Monday, December 08, 2014

Dryin’ Out in Tucson

We’ve made quite a transition – from the wet Pacific Northwest to the arid Southwest.  We’ve settled in Tucson for a month while our sinuses dry up and our cabinet doors shrink back to where they close easily.  We’re at Desert Trails RV Park and are enjoying our stay.  The park is located on the west edge of town near Saguaro National Monument and has a nice network of trails that wander through the desert. Desert View Due to late summer rains, Palo Verde and Mesquite are still green and the area looks more like springtime than winter.
The area is covered with Saguaro, Prickly Pear, and many varieties of Cholla, so it’s wise to watch where you walk if you’re off the trails.  I had an unplanned encounter with those fuzzy looking buds on a prickly pear and I am still pulling out those almost invisible, put painful, spines.  Sahuaro and Cholla

Park residents have place helpful little signs along the trail that identify the different types of cactus.  I came across this barrel cactus, as always leaning toward the south, and learned that barrel cactus signs apparently lean in the same direction:Leaning Barrel Cactus
Southern Arizona, like the San Antonio area, has a long history of missionary activity beginning in the 1600s.  One of the oldest missions, Tumacocori (Too-muh-kä'-ko-ree), was having their annual festival and so we headed down I-19  with our friends Kirk and Sue to take a look.  Originally founded in 1691, the current mission’s construction was started in 1800, but was never completed.  Today, you can view the  mission restored to the condition it was when abandoned.  Left unfinished to reflect the original condition, the exterior still has the holes required by the construction scaffolding.  It’s a beautiful mission – some images:
Tumacocori Mission2
Tumacocori Mission5
Tumacocori Mission
Tumacocori Mission6
The festival, or fiesta, was in full swing when we arrived.  Lots of vendors, but unlike others we’ve visited, this event focused on wildlife, nature, and children.  There were free hummingbird feeders, information booths on the area’s national monuments and state parks, and many activities for children.  State and Federal park volunteers showed kids how to make adobe bricks, tortillas, and baskets, and best of all, let them take turns at hitting a giant Piñata filled with candy.  We especially enjoyed the music and young dancers in their colorful dresses:Fiesta Dancer2
Fiesta Dancer5
Fiesta Dancer3
There were also Yaqui Indian dancers in beautifully made traditional dress:Fiesta Dancer6
Fiesta Dancer7
After an enjoyable afternoon here, we drove a few miles north to Tubac, originally a presidio, or fort, with a state historic site.  Today the history of the presidio is overshadowed by the over 80 galleries and shops that lure snowbirds to buy high-priced arts and crafts.  We wandered around looking, but aside from a bottle of gourmet olive oil didn’t find anything to interest us.  I was impressed, though, by the colorful pottery setting next to this Arizona Sycamore tree:Tubac Pottery
We’re happy to be back in Southern Arizona after five winters in Texas.  Tucson was our first home as husband and wife, and being back here brings back so many great memories.  We’ll be visiting more places, so check back and see what we’ve been up to!


  1. Thanks for the nice post and pictures! We'll be heading that way in January and are looking forward to seeing some of the same things.

  2. It's funny your comment about your cabinets opening better in the dry southwest. Laurie had told me I would know when we had too much humidity in Scoopy when the cabinet doors became swollen and difficult to open!

  3. Thanks guys, as always we enjoyed the blog! Lorrie