December 24, 2012:
A frosty Monday morning, 31 degrees and ice on the truck, but by noon it was close to 60 degrees. This is the winter time of the year here at Tucson for a few weeks, our furnace is getting quite a workout these nights. A camper here told us that 2 years ago there was a record cold spell, 3 nights in a row with 17 degree cold temperatures, frozen pipes and all. That was record breaking cold, not the usual, I hope !
After the morning meeting, Twinkles took off with her quilt buddies for a museum quilt exhibit, I took off for a photo adventure on 4th and 6th avenues in Tucson. This is a colorful predominately hispanic area. I don't understand half of the signs, but the colors and graphics are pleasing to the eye. Tucson is a strange place, a real melting pot, the native Indians lived here since at least 1000 BC, then the Spanish came and established the city in 1775, then it became Mexico in 1821 until the Gadsden purchase in 1854 when it came under the jurisdiction of the United States. Arizona became a US Territory in 1863 and the 48th state in 1912.
Monday evening we went to an open house in an area of the campground they call the circle. This circular area was decorated by the campers with about a hundred luminaries (lighted candles in paper bags), everyone in the campground was welcome to visit, bring food, socialize, eat and hang out. There was a big fire going and there were about a thousand cookies, hot cocoa and hot cider.
Another trip for me into Tucson on Wednesday night for a music concert at the Congress Hotel. It was two local bands, "Andrew Collberg" and "Sweet Ghost" followed by the main act "Dry River Yacht Club". Never heard of any of them before, but the "Sweet Ghosts" appear to be a hot up and coming local band, I liked them. The "Yacht Club" was a touring band with lots of instruments and a super talented lead vocalist. She was cute, sexy with good moves and a great voice, that's an unbeatable combination.
On Thursday, Twinkles and I went with the campground hiking group for a 6 1/2 mile hike on the Pima Canyon Trail. The trail was very rocky and follows a wash into the Pima Canyon. As this gets more water, there was a lot of vegatation and trees in the lower areas. It was a great hike with huge towering walls of rocks on both sides.
After getting back to the campground and relaxing for a while, we didn't feel like cooking. So, we drove about 15 miles out into the desert at dusk, the last mile on a dirt road, to get to "Fred's". We were riding into the sunset and it was a great one, of course I didn't have my camera, but the phone did pretty good. People in the campground have been telling us we just must go to Fred's to eat. It is out in the middle of nowhere, a large rustic wooden building housing a "real" western country cowboy bar and restaurant. They cook steaks inside over a wood fire and they are reputed to be excellent, but someone told us the Pizza was the best. We haven't had good pizza since leaving NJ, so we had to try it, and a large pizza with a pitcher of beer for $15 is pretty good deal. Surprisingly, I have to admit, the pizza was really great ! Around 8:45 PM after the days activity, the hiking (20,000 steps today on Twinkles pedometer), the beer and the pizza we were struggling to keep our eyes open.
There are a lot of "End of the World' party events going on in Tucson which I didn't go to, but I did buy a six pack of Shock Top "End of the World" beer. It was horrible beer, I thought they just put a cute label on the regular stuff, NO, it was a special brew with midnight wheat, chocolate malt, chili and spice. I wonder if the bottles will be collectable ?
Saturday we went for a morning hike, which didn't turn out so good, Twinkle's knee was acting up and she practically limped back. After some rehab ice packs, we continued on to the Tohono Chul Botanical Park in Tucson. It was really great, goes on my must do list! On the way back to camp we stopped at Trader Joe's for some holiday treats, then went to a great local bakery / restaurant called "Beyond Bread", Twinkles said it was frigging delicious, better than "Panera Bread".
We have a plan for the next two months, On January 11th we plan to move to the San Jose Lodge and campground just outside Bisbee, Arizona (very close to Mexico) for the about 3 weeks, then go west to the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument for a week, then to Quartzsite, Arizona in early February. At Quartzite the plan is to boondock with the RV Dreams crowd (drink some more of the Kool-aid as my friend Mark Hooley would say), learn the newest trends in Solar panels, controllers, inverters and attend various other activities at this huge gathering in the desert.
Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all !
|Interesting liquor store in Tucson|
|Grand Central Barber Shop in Tucson|
|Sign on 6th Avenue in Tucson|
|Beautiful Church on 6th Avenue Tucson|
|Welcome to South Tucson, notice the snow on mountain top in the distance|
|iPhone photo taken on the road to Fred's|
|Would you go to the Viking car wash ?|
|View from the Pima Canyon Trail|
|The hiking group on the trail|
|View up into the Pima Canyon|
|Sign at the Tohono Chul Botanical Park|
|Mural in Tucson|
|Mural at the El Tiradito shrine|
|Elysian Market in Tucson|
|The El Tiradito Shrine|
|Interesting mural in Tucson|
|Ugly but honest in Tucson|
|Old Tucson church|
|The El Paso and Southwestern railroad|
|View behind the campground at dusk|
|Flaming sunset from campground observation deck|