Riding the River Parkways
September 9, 2006

The map above shows the five miles of the Rillito River and Parkway between First and Craycroft.
The green line is the paved part of the path, and the dashed line shows the parts that are under construction.
To the right of Craycroft, designated by an orange circle, is where the Rillito River meets the Pantano Wash. 
This picture shows the Pantano bending around to become the Rillito.

Parts of the Parkway, as shown here, were quite muddy from the recent rains and we had to carry our bikes:

Below is another example where we had to carry our bikes.  We had to get off and then back on the parkway, because of construction:

We came off the Parkway at the Gateway on Mountain.  Go, Tom, Go!

Riding the River Parkways
August 13, 2006

Above is a map of where the the Rillito and Santa Cruz Rivers meet.  The banks of these rivers, along with the Pantano Wash and the Aviation Parkway, provide the backdrop for Tucson's Parkway System.  There are currently paved trails over parts of these waterways and desertways, and eventually they will be completed to join and create alternate transportation for Tucsonans.  The black line designates our ride (and walk) on Sunday.  We traveled WNW then SSE.

The picture below shows the havoc wreaked by recent thunderstorms.  As we passed under I-10, we could see the paved trailed had been covered in sand.  The chain link fences caughts lots of branches and debris, and if you look at the bridge behind Tom, you will see a large part of a tree that got caught on TOP of one of the supports.

Here is a picture of Karen, with some treasure she found:

From Tom's coworker, Kathy:  <The picture below> looks like Tamarisk aka Tamarack or Salt Cedar. From the size of the limbs in the photo I'd guess that this is the evergreen species (Tamarix aphylla). The straw-colored structures at the branchtips are the flowers.  According to a professor from the U of A, this tree (Tamarisk aphylla) does not reseed, but does have roots that can be invasive which is probably why it can live in such harsh conditions.  This species is native to North Africa and the eastern Mediterranean region.  This tree was planted in the early part of the century around homesteads in the low desert.  Thanks for the great info!  And just one thing to add....it was full of bees!

Finally, below we came across some beautiful running water.  ;-)