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Walt Shields | Published on 2/14/2024

Named after the well-known Tucson desert expert, who for many years has hosted the popular PBS series: “The Desert Speaks,” the trail is a 6.5- mile, one-way hike in the Tucson Mountain Park just west of the city. 

It is characterized by a diversity of Sonoran Desert plants and rugged mountain vistas.  Along the way, we encountered many bears - Teddy Bear Chollas that is.  Even though they may look huggable as Walt is about to find out, they are a cactus that keeps on giving.

Don't try this at home!

Near the end of the hike is the iconic landmark ruin of the Sherry Bowman house.  The house was constructed of native stone in the 1930’s.  Sherry served as the news editor for the Arizona Daily Star until 1943 when the family moved to New York. 


Sherry’s wife, Ruby, kept a diary of her time there which describes the wildlife that existed in the area including:  Javelina, deer, wild horses, and sheep that would come down from the cliffs to graze in the valley.  She even mentions a mountain lion that would come near the house when she cooked meat - and that one time, it even attempted to get in the window.


As our group enjoyed a fashionably late lunch at the house, we reminisced about what it must have been like to live in such an isolated location in that time and commute each day into Tucson.

Group Picture from Left to Rirght: Michael Reale, Frank Earnest, Larry Allen, Karen Munn, Walt Shields (Guide), Karen Schickendanz, Arlene Daigle, Shirley Kaltenbach, Chuck Kaltenbach