Rambling Rodericks travel blog

The Golden Gate Mountain as seen from the back of our camp...

Some of the Tucson Mountains out the back of our first camp...

One of our beautiful sunrises out the back window.

Another beautiful sunrise from out back.

Many plants to enjoy: Barrel Cactus with last years fruit, Staghorn Cholla...

Teddy Bear or Jumping Cholla /choy-uh/.

Prickly Pear with pack rat and javalina bites along the edge.

Palo Verde (green stick) AZ state tree. Tiny leaves & chlorophyll trunk/branches

Alongside one of the trails, Miner Bill and his dog Shep (a...

Sacred mountain near Mexican border, Baboquivari (/bab-o-key-var-ey/)

Some Christmas color for our table. I also hung favorite ornaments from...

Along with a miniature tree I had colorful lights around the back...

We wanted a non-traditional meal for Xmas dinner, so got a variety...


The day before Thanksgiving we left Catalina State Park on the northeast side of Tucson, for Justin's Diamond J RV Park on the southwest side. Mountains in southern Arizona are called "sky islands" because they are complete mountain ranges which are small enough to be encircled by desert scrub and grasslands. From the air, they look like islands in a sea.

Catalina State Park is in the Catalina Mountains. Justin's Diamond J is on the west side of the Tucson Mountains. We have learned that most of these "sky island" mountains were formed, not by tectonic plates colliding and pushing up the mountains through folding (like the Rockies or Sierras), but by the plates pulling apart and parts of the mountains breaking away and sinking 15,000 to 20,000 feet down. Over time the area between, where the mountains had fallen, was filled in by erosion. Thus became areas of near flat grassland/desert scrub surrounding the jagged, picturesque mountains.

When we first came to Justin's Diamond J, we were backed into a pie/wedge shaped space backing right up to the Golden Gate Mountain and the delightful trails leading out into the desert next to the Tucson Mountains. We watched wonderful sunrises each morning right out our back window, and could see sunsets out one of our dining table windows in the evening.

However, that space was previously reserved by returning "snowbirds", so after a month we moved to a different spot within the park. Not quite as nice a spot, it is, however, one in which we can see both sunrise and sunsets still. And, not being a pie shaped spot, we have more space between us and our neighbors. Both spots are wonderful, and when we return next year, Lord willing, we will try to use both same spots again.

I'll let the photos tell the rest of the story.



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