Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Tucson... Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

When we last left your intrepid travellers, the weather had put a stop to a planned a trek up into the Superstition Mountains.  Well after publishing that post the weather decided to break and it turned into a great day for a hike. Detra sat this one out, and I headed up the Siphon Draw Trail, 2 miles uphill to the "Basin" to see the water coming off the high ground.   Then with the help of gravity the much easier and quicker return trip back down to camp.  A three hour hike with views and interesting terrain that is well worth the effort.  The trail actually ends a mile further past the Basin on the top of the Flatiron Rock but I think you would need to be a mountain goat to do it, with a rise of 2000' in that last mile over rock and boulders.

Flatiron Rock trying to hide in the clouds.
The view halfway up the mountain.
Lost Dutchman S. P. and this view of the Superstition Mountains are worth the trip.

Well, we've staked our claim in Tucson for a month through the Holidays and into the New Year.  We are staying at Rincon Country West, a park about 5 miles from downtown.  This is a big place with a very active group of people.  There are many clubs and a great selection of shops and classrooms in the main buildings that cover just about any interest you might have.

An added bonus for us are our friends Jeff and Nancy, who are the reason we chose this particular park.  I worked with Jeff from way back in 1985 up until he retired a few years before me.  They have been spending winters here at Rincon for a half dozen years, at first in a fifth wheel and now in a park model.

Detra and I with Jeff and Nancy.
This month will be a little slower pace than the last few weeks but we will still get around to seeing the sites in this area and spend time hanging out with Jeff and Nancy.
Old Tucson is the first of many western themed things we will be doing here in the southwest.  It's no surprise they are proud of their heritage around here and that was what Detra and I were thinking when we decided to go to Old Tucson.  We normally do a little research before we head out to these things but we didn't this time, we had heard it was something to see, so we just went. When we pulled into the parking lot of a gift shop and what looked like a theme park ticket booth and gate, we didn't know what to think.  We had thought we were going to see some historic western town and it is, just not an authentic old west style.  It has more of a old Hollywood type of history.
Detra and I looked at each other and had to decide if we still wanted to go in as we had a totally different mindset when we started out that morning.  We figured, "Oh well we are already here, so why not?"  What followed was a surprisingly enjoyable and entertaining day with live shows by some of the hardest working actors we've ever seen, little rides and plenty of film history throughout. 
This town got it's start in 1939 built as a set for the movie "Arizona".  Since then has gone on to be the set for hundreds of movies and TV shows starring the likes of  John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and many others.  "Little House on the Prairie" filmed some of the episodes here and that was a thrill for Detra who was a big fan when she was younger.  You have no doubt watched something that was filmed here over the years, from "Rio Bravo" to "Bonanza"right up to "The Three Amigo's " comedy starring Chevy Chase, Steve Martin and Martin Short. 
These actors were doing everything from comedy to stunts to a pretty intense and dramatic shootout.

Winmar training( a contractor I worked for)...How not to use a ladder.
  We ended up spending the whole day taking in all the shows, riding in a stage coach, jumping on the little train, driving the kiddie cars and thoroughly enjoying ourselves.
 Tucson's 4th Ave. Merchant Assoc. closes the street for a huge vendor sale twice a year.  This was quite an array of mostly artists with the odd soap or clothing seller mixed in.  There are also plenty of great smelling foods to indulge in.  The four of us spent hours walking 400+ booths and enjoying the nice sunny day.  Abby received a new harness and leash, Detra bought some delicious Prickly Pear Cactus jelly and Grandson Logan is making out like a bandit. 
Booths for as far as the eye can see!...and then turn around come back on the backside of these!

This was another fine day of avoiding snow. :)
Tombstone, AZ, a short drive and over a hundred years removed from us here in Tucson.  This was the site of the O.K. Corral shootout with Wyatt Earp, his brothers and Doc Holiday against a group of cattle rustlers looking for trouble.  This was real life hero and villain stuff made famous in countless movies and books.  The town here is making the most of the fame, but to stand here where it actually happened along with plenty of other old west history in this town, that the people here love to share, is fantastic.  We were inside buildings that these men spent time in, streets they walked and fought on, doors they pushed open to face men looking to kill them.  There are plenty of other stories and buildings here and they all let you see what life was like in the 1880's Arizona Territories.  It really was the Wild West.
Plenty of original buildings here.

Doc Holiday, The Earp's and some desperate outlaws.

The Girl and the Bad Guys.

Tucson is full of Old history, New art, Borrowed Spanish and Blue skies and is a fine place to explore it all while running from the law... umm...I mean winter.
"It's a dry heat."


  1. Such stunning photos Scott..the scenery is amazing. So glad you have your friends, Jeff and Nancy, to share experiences. Such a happy good looking group!
    Merry Christmas to all..

  2. Thanks Mum, it's fun hanging out with friends here and the new camera is amazing but it still doesn't capture all the beauty in the desert.

  3. Tucson looks like a cool area, we are headed there the second week of January. Thought I ate at our first DDD the other day but when I went to look it up, it was not one after all!

  4. Plenty to do around here, but sadly there are no DDD's around to indulge in.