Day two: The Desert Museum

All photographs Copyright (C) 1996 by Stephen Gunn. All rights reserved.

The plan for Saturday was to go to the desert museum. First we had lunch at a rather expensive resort, where I got this rather nice picture of saguaro stretching away into the hills.

We stopped a few miles short of the museum while we were still up in the hills and got out and walked around a bit. We decided we had to come back to climb around the hills, but after we went to the museum. We continued on to the Desert Museum, which is "part nature center, part museum, part zoo, part botanical garden"

All of the animals in the Desert Museum are native to the Sonoran Desert, and there are no cages - all of the animals are in natural settings with at least some room to move around.

They have various kinds of cats on display, but I kind of liked the prairiedogs.

There were two walk in aviaries, where the birds had plenty of room to fly around, and were so tame you could get within 3 or 4 feet of them. Especially the hummingbirds, who have the added protection of a docent present at all times to keep an eye on the less charming members of the human race. Hummingbirds are some of the coolest things god made, way cooler than humans.

We headed back to the hills, climbed up probably a thousand feet of steep, loose rock to sit on the sun warmed rock and look out on the valley below. No pictures. Sorry, but it was way too steep to bring a camera. I needed all of my limbs and extremities free to grab onto things - things which were not cacti. We headed back down just before sunset in order to avoid the steep, treacherous climb back down in the dark. We got back down just in time to catch the sunset.

Then we went home, my friends cooked an awesome meal, and not much later we all turned in. Which reminds me. Hey guys, photocopy that chocolate cake recipe and drop it in the mail. [here it is] The next day we didn't have time to do too much as I had an early afternoon flight back. Temperatures in Chicago on Sunday? In the 40's. The snow and freezing rain? Melted. I had managed to escape the miserable weather.

What can you learn from this? Probably nothing. Maybe this: It sucks when your good friends move to other cities, but if you're smart you can take advantage of them. Er, the situation.