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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Springtime in the Desert

February 9 - 15, 2015:

The desert is really going green

I'm going through the RV storage compartments this week to reorganize and purge a few unused items. It's somewhat frustrating but necessary since I can't find anything these days.  Then I thought, why am I frustrated, be happy, you're living the dream !  

I watched a cooking show this week on PBS called "The mind of a chef" that is my new favorite cooking show.  It featured a young asian chef who now lives in Kentucky who is so cool.  He did a episode on Whiskey that was fascinating.  He was cooking meat using a recipe that he says he got from a "redneck" with much bourbon being added.  He would pour some bourbon into the pan  and then take a swig from the bottle as he cooked. 

My absolute favorite activity is just to wander around a downtown area taking photos with perhaps a nice lunch and/or a beer stop somewhere along the way.  It's a favorite thing about this RV lifestyle for me.  You need to get out and walk to really see things, driving by doesn't work. Of course, some discretion is required, there are areas where it is best not to be walking around.
   

The local Indians welcoming the Spanish to Tucson

View of the Santa Cruz River, at one time it flowed above ground.  It
still is there but is now underground 

A classic Tucson scene

Very colorful mural

The El Tiradito Shrine

A favorite mural in the Barrio Libre area

Another favorite mural on Broadway

Wonderful tile mural in downtown Tucson

The beautiful St Augustine Cathedral

Cowgirl riding a Locomotive in the Transportation Museum

We made a first time visit to the Arizona State Museum located on the University of Arizona campus on Thursday.  Amazing that we hadn't been there before ?  It was established in 1893 and holds the world's largest collection of southwest indian pottery.  There are 20,000 pottery vessels in total however only about 200 are open for public viewing.  They have a special exhibition on now of Edward Curtis's photos which seem now to be under attack for failure to accurately portray American Indian subjects.  This criticism seems ridiculous to me, without his vast photo archive from the early 1900's there would be far less of a visual record of the indians and their culture. They also have great informative exhibits on each of the southwest indian tribes in the museum.  The U of A is huge and the campus area was teeming with people.


Museum building

Very special pottery designs

Great baskets too !

A beautiful glass cabinet filled with indian pottery

Amazing stuff !
  
We then celebrated our anniversary by going to lunch at a favorite Tucson restaurant, El Charro. 


Twinkles is hungry

The Gem and Mineral show ends this week.  We visited the Tucson Convention Center on Saturday which is full of vendors and exhibits from around the world.  I finally bought something, an old indian pawn silver ring.


These small mineral specimens can go for hundreds of dollars

This larger specimen from Afghanistan was only $ 225,000

I was quite interested in the shipwreck coins and gold bars

As I was sitting next to the RV, a hawk swooped down into the a nearby tree with all the other birds taking off at top speed.  It sat on a branch for about ten minutes, very quiet and still, waiting for something to return that he could pounce on.  At that point, no customers, it flew away.


I believe it is a Coopers Hawk

We did an excellent six mile hike on Sunday on the Brown Mountain Trail in Tucson Mountain Park.  It has become a favorite hike of ours in this area.  Early spring flowers are starting to bloom and the desert is really green at this time.  The trail follows a ridgeline  over Brown Mountain with expansive views in all directions then loops back at a lower elevation through dense stands of Saguaro, Cholla and Prickly Pear Cactus. Also great colorful rocks everywhere.


Lush green leaves coming out on the Ocotilla 

View of the Brown Mountain trail winding across ridge line

View from the trail

View along the trail


Tucson Rodeo days are coming,
Twinkles and Slick 

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