20 hours ago
Saturday, November 5, 2016
Tonto National Monument
Tonto was my favorite of all 8 NPS sites we visited in Arizona over Fall Break. I think I connected to the land because the trail is steep and strenuous (but only a third the length of the Timpanogos Cave Trail) and it leads up to a limestone cave (cave!) in which the ancients built their dwelling. The other thing that grabbed my heart was all the stately, noble, enchanting, mesmerizing saguaro cacti. Yes, charmed by a cactus!
Seriously, while we were driving toward Tonto, we began to see the saguaro. We were both "oohing" and "aahing" over them. And then we got to hike amongst them! Did you know that a saguaro spends the first 75 years of it's life just growing straight? Only then can it think about branching out. So these cacti are 200-300 years old (or older!).
After Tonto we drove a narrow dirt road called the Apache Trail for 44 miles. When we came out at the other side, we found a stinky vault toilet in which to change clothes for our next outing.