Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Desert Trails Days

December 1 - 15, 2016:

One of the serious perils of spending so much time in the sunny southwest is sun damaged, dry, wrinkling old skin.  That’s a worry for a pale white man like me so I’m off to the Dermatologist for an annual checkup and to treat a few minor scabies on my expanding forehead.  The exam this time was an absolute joke, they basically asked me to show them what I was concerned about and they then agree to zap them with a freezing spray.  I could have done this myself, can’t wait to see how much they bill my insurance for it.

Always apply sunscreen and wear a big hat

There is a new Thursday hiking group starting this year with a new leader.  This is a tough job as there are two basic types of hikers, the people who want a a easy to moderate hike to appreciate the desert plants and sights and those who want a moderate to difficult hike mostly for cardio fitness and strength.  It’s a dilemma as there is no way to please everyone.  I kind of like to alternate between both types, but usually prefer to hike alone stopping often to explore, wander, take photos or views, then charging ahead extra fast to catch up.  I went on the first Thursday hike with five other people and the new leader who appears to be a serious hiker who will try to elevate the hiking level. 

Several hikes are taken during this period.  As I am struggling to regain my status in hiking with the Canadians, I go on an 8 1/2 mile hike with the Bill, Linda and Laurel on the Wild Mustang Trail at Dove Mountain.  Dove Mountain is in the Tortolita Mountains in Marana, Arizona just northeast of Tucson. It was a great hike, beautiful terrain and just the right amount of a workout for me.

The remains of an old stone house on the trail

The next hike is a 9 mile hike with Bill, Linda and Hughes on the Juan Bautista de Anza Historic Trail from Tumacacori to Tubac.  It is a flat trail along the riparian area of the free flowing Santa Cruz River. It is wet in places with several stream crossings, trees and grasses, much different than our normal Tucson desert hiking landscape.  This was another great hike with a nice lunch in the art district of Tubac.

This trail was a historic travel Spanish travel path

Alice has been adjusting very well to her new surroundings.  She was super skinny when we brought her home, but has been eating like crazy and has gained enough weight that we may soon have to cut back on the food. She is acting like a normal cat at this time.

One of our favorite Tucson events, especially for the food, is the Tamal Festival held at the Casino del Sol Resort.  A group of people from the campground went and everyone seemed to be quite into trying the Tamales.  The Tamales are good but my favorite is still the Indian fry bread with beans and red chili.  They also have several musical, mariachi and folkloric dance groups performing all afternoon but that didn’t seem to be of much interest to anyone.

Twinkles with Hughes and Linda chowing down

A roving group of musicians in the food area

I have several RV maintenance items to work on with the roof being the top priority.  The TV antenna and the front roof vent which had been damaged earlier in the year by the falling tree limb were both replaced. Most importantly, I also plan to improve the roof patches, then install a 3rd solar panel and apply a UV protective coating to the roof. 

Another busy live music schedule for me here, famous local Pascua Yaqui Indian classical guitarist Gabriel Ayala and local blues legends Steve Grams and Danny Krieger play at the campground.  Gabriel commented on his personal involvement and participation in the Standing Rock pipeline protest in North Dakota.

I also visited LaCocina as I am a top fan of Lana Rebel and Kevin Michael Mayfield.   These guys always play songs by creative songwriters who I greatly enjoy and Lana has a natural classic country singing voice.   

The Rondstadt Generation Band played a tribute concert for Michael “Papa Mike” Rondstadt at Monterey Court.  Michael Rondstadt who died in late summer, had played with his sons and others including other family members in the Rondstart Generations Band.  The band and several special guests and family members  played many original songs and favorites of Michael Rondstadt during this concert.  It is nice to see that the band is continuing however there is a huge void left by the demise of its star performer.  It was a very touching finale when many Rondstadt family members joined in to sing a traditional Spanish song.

Rondstadt sons Michael G and Petie joined by Alex Flores
on Saxophone

View from stage rear


At Borderlands Brewery every Sunday afternoon is Kevin Pakulis doing his “Summer Sessions” with an ever changing cast of good local players.  This has become my favorite regular music event in town.

I go to the Tucson songwriters showcase & concert at Monterey Court on December 14th featuring Sabka Faulk.  I love this music series as it usually has people I’ve never heard or seen before and a couple of them are usually really interesting.  Also it is all original songs by diverse musicians young and old. 

One of the best fairs in Tucson is the 4th Avenue Street Fair where 6 blocks of 4th Avenue are closed off for crafts booths and food vendors. I go to shop but mainly I wanted to see my favorite vagabond, swing, blues, folk, dixieland jazz band, St. Cinder play.  I follow them on Facebook and these guys are the best.  I couldn’t find them on Saturday so I had to return on Sunday.  I finally caught them and bought their new CD, great as expected.  Dancing Man, Mr Kit Estes, was also on the scene and getting almost as much attention as the band.  If you google St Cinder Band or Dancing Man Tucson you are in for a treat.

4th Avenue Winter Street Fair poster

This street magician was great, could really work a crowd

Lots of fair food !

Big Bill, Twinkles, Linda, Laurel, Heidi and Bill getting refreshment

This fair draws a huge crowd

Merry Christmas everyone !!!

Time to put up the Christmas lights,
Twinkles, Slick and Alice

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