Hiking, Backpacking, and Photographing Western Wilderness Areas
Bob Shea will be our featured speaker at the Wednesday, Feb. 19th SaddleBrooke Hiking Club meeting and program. Bob has been an active member of the club for 13 years since he and his wife, Peggy, moved to SaddleBrooke. Bob is also an active member of the two SaddleBrooke photography clubs and, other than hiking, his passion is landscape photography.
Bob was born and raised in Reno, Nevada and began hiking in the Sierra Nevada Mountains at an early age. He and Peggy have hiked and backpacked in numerous western wilderness areas over the past 30 years. He is a longtime member of the Wilderness Society, Sierra Club, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Oregon Wild, American Hiking Society, and other organizations that seek to preserve U.S. wilderness areas, highly valued by hikers from throughout the world for delivering premium hiking experiences.
Bob’s presentation will highlight five western United States wilderness areas which he has experienced through hiking and backpacking ventures. Of course, he will show many of the excellent landscape images everyone appreciates in SaddleBrooke.
Hiking Club presentations are held most months on the third Wednesday of the month in the SaddleBrooke One Activity Center at 4 p.m. Club members and other SaddleBrooke residents are welcome to attend.
Hikers Explore Robles Trails
The day after rain creates a refreshing environment for hiking on the Robles Trails in the Tucson Mountains. The Robles Trails are a network of hiking and biking loops between Ajo Way and Irvington west of Mission Road.
On Friday, Jan. 17th, thirteen SaddleBrooke hikers explored several of these trails, including two ridgeline trails, with views of the Santa Rita, Rincon, and Santa Catalina mountains. Saguaros are plentiful here, with many groupings under nurse trees. The group had fun discovering a crested saguaro and a display honoring rancher Bernabe Robles, for whom these trails are named.
Robles was a prominent rancher in the late 1800s, eventually controlling as much as one million acres. Ajo Road was originally called Robles Road. Three Points, west of Tucson, was originally called Robles Junction and still has signage to that effect. This is where Robles maintained a stagecoach station.
Anza Trail – Tubac to Tumacacori
On Jan. 8th, a dozen hikers enjoyed a special day south of Tucson. They parked in Tubac and hiked along the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.
In 1776, Spanish Lt. Colonel Juan Bautista de Anza led more than 240 men, women, and children some 1,800 miles from what is now western Mexico to establish a settlement at San Francisco Bay. These families were the first colonists to come overland across the frontier of New Spain into present-day California.
This beautiful trail follows the flowing Santa Cruz River for 4.5 miles on a smooth dirt trail under canopies of tall trees.
The hike ended at Tumacacori National Historic Park where the group visited the San Jose de Tumacacori Mission. Established by Father Kino in January 1691, this is the oldest mission site in what is now Arizona. Hikers ended their outing with a lunch at the historic, family owned Wisdom Cafe in Tumacacori before heading out.