The weather in Tucson has been a bit inconsistent. One day it will be sunny and warm while the next rainy and cool. During the warm, sunny breaks we have gone out to nearby locations for short hikes. One day we drove over to nearby Tucson Mountain Park to hike out to the Bowen House ruins.
Sherry Bowen, a typesetter and later city editor for the Arizona Daily Star, built it of native stone in the early 1930s. The Bowens had lived in Rockford, Illinois but moved to Tucson in the late twenties with the hope that the change in climate would help Ruby Bowen’s serious heart condition. The Bowens first lived in Tucson but soon decided to homestead in the Tucson Mountains. They moved to the homestead in 1931 and lived in a cabin while the house was being built. The Bowens eventually expanded their claim to 2000 acres.
Ruby Bowen kept a diary of her first year in the Tucson Mountains. The diary makes several references to the wildlife that existed in the area including javelina, deer, wild horses and sheep that would come down from the cliffs every evening to graze in the valley. She even mentions a mountain lion that would come near the house when she was cooking meat and that one time attempted to get in a window.
The Bowens left Tucson in 1944 and moved to New York City where Sherry Bowen worked for the Associated Press. The valley and their homestead became part of Tucson Mountain Park in 1983.
The Tucson area is dotted with Saguaro Cacti. Most have multiple arms that jut out in all directions. An unusual Saguaro is one that has no arms, but is “crested.”
During our stay in the San Diego area we met fellow full-timers Hans and Lisa (Metamorphis Road) who lived in San Diego before moving into their fifth wheel. They took us on two great hikes in the area and showed us many of the sights of the city. Hans and Lisa have now arrived in the Tucson area, so we’ll be sharing some more hiking experiences with them here. More on that later.