As you know, I just had my 14th birthday. Thank you everyone for the happy wishes! Mom’s birthday is right after mine, and we often celebrate them together, but this year, we didn’t. I had my day up in Prescott hiking around Lynx Lake, and mom went down to Tucson for her day.
Since the temperatures are still warm, I stayed home. I was bummed to be left out of the adventures, but mom and dad did things that weren’t dog friendly. Here’s the account of mom and dad’s day in Tucson, Arizona without me:
First, they stopped at Rooster Cogburn’s Ostrich Ranch right there off I-10 and Picacho Peak. We have driven by there many times, but because I was with them, we never stopped. The cost is $12 per person, which gets you in and provides the appropriate food to feed all the animals. You might read that they don’t charge an entrance fee, but that is false. Everyone must pay the $12 to get in.
The ranch is laid out well with animals in a circle. You follow around and get to greet and feed all of them, starting off with mini donkeys. Mom just loves these guys, except one greedy dude bit her for not feeding him more. Good thing I wasn’t there; I would have barked at him. Woof!
Next ups are the most famous: the ostrich. Mom and dad are tall people, and those things rose above them. Yes, the ostriches are fenced off, but they are crazy creatures and have a bit of a mean streak. Be careful and follow all the proper instructions on feeding.
Tons of goats are spread out in a couple of areas. These guys were friendly and even gave mom a birthday kiss. While there, you will get to feed chickens, bunny rabbits, ducks, tortoise, parakeet and lorikeet. Again, follow all the instructions and give the right food.
This would be a great place to bring kids, but the entire family would have fun. It is hot, and there isn’t any shade, but they have restrooms and a small gift store. They gave mom a free ostrich feather since it was her actual birthday. Cool!
They continued driving I-10 south and followed directions from the government website to the Saguaro National Park – West. The park has two entrances, each offering a unique view of the saguaro cactus and surrounding area. We encourage you to read about both to decide on which side you will enter. You will need a national park pass or pay the daily fee of $25 per vehicle. We needed a new pass anyway, so we are set for another year.
You will have a bunch of hiking options, and their map gives you a description along with mileage and difficulty. Since it was mid-day already, they opted for a short hike on the Valley View trail for a picnic. If you live in north Phoenix, you have probably seen saguaro groves. The park has huge areas of them, and they are magnificent, but this wasn’t anything new. We have driven through before, and since I can’t go there, chances are mom and dad won’t return.
Right next to the west entrance is the Desert Museum, and they aren’t dog friendly either, thus why we haven’t visited. The cost is $29.95 per person, and if you are an Arizonan, you will get a slight discount. Mom described this as more of a botanical garden with some zoo animals as most everything is outside.
NOTE: They do not let you bring in any food or drink, but you won’t find anything to drink along the way. We recommend you stop at the restaurant first to get something to drink and then walk around. You can buy an empty bottle and fill it up at stations, but it isn’t cheap.
The grounds are spread out, and you will get some walking in. They did a nice job of providing some shade through trees and plants. They have a small aquarium (sting ray is an extra fee), reptile exhibit, mineral cave, riparian, aviary and some animals, although much of that was under construction. Mom and dad did get to see the black bear and some mountain goats. They both enjoyed seeing tons of butterflies.
Mom and dad felt it was a bit overpriced, but it is laid out well. Depending upon your interests, you could spend a couple hours or a full day here. The restaurant has made-to order food, snacks, drinks, and ice cream.
What a full day! Between the heat and all the road construction and closures, they were beat when they got home. Dad picked up some BBQ for dinner so mom wouldn’t have to cook, and that hit the spot! Mom opened her presents, and we had some cake. A quieter than normal birthday without our big trip, but a nice celebration just the same. Here’s to another happy and healthy year, mom!
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith, is kind enough to help me share my Great Adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, executive recruiter, business consultant, coach, fitness expert, and author of nine published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever!
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Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!