Saturday, February 13, 2016

2016-2 Tucson Arizona, Wintering in the Desert


Tucson Arizona

Life Off the road for a Winter Respite
How I spent my Winter Vacation

Desert Trails, outside of Tucson AZ

Campground:  Desert Trails.  Monthly rate:  $510 full hookups including 30 amp elect.  Exceptional number of winter clubs, hiking groups and entertainment throughout each week.

Well here I'm in year 11 of my full-timing Rv adventure.  I’m wintering in Tucson for my 6th year.  I thought I’d fill you all in with some of the activities that I’ve been able to be a part of over the winter months.  We did have a month or more of really cold weather, with many evenings down into the freezing temperatures and very little warm up during the days.  Even with those cold temperatures, I’ve been able to get out most days for my walks in the desert.  A bit more bundled up than usual, but with the sun shining, they were all refreshing walks.  With the sun shining we remained a pretty happy bunch of “snow-bird”.

saguaro cactus along hiking trails

a perimeter road, bordering the walking trails 

Tucson has a wonderful old section of town right next to all the usual skyscrapers and I’ve enjoyed a few outing down there.   One week it was to see some local artists and visit the art museum downtown, along with a stop at a local outdoor cafĂ©/bar the La Cocina Cantina with live music.

Tucson Art Museum

Cowboys, comics and westerns

good friends, Kathy and Randy

Live Music

La Cocina Cantina
 Another time it was a tour of the old Barrio district with the photography group.  Our assignment was to take pictures of doors and windows of the many new and historic adobe buildings.  Another time it was a special evening out with my good friend Laurel (from Canada).  We enjoyed dinner at a local restaurant and later went to the Fox Theatre where we saw Travis Tritt in concert.  A great performance with many personal stories of his growing up and befriending the likes of Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings.  Travis has a powerful voice and the Fox Theatre really showed it off well.

new homes infill land downtown

wall detail

wall detail, like a painting



one of our photographers, on the go

I’ve already posted two special reports on a trip to Mt Lemmon and one to Tombstone with friends, both a real treat this winter.

I’ve led a Travel Group Club twice a month which has gone fairly well.  Lots of good input from those attending.  This past week we had a small group, probably due to the fact that it’s hard to remember the dates the club meets, twice a month instead of weekly.  Smaller excursions like the one to Green Valley (it’s still in the desert and not really all that green) south of Tucson with my good neighbors Christine and Tom and our friend Ruth-Ann where our goal was to hit a few thrift shops.  The big one being the White Elephant along with a no-kill pet shelter that has a thrift store.  That’s where Tom and Chris got their new cat.

Tom, Ruth-Ann and Christine, lunch and thrift store hunting

even the cactus are all in a row

The Attic Thrift Store

The White Elephant

Occasional domino game nights are always fun, especially since I don’t get many Tv stations where my rig is currently parked.  Most of the over-the-air Tv stations are blocked by a couple of mountains sitting between the Rv park and Tucson proper.

Tucson is noted for the yearly Gem and Mineral Show which takes place throughout downtown Tucson.  Big tents are set up everywhere, including special displays in the Tucson Convention Center.  Every gem and mineral, petrified fish in stones, dinosaur bones including complete dinosaurs are on exhibit and all for sale.  That is if you have three million or more for some of the more spectacular ones.  And we get to see it all on display.  If your into making jewelry, you can find some real bargains on row after row of beads.

fossils, many over 150 million years old

Copper from my hometown area, The Copper Country U.P. Michigan

only one of the many tents throughout town

beads, beads, and more beads

great displays

whole dinosaurs 

fossilized palm fronds

a rare horse from the beginning of the evolutionary scale

other tents have more gems and minerals, but I liked exploring this one

I finally made it up to Sentinel Hill also called “A” mountain for a great view of the city and surrounding valley.  Tucson is built in an ancient volcanic caldera and is surrounded by the remaining mountains.  As I’m writing this, it’s February 12th and spring has suddenly arrived early in Tucson.  We’ve had two days of record breaking heat in the 85-87 degree range and it appears it will remain in the 80’s for the next couple of weeks as the rest of the country is enveloped in a deep freeze.

great views from Sentinel Peak 

gnarly cactus 


the long tent is where I went to the see some of the Gem and Mineral show

the Big A

foothills to Sentinel Peak

I’ve even seen spring wild flowers blooming in the desert already, almost a month early for that to happen.

more photos on my PICASA photos