Saturday, February 13, 2016

Dentists, Hiking and Sonoran Hot Dogs

February 1 - 11, 2016:

I have a dentist appointment and am told that I need a deep cleaning.  I had a deep cleaning a few years ago and am not looking forward to another, regular cleanings are enough torture for me.  Luckily I have good dental insurance that covers about 80% of the cost, but the prices for this service are ridiculous, at $1,000 for an hour and a half of a dental hygienists time. How can this be ?  I am wondering if it would be cheaper to get this done in Mexico without insurance ?  The most disturbing  thing is that other people in the campground, who have gone to Mexican dentists, say that the dental treatment there is much advanced over our US dentistry. How can this be ?

I go on another tough hike to Wasson Peak with the hard core Canadian hiker contingent.  Watson Peak, 4,687 ft elevation, is the highest peak in the area and the trail has a 1,900 foot elevation gain.  It is a very good cardiac workout and I am now possibly in my best hiking condition of the year.

I'm bringing up the rear

At the top of Lassen peak

Twinkles nervously agrees to go on an 8-10 mile hike with a large group from the campground on the Anza Trail between Tumacacori and Tubac which is about 45 minutes south of Tucson.  It is a flat trail along the Santa Cruz River that was once an old Spanish colonial trail from the Tumacacori Mission to the Presidio of Tubac. So much history has occurred here, you are walking in the footsteps of the native Pima Indians, the Apaches, the Spanish, the Mexican and the American settlers.

Trailhead sign

At Tubac you will find lots of ceramic items for sale

I especially like the Roosters

We next do a 5 mile hike at Brown Mountain to celebrate our glorious 17th year anniversary.  Later we go for dinner at the Nimbus Brewery followed by a gambling spree at the Casino. I am the big winner however in that Twinkles continues to put up with a loser like me.

Trail view

Nimbus Brewery has good beer, food and live music

There was an excellent concert at the campground by a bluegrass group called “Run Boy Run”, which is also a great name for a band.  They are very stellar musicians who tour extensively performing at bluegrass festivals and have also performed on the PBS show “Prairie home companion”, not once but twice.

I haven’t been doing much photography lately, sort of taking a break, or goofing off, but once in a while I see something that I can’t pass up.  I am reluctantly getting rid of my giant photo printer, after printing out a few last photos.  It is too large, too heavy and the ink cartridges too costly to lug around any longer. This life style is all about compromises.

A very ornate roadside shrine

Interesting Spanish conquest themed mural on S 12th street

On a narrow alley way running parallel to 6th street
is a wall with several nicely done murals

Another one

And another

I have been wanting to go to “El Guero Canelo” for a genuine Sonoran hot dog for some time and finally got around to doing it.  It’s two hot dogs wrapped in bacon with beans, onions and tomatoes in a special boat shaped bun.  A hot pepper is served with it and there is a table of other condiments to add. Almost across the street is arch rival “BK Carne Asada & Hot Dogs”, both are excellent.  They are arguably the top rated places in Tucson for a Sonoran hot dog but there are many other contenders.  The Sonoran Hot Dog is an iconic Tucson food item not to be missed.

This is the general idea

The entrance at BK Carne Asada

A wall at El Guero Canelo displays a series of murals
depicting the history of the restaurant

I am flying back to New Jersey on the 12th to visit my son Jeremy and granddaughter Sierra.  I’ll be very busy and am thinking about a potential ski day, getting the 38 Dodge out for a ride, a breakfast at the “Roadside Diner”, a bar pie at Jo Jo’s, possibly catching up with some of my music friends, a ride to the Jersey shore and a day wandering in NYC.  My granddaughter, Sierra, age 5, told her dad that when we go skiing they will have to stay on the small hills so Pop-Pop can do it.  I’m going to have to show that kid my stuff !  

Twinkles will be holding down the RV fort in my absence, lounging in the heat while I am freezing.  Yes, the weather is finally warming up in the Tucson area to near record heat.  The weather forecast for New Jersey is the opposite, it appears that I will be there for a couple of the coldest days of the year.

Next Stop, Hightstown, New Jersey

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