Saturday, February 21, 2009

Under the Tucson Sun--

I'm enjoying my last afternoon on the patio of our townhouse. We just returned from a 4 1/2 mile hike in Sabino Canyon, followed by Cherry Limeade and chili-cheese fries at the local Sonic Drive-In. Tomorrow morning we leave and drive toward Flagstaff with a few stops along the way. Then we head to Las Vegas for a night before Larry and Sue head back to Gig Harbor, WA on Tuesday evening. I don't expect to do much blogging for a few days, so figured I'd better hit the highlights of the last few days.
When I finished my last entry, we were literally parking the car in Tombstone, at the Boothill Cemetery. Lowell was stationed at Fort Huachuca in '68-'69, so had some memories of this area - it's changed! But it was still a pretty neat spot. The cemetery was only open for a few years, and the 125 people who are buried there get a marker - with the cause of death on it! Stuff like "hanged by mistake" and "shot by Curly Bill". The town has been pretty well preserved and it was fun to walk down the dusty street - but it's been so commercialized that we were constantly being asked to buy tickets for stagecoach rides, gunfights, etc. We didn't do any of the shows - but had lunch at the Crystal Palace - and Elvis was entertaining the lunch crowd there! Go figure!
From Tombstone we drove south to the copper mining town of Bisbee. This town is well preserved, and a haven for 1960's era hippies! It's a neat little town with lots of artisans and shops - we drove thru the hills and walked the streets.
On Thursday we headed south again - first to the Mission San Xavier del Bac. This mission church was built by the Franciscan brothers from 1773-1797 - when the area was still part of Mexico. It is a beautiful, beautiful church that has been restored over the past 25 years of so. Every 7 years the adobe is cleaned patched with the original mixture of sand, limestone and prickly pear cactus juice. Naturally - this is year #7 and it's half finished... It is still a gorgeous church and after seeing all of the beautiful churches and cathedrals in Europe it was kind of fun to see what these people did with the natural surroundings. It was also interesting to note the similarities. We stopped to have some authentic frybread as we were leaving. Sue had powdered sugar and cinnamon, I had cinnamon and honey - check out the bees in the pictures! After we left the mission, Lowell and Larry went to the Titan Missile Museum, which they found quite interesting. I've included some of their pictures. Sue and I went to a quilt shop, a Starbucks and then sat in the sun!!! Next on the agenda was a quick visit with my friend and former co-worker, Joy, who lives in the town of Green Valley. It was so nice to see her and catch up a bit. For those who know Joy, she is doing very well and as usual was a gracious hostess.
The weather was forecast to be warm and sunny on Friday, so Sue and I planned to get in a good walk around the area, while Lowell and Larry went to the Pima Air & Space Museum and the Boneyard (a 2750 acre area where the military stores outdated and unusable planes, etc.) . Today is Saturday, another beautiful 80 degrees and sunny! We decided we needed one more hike among the cacti at Sabino Canyon. We took a different trail and once again it was beautiful. We spent lots of time just admiring the views. Now we're washing clothes, washing the car and reviewing information about tomorrow's drive up to Flagstaff.
This slideshow has a few pictures from Saguaro National Park West - the pictographs - and the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum as well as images from Tombstone, Bisbee and last night's sunset. It's another long one -

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