Last Saturday, yes, once again I am a little behind with the blog, we hiked the Cactus Forest Trail through the centre of Saguaro East National Park. The section we hiked runs from one end of the loop drive to the other and is about 2½ miles each way.
After about a mile we came across the remains of lime kilns built in around 1880, the lime produced was used for mortar and whitewash. In 1920 local ranchers forced the kilns to close as they were causing the destruction of important cattle forage.
A sign warned that the kilns have been colonised by bees so watch out!
The trail continued through cholla, prickly pear, saguaro, leguchilla, mequite, creosote and palo verde, we eventually climbed up to the opposite end of the loop drive, where after a snack we turned around and headed back.
When we reached the lime kilns on the way back, we took the ¼ mile spur trail to lime falls. Much to our surprise there was even a little water in them.
It was very pretty, but I wouldn’t want to be there during a monsoon!
I think this is some sort of penstemon, but whatever it was I managed to catch a lovely butterfly on it.
We had a great hike then came back and relaxed in the sun for a while.
Have fun, we are!