Thursday, March 5, 2015

Busy days in Tucson

February 23 - March 2, 2015

Monday afternoon we took a hike out into the mines area behind the campground to locate the Saguaro Cactus with 50 some arms.  We had seen it a few years ago on a hike with the campground hiking group, but could not remember exactly how to get there.  I found the correct trail and Twinkles spotted the Cactus off the trail, there is some argument about who actually takes credit for finding it again ?

One weird Saguaro !

View from the trail

Another hike was taken on Sunday on the Kings Canyon Trail to the saddle where can then continue on for another 1.2 miles to Wasson Peak at 4,480.  It is a fairly strenuous rocky, uphill hike to the saddle and Twinkles somehow was hoping to go all the way to the top. She changed her mine about 3/4 of the way there which was fine with me, it was very windy and we had to be back to the campground by 3 PM.  The hike was beautiful, so many wildflowers are blooming this year, especially the poppy's.  There was a young guy on the trail walking barefoot, all the way to Wasson Peak ! This stuff is so wasted on the young and the reckless !

On the trail

View from the trail

The desert is green !

We did our share of eating this week although nothing too excessively filling.  Tuesday evening we are at Fred's Arena Bar and Steakhouse with a group from the campground for dinner.  A Canadian couple, John and Donna from British Columbia, who host an almost daily happy hour at the campground are leaving soon.  They don't plan to return next year so it's a farewell dinner event of sorts.  The real mystery to me is why they and a number of other vegan and vegetarian friends have decided to go to a cowboy steakhouse for dinner ?  Very interesting !

There are several food trucks that come into the campground on scheduled days during the week, but we haven't gone to any of them this year.  We finally did a truck on Wednesday going to one of the favorites here, Jazarelli's Italian Street Food Truck.  An Italian food truck in Tucson is sort of unusual, actually Italian food in general here is very unusual and it was actually good.

Waiting for a Calzone

Continuing on the food front, we went to the breakfast pot luck campground activity on Friday.  It is a popular event and the food was plentiful.  Latter in the day after a happy hour gathering we go to the "Little Mexico Steakhouse" on Valencia Road.  I have been wanting to check it out for a long time.  It was really crowded, but there are two areas, the bar area and a dining room.  The dining room had many people waiting and was crowded and tacky looking.  The bar area had a couple of open seats at the bar at which we ordered food.  The cheese crisp was huge and the taco plate was very good, but the main attraction was the local crowd, the live mexican music and the dancing.  There were lots of cowboy hats and heavy beer drinking.  All the ingredients for big fun !  

Thursday was the Tucson Rodeo parade and the rodeo  for me, Twinkles doesn't do rodeo's.  I catch about half of the parade from the starting point where it is less crowded but not as exciting.  The area adjacent to the Rodeo grounds is the better location, but you need to be there early to get a spot.  This is the largest all horse drawn parade in the world.  It is a real family oriented parade as the schools are all closed so the kids can attend.

All kinds of flags fly in Tucson

Girls in pink hats

The Rodeo is 90 years old

This horse is overloaded !

Afterwards I go to the 90th annual Tucson Rodeo. This is one of the oldest and biggest rodeos in the country.  This sport is really tough, football is a sissy sport in comparison !  The bull riders may simply be insane !  The most impressive and talented riders to me are the "pick up riders" who ride to pick up the cowboys who don't get thrown and then herd the bronco back into the pen.  I love the cowboy legend, but have decided that it's mostly wrong, the west and the planet would be far better without those large foul smelling beasts tramping all over.  Better to let the Buffalo roam !

Lots of hats for sale

Along with Coors beer and Jack Daniels Whiskey

I missed the sign in the center, No photos please ?

Typical Rodeo crowd

Lots of horses

Getting some air time

The rodeo crowd

A young cowboy all duded up

On the way to the Rodeo Parade looking for a parking place I came upon a park area with the Julian Wash cultural walk.  It is an unexcavated archeological site.  This area has been home to Mexican, Chinese, O'odham indian and Yaqui indian families for generations.  The park area is adjacent to the Julian Wash and there are many colorful tile murals and a children's play area.  Across the street is a weird intersection marked with Hells Angels street signs in front of a gated expensive house ?  So many picturesque cultural neighborhoods in Tucson.

Tile art in park

Beautifully painted house

Nice walkways

Interesting Church next door

Hells Angels in the neighborhood ?

Saturday night I return to the Monterey Court which is fast becoming my favorite venue for live music.  The opening band, "Quarter Royale" was very good, but I only heard about half of their final set.  I was there for the main band, "Solomon King and the Chosen", that was hyped up to be a real hard core rock/blues act.  They were in fact an excellent band who lived up to their hype and then some. Solomon King is from LA via Detroit and is obviously quite a character after checking him out on the internet via a "" site and watching a couple of his "Cocktails with the King" videos on You Tube.

Solomon Kind and the Chosen

Sunday was a campground birthday party for Judy and Hughes, a couple who celebrate birthdays a few days apart.  It was also a celebration for several other people leaving in the next week.  Lots of food and cake and of course BYOB.

Cutting the cake

Monday morning I am at AMMCO for a transmission and Transfer Case oil change service on the Jeep.  I also checked the front brake pads for wear (still good) and installed a tow bar mounting plate.  I ordered new front shock absorbers  for the RV, which at the moment are missing, Fed X claims they were delivered, but they didn't get to me ?  Also in the plan for the week is to flush the hot water heater, clean the RV batteries, change the RV fuel filter and install a new bathroom sink faucet.  I need to get busy, only two weeks left before we hit the road 

The Tow plate being installed

That all the news that fits,
Twinkle sand Slick

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