January 1 - 23, 2017:
Tucson is affectionately referred to as the "Old Pueblo" as it has historically been a crossroads for many cultures over the centuries and continues as such today.
I start the New Year with a trip to Borderlands Brewery in the afternoon for the weekly Kevin Pakulis “Summer Sessions”. They have a good turnout and are bolstered on guitar by one of Tucsons best young players, Connor “Catfish” Gallagher. This has now become a regular event to me, it's big fun ! I see Kevin as the Bruce Springsteen of Tucson. I also went later in the week to the Tucson Songwriters Showcase at Monterrey Court where Kevin was also the featured performer.
http://kevinpakulis.com Be sure to read the press, so true !
|These guys are my Sunday Happy Hour|
|Catfish has an array of switches and pedals like an |
Riding around a few weeks ago, I had noticed a walled area near “A” Mountain with a Tucson Gardens sign. It appeared to be a historic site and an internet search confirmed that it was. Archeological study has determined that this area in the flood plain of the Santa Cruz River is the origin of Tucson and has been an agricultural area inhabited by various people for approximately 4,000 years. The original Tohono O'odham indian name for the area was S-cuk Son, meaning "at the foot of the black mountain" which evolved into Tucson. The San Augustin Mission existed here from 1700 to 1828. This original walled garden area has become the “Mission Garden Project” which will eventually become part of the "Southern Arizona Origins Heritage Park". The walls have been rebuilt and they are currently planting garden plots using native plants representative of the various periods of habitation.
|"A" Mountain also known as Sentinel Peak|
|Mission Gardens inside the wall|
|Site of the Mission San Augustin|
|Area slated for redevelopment and park|
Riding through Tucson, I almost always stop and admire the Cathedral of Saint Augustin on Stone Ave, it's a incredible sight. Years ago, I was contacted by an agent who wanted to use my photo on Flick'r in their travel guide. I felt like a real professional even though no money was involved.
|This is a quickie from the Jeep|
January 2nd took me to the Chicago Bar in the evening for the Ronstadt Generations Y Los Tucsonenses Band. They had a few musician guests, the music was great and the crowd lively.
|I like the setting for the Poster|
|An similar poster with Papa Mike in front remains posted|
by the Chicago Bar doorway
|Inside the Chicago Bar|
There is a geology group at Desert Trails this year that interests me so I went with them to nearby Saginaw Hill which is a former Copper mining site from the late 1800's to the mid 1900's. It was a large group and we mostly wandered around looking for interesting rocks with quartz veins and other mineral traces. Geology is somewhat difficult to comprehend, possibly even scary, as the changes to the earth's surface over the millions of years is mind boggling for us short time residents to understand.
|View from Saginaw Hill|
Twinkles and I go to Saguaro National Park for a hike on the Valley Overlook and the Wild Dog trails. These are trails that our campground hiking crowd seems to disregard, not challenging enough perhaps, although they are very scenic.
|On the trail lined with Saquaro's|
|I never tire of these views|
|Twinkles just can't help but take photos of me ?|
On a more serious side, I went on a 10 mile hike with about 10 others at Saguaro National Park East on the Douglas Springs, Three Tanks, Wild Horse and Garwood trails. Due to the recent rains water was flowing in the washes with several waterfalls, we have never seen this much flowing water before. It was a beautiful hike and a good workout.
|It's unusual to see water flowing this time of year|
|Incredible arms on this Saguaro !|
|Nice lunch spot|
On that note, Alice is doing very well and quite comfortable in the RV, but about once a day she turns into a climbing up the walls "killer cat ".
I attended a Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore concert at a venue called 191 Toole. It was a super crowded event, lots of funny stage banter and a great performance by these guys. I have seen seen Dave Alvin a couple of times in concert with his brother Phil which is always an excellent show. I also had seen Jimmie Gilmore perform once many years ago, in the mid 1990’s, almost across the street from my house at the former Hightstown High School. These guys are veteran performers who have pretty much seen and done it all.
|It was an intimate setting|
|I lucked out getting standing room just behind the seats|
My son bought us tickets for a Eric Johnson concert at the Rialto Theater on January 17th. I had never heard of him before but an internet search showed him to be an outstanding guitar and piano played. We had excellent second row seats and I would have to say he is an amazing guitar and piano with with a classical flavor.
Every birthday celebration in our row seems to become a party scene. At our ages, I suppose that is understandable. We attended a birthday celebration for Canadian friends Linda and Gary (Gary turned 70) and Laurel (we won't tell) at LaCocina and then a very special happy hour party for our favorite campground dog, LiLi, (70 in people years). A birthday song was sung, mostly woofs and barks, and her present was a huge bone. Another birthday was celebrated for Jim at the Texas Roadhouse with most of the vegetarians going only for drinks and eyeing our delicious steaks and ribs with contempt.
|The birthday crowd at LaCocina|
|The Happy Hour group watching LiLi open her bone present|
The days are now getting warmer, it appears that we have made it through winter without a deep freeze, but we are getting considerable rain, the desert will be greening up fast and hopefully this will result in great flower blooms this spring.
I replaced the fuel pump and filter on the Onan Generator, a nasty job due to their location and lack of an underside access panel on the Generator. I can’t understand the lack of maintainability on this as the fuel filter is something that you should replace on a regular basis, although I don't ever plan to do it again.
Now to potentially piss off some of my former co-workers and family members, we took part in the woman’s march held in downtown Tucson along with approximately 15,000 other people. It was a vast array of people, all ages and ethnic types, all united and enthusiastically supportive of Women’s rights. We went with about 40 others from the campground and it was a colorful, beautiful spectacle of democracy in action. As you would expect and see below, the signs being carried were quite interesting.
|Assembling at the campground|
|Nasty Baby ready to march|
|Cool to be Canadian, they may be building|
a wall soon to keep us out
|One of my favorites|
|Don't mess with her|
|Makes sense to me|
|Another personal favorite|
|Many were wearing "pussy guards"|
|Not so sure about Arizona, but Tucson does|
|Native Americans were out too|
Hopefully there will be no mention of or discussion of Trump on my trip,
Twinkles and Slick