Monday, December 15, 2014

Desert Trails

December 8 - 14, 2014:

This is a good time to go through all the RV storage areas and get rid of stuff not being used and to reorganize.  This is going to be a work in progress for a while along with a good exterior cleaning and waxing.  Another project is to check the roof sealant, repair as needed, clean the roof and apply another coat of UV protectant.  It's not exactly fun, kind of like real work, but it is necessary. 

Another issue this week is two campers in our vicinity are having problems with pack rats getting inside the RV or engine compartments.  As a result, more string lights are being installed under RV's to repel the rats.  We have not had a problem with this in past years here, but since they are next door and Twinkles totally freaks out on mice, we might be adding a few ! The real solution is to seal up any holes there might be at wiring or piping pass-throughs into the RV interior.  

We attended the Monday morning campground meeting, also known as the Donut meeting, as you get a free donut for attending.  It is very well attended and is to go over all the weekly activities, upcoming area events, to ask questions, make announcements and on and on.  It lasted about an hour and a half, way too long (for me) as many attending are long-winded and "wanna be" comics. 

We went on a hike in Saguaro National Park on the Signal Hill Trail.  A very scenic trail terminating on a hilltop with indian petroglyphs.

A classic view from Signal Hill

Lots of Petroglyphs

Twinkles on the trail

Saguaro with many new arms
In Tucson there are a few live music venues, which enable me to go somewhere almost any night of the week.  In spite of that being said, the music scene here in Tucson is still pretty lame. Monday night I am at the Chicago Bar where the Rondstadt Generation Band plays every Monday.  The Rondstadt family is sort of a first family in Tucson who at one time had a huge hardware and wagon building business. They also have deep musical roots with Linda Ronstadt being the most prominent family member.  The Rondstadt Generation band has many varying configurations, but is usually Michael Ronstadt (Linda Ronstadt's brother) and various sons and other family members along with other local musicians. These guys are really good ! 

Tuesday evening was a Johnny Bencomo concert at the campground who is always interesting ! He is a real quirky cowboy type, playing for Jesus with an 18 string guitar, has many stories to tell and is able to play about any song requested using his big loose leaf binder. He is always a crowd favorite. He personalizes most songs somewhat and does about the best version of "Ghost Rider" that you will ever hear.

Wednesday it's off to the Boondocks Lounge to see Chris Duarte, a nationally touring blues musician.  I had heard of him, am not a fan of his blues style, but went anyway to see for sure.  He is a tremendously good guitar player, a cross between Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, with almost every song from beginning to end being a blazing guitar riff.  Well now I am sure - I was sitting there thinking that it all bordered on noise pollution.  The most interesting thing there was this cowboy type with a big white hat practically stalking every woman in the bar to ask them to dance. He didn't have that handsome cowboy look, was actually kind of creepy and after being shut down by practically every women there, he left.  I also left soon afterwards.

Boondocks Lounge

Thursday I went with the campground hiking group on the Pima Canyon Trail in the Catalina foothills for a 7 mile intermediate hike.  It was a perfect weather day and is always a good interesting hike.  These group hikes are mostly a social event, when I really want to hike I prefer going with Twinkles or going alone when I can go at my own pace, stop when and where I want, take photos or just look around and absorb the surroundings. 

Pima Canyon view

Friday was an arts and crafts and yard sale in the campground.  Twinkles had a few sewing items to sell, but as a whole RV'ers are a pretty cheap group and really don't need anything or have room for much.  There are a few talented artists here with good art work for sale who did OK.
Afterwards we went to the Fourth Avenue Winter Street Fair which is always a good event.  The street is closed off for about a mile and is solid crafts and food vendors.  We took the new light rail train across Tucson to the Fair, it started operation a few months ago.  It was the opening day and was pretty crowded, partly because the weather forecast for Saturday was rain. The highpoint for me was a group of young spirited street performers, St. Cinder, playing many instruments and doing old time acoustic music.  They attracted a big crowd, were really good and appeared to be selling all their CDs which were self recorded CDs in a plain brown paper bag with their name stenciled on.

Tucson's new light rail, appears they operate the switch manually

Twinkles shopping

Plenty of fair food

St. Cinder and crowd

The weather forecast was right on, mucho rain on Saturday morning with the sun finally breaking through at 3:30 PM.  That was cool as my plan was to go to downtown Tucson to the Presidio San Augustin for the Luminaria Light celebration at dusk and have some cookies and hot chocolate.  I then planned to go to the 2nd Saturday downtown happenings and sights and get something from a one or two of the food trucks. 

 The weather did clear exactly on schedule and I caught a great photo of a rainbow over a church on the way downtown.  The luminaria show was mainly a historical enactment of a African American female member of the Anza Expedition who became a successful early settler of California.  The museum and exhibits at the Presidio San Augustin are well done and everyone who visits Tucson should be required be go there as the history of Tucson is pretty amazing stuff. 

Inspiring Rainbow

Historical reenactment

Tucson Christmas Tree

Fox Theater

On the other hand, Tucson's 2nd Saturday celebration can be missed, they don't have anything going on, absolutely nothing ? 

Downtown Tucson is looking better that in the past, many new restaurants have opened in the vicinity of the Congress Hotel and there are lots of people downtown for dining.  Of course the cleaning up and gentrification of the downtown doesn't always sit well with everyone, myself included, as I prefer the rustic dive look to the new upscale trendy dining and cocktail places.   I sympathized with a guy on the street wearing a tee shirt that said "Keep Tucson shitty" or something to that effect.  Not to worry, they still have plenty of those areas in town.

Sunday was a beautiful day, we went to the San Xavier del Bac Mission for an Indian crafts market except that only two vendor's bothered to show up.  These indians just don't understand the Capitalistic system ?  We ended up sharing an Indian fry bread with honey, always great !  Also walked around the front of the mission, no matter how many times you see it, it's always inspirational.  We then went straight to Target and bought a 1/2 price fake Christmas tree. 

San Xavier del Bac

Cactus closeup

Twinkles in line for Fry Bread

So true

Nice to hear to the coyotes howling again,
Twinkles and Slick 

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