Tucson and apologies to Arizona

We're ashamed to admit that we ever referred to Arizona as a "fly-over" state — a place we assumed was a hot, barren land marred by subdivisions lacking culture or scenery. Sure, we wanted to check out Sedona and Grand Canyon, but what else could there be?

Humbly offering our apologies with foot in mouth, and forever retiring that "fly-over" phrase from our dictionaries (because as we're discovering on this trip, there really is no such thing), we explored for 6 weeks and left so much to be discovered.

Heading east from Joshua Tree, we skipped through Yuma to pick up a generator and wait out some windy weather. From there we were on to Tucson, which has easily been our favorite "big city" of our travels so far with an off-the-radar vibe, tons of hiking and a great food scene

Our campground, Gilbert Ray, right outside Saguaro National Park was gorgeous, with huge sites and about a zillion miles of hiking and biking trails cutting through cactus fields and up mountain sides to panoramic views of some seriously spectacular sunrises and sunsets. We would have set up shop there for weeks, but unfortunately they had a strict 7-day rule (we can see why). 

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 Up close (enough) with the Saguaros. 

Up close (enough) with the Saguaros. 

 Golden hour at Gilbert Ray campground. 

Golden hour at Gilbert Ray campground. 

 360 views from the trails.

360 views from the trails.