Monday, February 27, 2017

Back at Desert Trails

February 8 - 23, 2017:

I manage to finish a book that I bought a couple of weeks ago, “The Girl on the Train”.  It’s a weird, complex story that held my interest, I now need to see the movie to see how it relates to the book.  The book starts with the main character riding on the train and fantasizing about the lives of people in a passing house.  Sadly, I think I’ve also done this on occasion. 

We went to the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show at the Kino Center and the 22nd street show areas.  My big purchase was a key chain with buffalo head nickels.  Regardless, it’s most interesting to just walk around and look at the amazing stuff that’s been taken out of the Earth.  The logistics to ship this vast quantity of minerals, rocks, jewelry, wood, fossils, bones, etc  to this show is incredible.



Wouldn't fit in the RV

It's not all gems and minerals

Interesting fossils 

Even a carousel horse ?

Hollowed out stone lamps too !

And dinosaur skulls

We are in need of some exercise so off we go for a hike at Brown Mountain.  This is a favorite hike of ours, a decent workout of about 5 miles with a fair amount of ups and downs and very scenic.  Of course we ran into some Canadian hikers on the trail.


Going up onto the ridge

Nice Hawk circling overhead

This trail view never gets old


Next was a hike in Tucson Mountain Park off Irvington Road.



We were dog sitting and took Li-Li along

Twinkles posing next to a large barrel cactus

The fairy dusters are blooming nicely

View of Tucson in the distance


Friday night takes me downtown to the Hotel Congress for a CD release event for Hank Topless.  My friends from LaCocina, Lana Rebel and Kevin Mayfield open the show.  Hank also plays at LaCocina and has a self proclaimed “country honky tonk Blues”  music style.  He also has a Neil Young look going on with a dynamic stage presence with much attitude and drinking.  He is a character and will never be called boring.



Hank Topless in action

I loved the poster

Since it is our 18th anniversary on Saturday, I can’t get out of the “Valentines Day” dance at the campground.  It was actually one of the better ones, I almost had a good time.  The campground owner came over to tell me he had contacted Kevin Pakulis about doing a show at the campground per my recommendation.  He also has scheduled a show for Lana Rebel and Kevin Mayfeld who I also recommended.  I am kind of relieved to know they will play after we leave, in case they bomb.

I am pretty much a regular at Kevin Pakulis “Summer Sessions” jam at Borderland Brewery on Sundays.  Kevin is a Bruce Springsteen fan who is recommending Bruce’s new autobiography, which I just happen to be currently reading.  I can relate to this book as I saw him perform at a few venues in the late 1960’s, lived in the Jersey shore area for a while and knew people with connections to Bruce and the E Street Band.


Kevin and the band playing at LaCocina for a food bank benefit


There was a huge birthday party for a neighbor, Linda, that lasted from 4PM to over 10PM.  Unfortunately, Twinkles had dentures installed earlier in the day and could not attend.  It’s a nightmare, she won’t be eating real food for weeks.  I’m buying a new tooth brush, lots of dental floss and a water pic immediately.


A campfire at the birthday party


Thursday evening I go to the Hotel Congress for a much anticipated concert by Alejandro Escovedo and Jesse Malin.  I had seen Alejandro previously in a more acoustic performance and liked him a lot. Jesse Malin is another one who I have wanted to see but have never been in the right place at the right time.  Interestingly, they are both favorites of Bruce Springsteen and have played with him in concert.  Jesse Malin was the opening act and totally lived up to and surpassed the hype. He was dynamic with great stage banter, strong playing, strong vocals, rock star looks and an unmistakable New York City attitude.  Alejandro Escovedo who is a veteran Texas songwriter did a totally different kind of show, kind of back to his punk rock roots, with deafening electric guitars which sort of canceled out his vocals.  The sound was pushing the limits of distortion and pain at times, but it was exciting and overall one of the best concerts I have gone to in a long time.



Another great concert poster


Saturday night I'm in watching a classic film on Svengoolie TV, “Godzilla vrs Mothra”.  I was tired and wanted to go to bed but couldn’t stop watching, had to see how our world was saved.  I had forgotten about the anti-nuclear weapons testing message in the movie which may have been cutting edge stuff for its day.  It was great !


Godzilla on the rampage


I next check out Jim Dalton and Gerald Collier advertised as “A couple of cowboys with guitars” at the St. Charles Tavern.  It was my first time at the St. Charles Tavern located on south 4th Avenue.  It is a single story building with a glass enclosed front section that looks nothing like I expected the St. Charles Tavern to look like.  However, it did seem to be a pretty cool venue for a band to play in.  Regardless, there was a large country crowd to see these musicians play who were hooting and whooping it up like they were big stars.  I’ve noticed that the country music crowd is awfully excessive in that way.  It was interesting, but a little too honky tonk for me so I left after one beer for my regular Sunday sessions at Borderlands Brewery.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Couple of cowboys with guitars

Another nice poster


I went to the Mission San Xavier del Bac hoping to see the Mission with a background of dark storm clouds, but it was not to be as ominous as hopped, but still pretty interesting.


The Mission is incredible from any angle

I liked the starkness of the tree against the dark clouds


I went with a few other campers for on hike on the Cardiac Ridge Trail at Sabino Canyon. This was a beautiful 9 mile hike and a good workout as it is mostly uphill with plenty of steps and rocks to overcome.



Along the trail looking back towards the Tucson

The hiking crew taking a lunch break

The hillsides are so green 

Trail view

Alice is doing very well, her fur is growing really long in places, she says HI !


Alice posing for me


That's all for now;
Twinkles and Slick


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