Bob Cardell and Pat Hammes started a serious effort to locate and document crested saguaros in February, 2005. At that time Bob was president of the Southern Arizona Hiking Club here in Tucson and Pat was the club treasurer. Thus they were able to finance and well afford their aptly termed "Crest Quest".
Both Bob and Pat were, and still are, dedicated peak baggers. After they had climbed all the peaks on the club peak lists, they were in search of their next goal. Having noticed numerous crested saguaros during their peak bagging outings, they unconsciously started a friendly one-on-one competition; "I found one more than you did", "I'll find the next one", "I am one up on you" sort of competition. Thus was born their "Crest Quest".
They have now located, photographed and documented 640 crested saguaros in Arizona. Their ultimate goal is 1000 of these beauties. Then we will find at least one more.
Bob is a retired U.S. Marine and has the time to dedicate to their ongoing search. Pat is still a working lady with the Pima County Court system so her outings are mostly restricted to weekend trips.
The tools of their trade are superior optics, great patience, sincere dedication, dogged perseverance, bullheaded tenacity, a little hiking and a lot of luck. And . . . the ongoing love of the hunt.
Of great importance also is the quality time they spend together out there in our beautiful Arizona desert. And as Pat always says "I am still one up on you Bob."
Please join us for an excellent program on the great sentinels of Arizona. This is a very special presentation that everyone must see. Bob and Pat have taken on a monumental task. Please welcome them to our March meeting and be prepared for a very special night.