2013 Tucson, AZ

We left Las Vegas on the 7th of January and stayed in Laughlin, NV.  It was windy and quite cold so we didn’t get to walk along the river or enjoy the area like we wanted to.



Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort RV Park

January 9, 2013

On the way to Tucson, we stopped off in Phoenix and had lunch with John’s sister and brother-in-law –  Pat and Gib….it was her birthdayP1020554



David-Monthan AFB FamCamp (Agave Gulch)

It was really nice here in Tucson when we first arrived, but it turned cold right away….28 at night and 45 in the day.  Good grief, why did we leave Las Vegas !!

We took a ride through the Saguaro National ParkP1020557

From the brochure:  “As one of the 397 units of the National Park System, this park protects and manages 91,440 acres of cherished natural and cultural resources, flanking both the east and west sides of the bustling urban area of Tucson.  Saguaro National Park was established in 1933 with the specific purpose of protecting and preserving one of the great icons of the American West: the saguaro cactus.  Saguaro tissue may be 85% water; a large plant may weight 8 tons or more !”P1020558

Further information:

Gila woodpeckers and gilded flickers make nest holes in the stems of saguaros.  The cactus quickly produces a thick material to heal and dry the wound.  This next-lining structure sometimes survives after the saguaro dies and rots and is called a saguaro “boot” because of its shape.  Woodpeckers build new nests each year, and older nests become homes for cactus wrens, elf owls, mice, snakes, spiders and other animals that appreciate the water-cooled cavities in the cactus. P1020560 Saguaros grow slowly.  In the most favorable conditions it may take 35 years for a plant to reach 6 feet; more commonly it takes 47 to 67 years.  Saguaros must start life under a tree or shrub to protect them from drying out and hide from herbivores.  Saguaros often outlive their “nurse” plants.  Saguaro branches always grow upward.  Occasionally frost or snow will freeze the tissue at the base of a limb and damage it, and the weight of the branch pulls it down.  If the branch survives, the growing tip will turn upward again.  Saguaros can grow to 50 feet tall and are the largest member of the cactus family in the United States (though not in the world).  Saguaros are fully protected by law, not only in Saguaro National park, but throughout Arizona.  The saguaro blossom is Arizona’s state flower.  In a 150-200 year lifetime, a saguaro might produce 40 million seeds.  Dispersal, rainfall, and other factors result in about one of these seeds living to maturity to replace the parent plant !P1020556






Tubac, Arizona — Where Art & History meet.  Tubac is southern Arizona’s growing artist colony!  P1020574Located in the Santa Cruz River Valley, Tubac, AZ has a 250-year-old Spanish history.  In 1752, Juan Bautista de Anza was appointed as the commandant to the Presidio at Tubac.  He was preceded by Father Kino, who built many missions along the Santa Cruz River.  Tubac is the perfect shoppers’ paradise with over eighty galleries and shops that feature hand-crafted items, sculpture, paintings, clothing and some of Southern Arizona’s best import shops.   Located just 40 minutes south of Tucson & 20 minutes from Nogales Plaza Road in Tubacin the Arizona high desert amid a lush cottonwood and mesquite forest. P1020579P1020578P1020577

San Xavier MissionP1020583

John’s brother Norm and his wife Sharon stopped by for a visit.  We drove through the west Saguaro Desert.P1020586P1020585






We saw a coyoteP1020584

John and I took a trolley ride through the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area.  It had steep rock cliffs and a stream going through the botom.  Lots of saguaro and other cactus everywhere.  The canyon itself has been closed to private vehicle access since 1978. P1020588 P1020622 - Copy P1020624 P1020623
















We have enjoyed our stay in Tucson.  The last few days have been in the low 80’s !  We are leaving Wednesday and heading east to El Paso, Carlsbad Caverns, San Antonio and Corpus Christi.  Ultimately we will end up in New Orleans on February 6th for Mardi Gras celebrations.  We’ll stay there for one week.  I’ll update at that time —Stay tuned…….

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