2017 Travel Map

Monday, December 9, 2013

Desert Trails Again


December 1 - 7, 2013:

On the road again at 10 AM, traveling route 85 north back to Why, AZ then taking route 86 (Ajo Road) east to Tucson. Ajo Road actually goes to within a few miles of the Desert Trails RV Park on the western side of Tucson.  Route 86 is a mostly a flat straight road, but rough in areas, just enough to keep you from getting bored.  It passes through a long, poor stretch of Tohono O'odham indian territory, with no sizable towns, rest stops or fuel for many miles.  We arrived at Desert Trails around 2 PM and got settled into our winter retreat by about 3 PM.  They started a new thing this year having food trucks come into the campground a couple times a week.  On Sunday it was the "Serial Grillers" truck which is a favorite and as a result there was a long line, but it was worth the wait. 


Tucson has received much rain in the past two weeks to ease the drought conditions and now there are freezing low temps forecast for the next few days, but day time high temps are still in the comfortable 55-60 range. 

Monday and Wednesday were settling in days for us, going to the Monday morning campground meeting and learning about all the planned activities, stocking up on food, cleaning, laundry, washing the truck, changing the air filter and repairing the RV spare tire crank rod that was bent from a tire blowout. It is also time to go through all the travel brochures and booklets that we have accumulated during the past year and painfully (for me) deciding what must go.  Then pulling everything out of the basement, weeding out what we can part with to try to sell or give away at Friday's campground yard sale.  I did sneak out for a while to visit "Tiny's Saloon" nearby, just to see if it has changed.  Good news, they have not renovated or modernized it and ruined the vibe, it's the same as ever. 
Saguaro view

Chain fruit Cactus

Barrel Cactus

 Thursday night I ventured to downtown Tucson to the Hotel Congress to see a band that sounded very interesting, "Texas Trash and the Train Wrecks".  They turned out to be extremely interesting, a very amped up band of misfits, more than a little scary looking, but very entertaining.  It was a little unsettling to look at the front man with his open black leather jacket exposing his chest tattoo's along with his weird facial tattoo's and his hook for a right hand. It was quite the spectacle when the hook came off during one of the high energy songs !   I also really enjoyed the opening solo act, Chris Hall, many sad depressing songs (my favorites), hope to hear more of him in the future.  

Texas Trash and the Train Wrecks
  
I joined the Desert Trails hiking club on Thursday's for a 6 mile hike to the Bridal Wreath Falls on the eastern side of Tucson.  It had rained during the night and early morning and it was rather cold and cloudy, but the rain held off and it was a good hike.  There was even a trickle of water flowing over the waterfall. 

The hiking crew on the trail

We took in many activities during over weekend, first the Tucson Botanical Garden on Friday evening for their holiday "Luminaria Nights" event.  They had thousands of candle illuminated paper bags set up along all the Botanical Garden pathways, food vendors, Christmas music and even Santa. There was a great inside exhibit titled "Alien Invasion, of the Plant Kind" on evasive plant species with movie posters and magazine covers about man eating plants and such.

The Botanical Garden at dusk

Saturday was the Casino Del Sol Tamale Festival which is # 1 for Indian/mexican food vendors.  The focus is on Tamales, but everything there is great !  It was very well attended and people really pig out, there is a line at every food vendors table and they usually start running out of stuff by mid afternoon.  The Casino is operated by the Pascua Yaqui Indian tribe, who have roots in Mexico and the food and music was all mexican. We went last year, thought it was great then and it seemed even better this year.


Mariachi Band at the Tamale Festival

Tamales for sale


Sunday we travelled an hour south to the Fiesta de Tumacacori for more Indian and Mexican culture and food.  We went to this event last year, it is another really great festival, not to be missed.  I love the old Tumacacori Mission, so much history there, you can almost feel it oozing from the adobe bricks.  We took in the guided tour this year and now have a better understanding of the chaotic goings on in this period in history involving the native people, the spanish, the mexicans and finally the Americans. 

Folklorico dance group from Sonora, Mexico

Balancing bottles while dancing not easy

A fast paced dance

Interior of the Mission Tumacacori

Interior of the Mission Tumacacori


Original paint still visible in places
Interior of the Mission Tumacacori


Exterior of the Mission


The original Mission interior looked something  like this

Twinkles is really enjoying being around many people again and getting a break from me 24/7.  I am enjoying one place for a while to get caught up on several projects that have been on hold and Tucson is a great place for that.

More to come,
Twinkles and Slick

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