"There are two types of people in this world. Those that have guns, andthose that dig."Blondie (The Good- Clint Eastwood) to Tuco (The Ugly -Eli Wallich) in thegraveyard.Que pasa amigos,Como estas tu?February and March are primo Arizona months. The weather is absolutelyperfect for an outside adventure.The young hombres were getting a little soft around the middle andrequested that El Lobo plan a challenging viaje. El hijo, Jacobo, amigoLorennzo and Lobo departed for the Old Pueblo (Tucson) temprano las cuatroy treinta de la manana (very early) for what would be a long day.A bald eagle has been nesting just outside of Tucson and two jaguars wererecently sighted and filmed south of town. We spotted a cardinal and acoyote on the way to the trailhead.We started our trek at the Tanque Verde trailhead in Saguaro National Parkand for seven hours followed the strenuous and sometimes torturous routefollowing Tanque Verde ridge to 7049-foot Tanque Verde Peak. We logged 18miles and close to 10,000 feet of elevation gain/loss. Mucho dulce-(Kit KatBars and Snickers) were consumed to take the painful edge off the trip.Along the way the trail winds among tall saguaros, climbs wildflower dottedslopes, and passes through delightful forests of oak, pinyon and juniper. Iabsolutely love this blend of ecosystems! We passed through beautifulJuniper Basin Campground (5900') where there were several pockets of water.This would be a superb spot for an overnight. There were only small patchesof snow along the higher elevations unlike the Rincon Peak hike last yearat this time where we had to plow through waste high powder for the last ½mile to the summit.Tanque Verde Peak requires a bit of a tricky climb the last 20 feet, butaffords a commanding view of Tucson and the Rincon Mountains back-country.Included in this 360 degree panoramic view are the Santa Rita and HuachucaMountains, the little Rincons, the Galiuro and Santa Catalina Mountains andthe city of Tucson.The climb back to the trailhead was arduous but both Jacobo and Zo arestrong hikers and we made excellent time. The Pacifico cervezas at Zo'scarro were excellente treatment for our sore and tired feet.The Rincons offer a wonderful remote back-country experience, close to ametropolitan area. I rate this hike a solid 9.The hike was only half the adventure as we stopped in the Old HotelCongress in downtown on our way to El Minuto for dinner. In the spirit ofadventure, Lobo changed into his cowboy attire.The Old Congress is really a funky enjoyable historic establishment.John Dillinger was apprehended in this hotel. The atmosphere is one out ofthe 40s.The eclectic, crowded bar served Schlitz, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Old Style.The cliental was something similar to the characters in the Star Wars barscene or those that frequent Warsaw Wally's in downtown Phoenix.We made numerous friends, one being Gerine, a Supai woman that many yearsago, demonstrated great courage and left the land of blue/green waterfallsin the Grand Canyon to get an education at the U of A.She requested R E S P E C T by Aretha on the jukebox filled with fineselections. Sadly, she left the reservation for a better life andapparently spends much time wasted at the Old Congress bar.In the corner of the bar, one gentleman gave us hard looks and continuouslygrowled like a wild animal.Bobby, a Russian immigrant was drinking beer glass size tumblers of Vodkaand humming a Rusky classic.When informed that "El Lobo Grande" was present, the bar managerresponded with an impressed "No shit!" A couple of Hell's Angels hoistedtheir glasses for a toast.It was fun!If you are in Tucson don't miss this slice of diverse life. You won't findit in a five star hotel.It was years ago when Gerry and I stayed in the same Hotel, when we weregiven a tip from locals in the bar about El Minuto, the best Mexicanrestaurant in the Universe. An establishment where you will have a hardtime finding touristas.Since that time I don't miss a meal at El Minuto when I am close to the OldPueblo. Saturday evening was no exception, as the three of us greedilydevoured the tasty specials and superb margaritas. After dinner we visiteda religious shrine next door.Tres hombres arrived back in Phoenix en tarde but safe, thanks to Lorenzo,road warrior extraordinaire. The trip and company was excellent, Ithorougly enjoyed the time we shared.Adventure rating 9.9
The very popularMEN BEHAVING BADLY SECTIONEl Lobo, busted at the trailhead by a ranger for merely marking histerritory.Jacobo, constantly upsetting the serenity on the trail by yellingGEEEEZZ when his keen sense of smell detected an odorous wind.Jacobo, at mile 17, promising himself to never hike again. At least he quitat the end of the hike and not ½ way like Steve Yahner, at Nankoweep GrandCanyon.Lorenzo, making large cat type sounds on the trail after weak emissions.Question:
Where's Steve?Answer: Napping in Scottsdale after a huge breakfast of Jimmy Dean's purepork sausage.