Patagonia day trip showcases lushness of rainy monsoon
Randy Metcalf/The Explorer, Patagonia locals Serena Buss, right, and Kate Tirion sit outside Gathering Grounds on McKeown Avenue in Patagonia. This time of year, the journey to this town takes visitors through a corridor of grassy green rolling hills.
Randy Metcalf/The Explorer, Southwest of Patagonia, Arizona Vineyards offers visitors samplings of its 17 wines, which are not found anywhere else.
Randy Metcalf/The Explorer, Cows graze on the lush grass that surrounds Patagonia Lake.
Randy Metcalf/The Explorer, Boating enthusiasts make use of the 2.5-mile-long desert oasis known as Patagonia Lake.
Randy Metcalf/The Explorer, Skeletons of buildings are all that remain of once vibrant mining towns southeast of Patagonia.
Randy Metcalf/The Explorer, Little reminders, like this prickly pear cactus, let visitors know they are still in the desert when they visit Patagonia Lake. The two-and-a-half-mile-long man-made lake is a desert oasis at which people can escape the Tucson heat.
Randy Metcalf/The Explorer, Bird watchers from all over the world walk these paths to observe 300 species of birds that nest or migrate through this section of Southern Arizona.
Randy Metcalf/The Explorer, Side roads along Highway 83, which are lined with sunflowers, offer travelers chances to stop and literally smell the flowers while enjoying a cool summer breeze and the serenity this area offers.