Bad –Eli Wallich) in the graveyard.

Que pasa amigos,

Como estas tu?

February and March are primo Arizona months. The weather is absolutely perfect for an outside adventure.
The hombres were getting a little soft around the middle and requested that El Lobo plan a challenging viaje. El hijo, Jake, amigo Lorennzo and I departed for the Old Pueblo (Tuscon) temprano las cuatro y treinta de la manana for what would be a very long day.
A bald eagle has been nesting just outside of Tuscon and there were two jaguars recently spotted and filmed south of Tuscon. We spotted a cardinal and a coyote on the way to the trailhead.
We started our trek at the Tanque Verde trailhead in Saguaro National Park and for seven hours followed the strnuous and sometimes torturing route following Tanque Verde ridge to 7049-foot Tanque Verde Peak. We logged 18 miles and close to 10,000 feet of elevation gain/loss. Mucho dulce-Kit Kat Bars and Snickers were consumed to take the painful edge off the trip. Along the way the trail winds among tall saguaros , climbs wildflower dotted slopes, and passes through delightful forrests of oak, pinyon and juniper. I absolutely love this blend of ecosystems! We passed through a beautiful Juniper Basin Campground (5900’) where there were several pockets of water. This would be a superb spot for an overnight. There were only small patches of snow along the higher elevations unlike the Rincon Peak hike last year at this time where we had to wade through waste high powder for the last ½ mile to the summit.. Tanque Verde Peak requires a bit of a tricky scramble but affords a commanding view of Tuscon and the Rincon Mountains backcountry. Included in this 360 degree panaramic view are the Santa Rita and Huachuca Mountains, the little Rincons, the Galiuro and Santa Catalina Mountains and the city of Tuscon.
The climb back was arduous but Pacifico cervezas were excellente treatment for our tired feet at Zo’s carro.
The Rincons offer a wonderful remote backcountry experience, close to a metroplitan area. I rate this hike a solid 9.
The hike was only half the adventure as we stopped in the Old Hotel Congress on our way to El Minuto for dinner. The Old Congress is really a funky enjoyable experience.
John Dillinger was apprehended in this hotel. The atmosphere is one out of the 40s.
The eclectic bar served Schlitz, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Old Style. The cliental was something similar to the bar in Star Wars. We made numerous friends, one being a Supai woman that many years ago left the land of blue/green waterfalls in the Grand Canyon to get an education at the U of A. She requested that I play R E S P E C T by Aretha on the jukebox with great selections. Sadly, she left the reservation for a better life and is now a regular at the Old Congress.
In the corner of the bar, one gentleman gave us hard looks and was growling like a wild animal.
When informed that I was “El Lobo Grande” the bar manager reponded with a “No shit!”
If you are in Tuscon don’t miss this slice of life.
It was years ago when Gerry and I stayed in the same Hotel bar when we were told about the best Mexican restaurant in the Universe by locals. Since that time I don’t miss a meal at El Minuto when in the Old Pueblo. This was no exception as the three of us again greedily scarfed down the tasty specials and superb margaritas.
We arrived back in Phoenix en tarde but safe thanks to Lorenzo.

The very popular

El Lobo, busted at the trailhead by a ranger for merely marking his territory.
Jacobo, constantly upsetting the serenity on the trail by yelling GEEEEZZ when detecting an odorous wind.
Jacobo, vowing to never hike again at mile 17. At least he quit at the end of the hike and not ½ like Steve Yahner.
Lorenzo, making large cat type sounds on the trail after a weak emission.

Question: Where’s Steve?
Answer: Napping in Scottsdale after a huge breakfast of Jimmy Dean’s pure pork sausage.

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