San Xavier Mission, Presidio Trail, and Sabino Canyon

Still major issues with the internet, but we’ve been having so much fun in Tucson, that it’s hard to take time to be on the computer anyway.

We visited San Xavier Mission also know as The White Dove:

It is a beautiful mission.  I took a lot of detail pictures of the inside – despite taking an embarrassing fall.  I’m the only person in existence who could manage to fall off a ramp inside a church.  Thank heavens I landed on a pew.  I lit a votive candle for my mother and mother-in-law, and then went to visit the museum, where I managed to injure my knee.  There was a sign saying the floors were uneven, and they sure were.   My knee popped out backwards, then back into place.  Oh the fun of having lousy knees.

We still managed to continue sight seeing for the rest of the day.  I figured moving would keep my knee limber, and it worked.  The next morning wasn’t so good, so we stayed put, and I iced it.  It worked like a charm, and we were back happily exploring all the wonders Tucson contains. 

We headed downtown next, and spent all day walking.  We visited St Augustin Cathedral, walked the entire Presidio Trail, and explored the Barrio District.   I fell in love with the architecture and the colorful houses in Tucson:

We were walking on Convent St, and as I was taking pictures, a contractor came out of home he was buidling, and asked if we wanted to tour the house.  Never one to say no to an opportunity to see the inside of a home, I happily agreed.  This house was about 12′ wide, but very long.  It was room after room of beautiful floors and ceilings.  One room had a vaulted ceiling, and while it was new construction, everything in it had been reclaimed from old homes.  It was a masterful reproduction. 

There was a little courtyard that had a palm tree planted.  You have to dig 5′ deep to plant a tree like this in Arizona, and it’s beyond me why people try to grow something that really is not suited to the climate, but I guess  rich folks want their palm trees.  Did I mention the house was going to be listed for over a million dollars?  The outside was painted 4 different colors.  It is going to be a gorgeous home when completed.

We had a wonderful lunch at a little outdoor cafe.  I loved my grilled eggplant, mushrooms, gouda cheese with a  pistachio pate instead of the usual mayo used as a sandwich spread, on 12 grain bread.  It was yummy.  I’m going to have to learn how to make pistachio pate when I get home.  The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and it was a lot of fun sitting outside to eat in February.

Well fortified, we headed for the Presidio Trail.  We walked the entire trail enjoying the history and sunshine.  I would have loved going into the art museum, but that would have been an all day, or more likely quite a few days visit,  and my husband wanted nothing to do with being inside on such a gorgeous day.  I couldn’t blame him.  The weather was perfect, and we could always go back on a rainy day – which didn’t end up happening, as it never rained during the day for us the entire time we have been in Tucson.

Sabino Canyon was the next day’s excursion:

That’s a picture of a small dam, and yes, that is water flowing.  This is such a rare sight in Tucson.  The canyon is very deep, and there is water flowing through it for most of the year.  It comes from the scant rainfall Tucson gets, and the snow melting off the mountains which still have snow on them.  It was quite something to see.  70 and sunny on the ground, and you look up to see snow on the mountains.  What a difference elevation makes. 

We have one of those gold park passes, so were able to enter the park for free, then paid $8 each for the tram ride to the top.  You can get on and off the tram all day long if you like.  There are 9 stops and we rode it all the way to the top, then back to the first stop, then back up and got on and off at the stops where I wanted to take good photos.  The tram is rather bumpy, so all the pictures I took while riding it are out of focus. 

This is a great park for hikers.  You can walk the paved road up and down, or go off road and hike through the mountains.  Now I hiked miles and miles in the desert, but this was too much for my knee.  Flat walking is doable, but anything involving elevation changes is a challenge.  I still managed to walk between 2 short stops,  but knew if I kept that up, I’d need another day of rest, and who wants to spend their vacation with their knee propped in bed with an ice pack on it?

We’d still go back though.  We didn’t realize the park had picnic tables, and so many restrooms scattered at different stops.  We’d bring in our lunch and stay the whole day instead of only the 4 hours we did this time.  The weather was perfect again, and it was a beautiful park. 

Did I mention there was a movie crew on location?  The movie Goats was being filmed.  Being the ever inquistive person I am, when I saw all the  cameras set up, I walked over to the crew and asked what was up.  They were happy to share that info – after all, I was a future box office ticket buyer. 

Every day after sightseeing, we would go back to our RV resort and head for the pool.  I did as many of my aqua therapy exercises I could remember, then lolled in the hot tub for 15 minutes.  It is so nice to enjoy the perks of a pool and hot tub, without any of the maintenance. 

Yesterday I went to the local clay shooting range with my husband.  He had fun shooting while I stayed in the RV, and read a book.  Then we went back to the RV resort, did our laundry, and headed out to supper.  It was our last day in Tucson, and on the way home from the restaurant it started to gently rain.  I felt like Tucson was crying in sympathy for us because we were leaving the next day.  It was all I could do to stop myself from tearing up. 

Yes, I’m a wee bit dramatic.  I don’t make any excuses for it.  It’s part of who I am.  I’m going to miss Tucson.  I loved everything about this city.  All the little touches, from the brightly colored homes, to the floral and iron bus stops, to the mosaics decorating so many bridges, waking up to song birds every morning, the sun – so much sunshine in February, the friendly people, etc…  I could go on, and on, and on. 

But another city, and another adventure beckons.  Tombstone here we come!!!



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