December 31, 2012:
It was the day before Christmas was and another campground morning meeting with Twinkles volunteering for Friday's breakfast potluck and to do food serving at the gala New Year Eve dinner/dance party. Then at 2 PM to the campground jam session for an hour of mostly old time country music which was very entertaining, then a ride to Mission San Xavier del Bac for an Indian fry bread snack and to check out the church Christmas decorations. It is spiritually uplifting to be there and step inside, always feels like you are time traveling back into history. Must admit I'm having a hard time getting used to Christmas here in the Arizona desert.
It was a drive to Phoenix on Christmas day to my sister's house for Christmas with the family. We got to see my great niece Tatum open many presents, lots of rockstar/deva/peace sign items. We ate really well, all day, then stayed overnight and left at noon on the 26th. It was real special to spend Christmas day with my sister and Mom again, it's probably been about 40 years since that has happened !
After the drive back to Tucson and a short nap I forced myself to go back out to the Hotel Congress for a benefit concert for the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame. Blues music in Tucson is generally pretty weak, (almost non existent), lots of good musicians, but not many blues players. My expectations were low for this concert, but I was pleasantly surprised, it wasn't a large group of players but they really were Hall of Fame caliber ! They had a good turnout for the event, but they certainly are lacking in the promotion department, no CD's for sale, no tee shirts, no raffle tickets, no merchandise of any kind, no email sign up list. It's kind of like they don't want to be too successful.
I skipped the Thursday hiking group, was suffering from an overdose of cake, pie, cookies and chocolate. Instead there was an exciting trip to Target and the local feed store to get the propane tank filled. We are going through a tank of propane per week now with these cold (near freezing) nights.
Friday morning was the potluck breakfast event at the campground, another big meal, egg dishes, sausage, pancakes, biscuits and gravy. I needed to go for a long walk afterwards, so I drove over to Saguaro Park and did a 5 mile hike on the Esperanza Trail.
Friday evening was a concert at the campground, a part Native American, part Scottish, classically trained violin and flute player named Arvel Bird. He tours full time like us ! This is one of the most popular concerts at Desert Trails, it was a full house and he put on a great show. His violin playing is world class and alternates between Indian, Country and Celtic music.
Saturday we took a ride to Tubac, the oldest, 1752, European (Spanish) settlement in present day Arizona. I say in this this time period, because there was no Arizona or United States in 1752. The Spanish had been wandering around this area previously, looking for gold and silver, but it wasn't until 1752 that they built a "presidio" or fort to reinforce their control over the area and for protection from the raiding Apache Indians. Tubac has had a turbulent history, was virtually abandoned twice and nothing is left of the original Presidio except for the wall foundation (underground). We visited the excellent State Park and museum there that has an underground excavated section showing the actual fort wall foundation and some of the artifacts found there. Ironically, Tubac (the town) has now become part artist colony, part artistic shopping mall complex and part destination for the rich and famous.
Sunday was a cold, cloudy day in Tucson, high of 56 degrees and rain is forecast for tonight. In fact at 6 PM, I am freezing, just had some hot coffee, put on a second long sleeve shirt and turned on the electric fireplace. We went out looking for some form of bookcase or wall shelf earlier today. We started off at an Antique Mall that had lots of really cool stuff, but no bookcases or shelves for sale. Then we stopped at a couple of thrift shops and ended up buying several items, including a shelf that fit the bill and everything was dirt cheap, it was big fun !
Tomorrow big New Years Eve dinner and party at Desert Trails, should be interesting ?
|Interior of Mission San Xavier del Bac|
|Sunset from Desert Trails|
|View on the Esperanza Trail|
|The water storage tanks in the desert for Tucson water supply|
|CCC built steps on the Esperanza Trail|
|I'm stopping at the top, but when I get there, I see something else in the distance I want to go to|
|A really special Saguaro off the trail|
|Anza expedition leaving Tubac for California|
|Nice horse bridles and reins at Tubac museum|
|Original printing press that printed first newspaper in Arizona, it still works|
|Painting of the Tubac Presidio back in the day, nothing remains today|
|Tubac shopping is interesting|
|Tile mural in Tubac|
|Nice Piggy bank|
|Here's looking at you|
|The Big Horn Grill is up for sale|
|An item I purchased in Tubac|