Friday, March 17, 2017

Final post from Tucson

February 25 - March 16, 2017:

I need to start with a favorite mural in downtown Tucson that is a beauty.

It sparkles

The time for procrastination is over, it’s now time to get serious about a few RV repairs as we are down to our final weeks here.  The top priority is a more permanent roof repair involving removal of the existing small patches, plugging the holes and then installing large patches over the damaged area.  This is to correct damage from a falling Cottonwood tree limb last year.  I bought a patch kit which came with a 5’ X 5’ piece of roof material, the cleaner, primer, contact adhesive and seam tape. The kit was designed for a large job and was sort of an excessive repair, but it looks good.

Plugging the hole, not pretty

The finished job

Next was washing and waxing the RV exterior, cleaning the battery connections, replacing the engine air filter, lubing the slides, replacing the kitchen sink faucet and replacing the rear shock absorbers.  On the Jeep, replacing the rear brake pads, getting an oil change, replacing the front tires and replacing the rear license plate bracket after it was ripped off in a car wash.  

A contingent of about 20 fellow campers from Desert Trails went to Monterey Court for dinner and to hear the John Coinman Band.  John Coinman is a notable local songwriter who is in Kevin Costner’s “Modern West Band”.  He was also the musical director for the movie “Dances with Wolves”.  We skipped the dinner part and met the crowd afterwards for drinks.  None of them had ever been to Monterey Court before and to my surprise everyone thought the food was great, liked the band and had a great time, especially the dancing.


The band from behind the stage

I return to Monterrey Court the following night for a Kevin Pakulis Band show with a lively but smaller crowd.  Kevin also played at Desert Trails RV Park on March 10th to good reviews.

Always a stellar lineup at Borderlands

While sitting at the bar, I notice a couple of people posing
for photos on the tracks right in front of the "stay off
the tracks sign"

It’s been rodeo week in Tucson and as usual I go on the final day.  When you buy a ticket you have a choice of available seats as all seating is assigned.  I requested a seat on the bottom row which turned out to be a big mistake as there was a fence in my viewing area.  As a result, I hardly sat in the seat and instead roamed the fringes of the stands where I could take photos.  Of course, everywhere I went there was a seat attendant telling me I could’t stand there.   I still managed to get some decent photos, I find rodeo photography to be easy, as long as the light is good, the camera is set for a high shutter speed and continuous shutter release you can’t miss getting good stuff.

Horses lined up for action

Two very cute future rodeo riders

The best hair 

The flag riders coming back after doing their circuit at
the start of the rodeo

The pick up riders always impress me as the best horsemen

The sheep used for the kids bronco busting competition

That's a wild ride !

Good form

Ans serious bucking

I always try to take the camera along just in case I see something of interest while I’m cruising around Tucson.  I have found a few new murals and other things, but am struggling with a lack of motivation, it’s just time to get back on the road.

A strange and interesting mural

Another attack on King Kong ?

Dress code notice on downtown dance club entrance            

I hope this is acceptable ?

Beautiful hummingbird mural

I’ve been getting in as much live music as possible, before leaving Tucson.  That means a two trips to the Chicago Bar to see the Ronstadt Generation Band, who are sounding as great as ever.  It’s always an interesting crowd with a few show boating western dancers trying to out twirl each other.  

Next is a Mardi Gras Party at the Congress Hotel where I run into the campground owner Pericles.  This was an outside event that was in danger of being rained out in the early evening, but the rain miraculously stopped just as the band was setting up.  The band, the Carnivaleros, play a crazy mix of cajun, zydeco, blues, folk, rock, etc.   The Band is lead by Gary Mackender on accordion and also includes Karl Hoffmann who both play with Kevin Pakulis on Sunday afternoons. 

Next is another Congress Hotel event featuring the “Lemon Trees”.  I actually went just for the show opening acts, first Freddy Parish and then Carlos Arzate.  Freddy was very good, showing lots of potential.  Carlos was doing his new solo material showing off his incredible voice, but he is a bit awkward solo.  Carlos becomes great when playing more up tempo with his band the “Kind Souls”.  The Lemon Trees are three attractive young women with good voices, good harmony, but not my style of music.  Actually the most entertaining music was outside on the patio with Salvador Duran playing his Spanish music with bongo drum accompaniment and a mysterious looking dancing man.

Carlos Arzate on the stage

There is a mega birthday party, about (40) people,  on Friday evening for friends Hughes and Judy Moir who have birthdays one day apart.  There was much food although mostly healthy vegetarian and vegan, a champaign toast, much conversation and two campfires.  

We have a tentative travel plan for 2017 leaving Desert Trails on March 16th and heading southeast to Big Bend National Park in Texas.  We will then head north by a yet undetermined route, trying to avoid Tornadoes and bad weather, to the most northern reaches of Minnesota and then east around the Great Lakes for the summer.

I went to a doctor to check out my recurring elbow pain which turns out to be just an ordinary tennis elbow malady, getting old sucks !  Wish I could say it was from playing tennis, but is more likely from pulling wrenches under cars.

That's my elbow

We are presently having near record high temperatures of about 90 degrees and the air conditioners are running.
Alice is not happy with the Air Conditioner noise and usually hides in a closet when it is running.  She is a very normal cat in most ways, very playful, curious and often weird !

Alice in action

It's been a fun winter layover, but we are now ready for roads untraveled.

Next stop is Big Bend National Park via Las Cruces, NM and Alpine, TX;
Twinkles and Slick

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