Thursday, February 23, 2017

Tucson, Arizona

That's us below the yellow arrow.
Some of our full-time RV friends are buying houses in the southwest, becoming "part-timers" like Brad and me. Tom and Dianne are another such couple who have purchased a home in Tucson, so we just HAVE to go for a visit. And what a great time to explore the area while we're here. What was meant to be a visit for a few days becomes a two-week stay. Another reason why I love not having to reserve an RV site! Here's our (free) campsite at "Snyder Hill".
One night, Tom, Dianne and a few other friends who are staying in the area come over for a campfire.
San Xavier del Bac Mission
We tour the nearby San Xavier (pron. HA-vee-air) del Bac Mission with our friend Jody whom we met at Valley of Fire SP before Christmas. The mission was founded in 1692 by Father Kino, but the current church was completed in 1797 under the direction of the Franciscans.
The rear courtyard behind the mission, a peaceful desert garden. Restoration efforts are evident, although much painting inside the sanctuary is still required.
Titan Missile Museum
During the Cold War, 54 Titan Missiles were built and housed underground in three different states. This location just south of Tucson was one such site. Today, only this one remains (with the nuclear warhead removed of course), and only as a museum. What was most interesting was the comment that the missiles were meant to keep peace, thinking that the Soviets wouldn't launch their nuclear missiles knowing that the Americans had the ability to counterattack, thus maintaining an equilibrium in power.
Sabino Canyon
It's time to get back to doing some hiking, so we visit Sabino Canyon just on the edge of Tuscon with friends Barbara and Wayne. Here's the four of us on the trail at the end of the shuttle ride.
Barbara and I at the dam (shuttle stop #8).
Mount Lemmon
On another trip with Barbara and Wayne, this time up to the summit of Mount Lemmon. On the way up, we stop to shoot this pretty waterfalls in the canyon.
A cool rock arch on the road up the mountain.
Near the top, Brad and I in snow overlooking a valley. We are at the ski lift parking lot. Mount Lemmon is the southernmost ski resort in the US, although only one run is open today with a mere handful of skiers. Talk about spring skiing conditions!
Here you can see the road below Brad, twisting along the canyon up (or down) Mount Lemmon.
Barbara, Wayne and I posing on the rocks overlooking Tucson about 6,000 feet below us.
Brown Mountain Trail
Brad and I hike the Brown Mountain Trail only a few miles from our campsite. Here is a saguaro cactus, those icons of the Sonoran Desert landscape, gone crazy.
A barrel cactus starting to bloom. Next year, we will be in the southwest in the spring to see the cactus and wildflowers blooming. Hopefully it will be as fruitful a year as this year promises to be and last year was thanks to such wet winters.

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