Well, yesterday we said goodbye to Arizona. (About time!!) Aside from Texas and Pennsylvania, sort of our “home” bases, Arizona is by far the state we have spent the most time in so far, but yet we left it with a long list of things yet to explore. Arizona is a pretty cool state with lots of things to do, so if you’re going to get grounded somewhere, it ain’t a bad place to hang for awhile….especially in the winter!
When we arrived at Desert Trails in mid-March, there were something like five open spots--98-99% occupancy, and gradually, day-by-day, the parked cleared out. And while there are still some people there when we pulled out, our section was basically empty. Amazing how quickly everyone just scattered when it started getting a little hot!!
This past Thursday was a big day for me. The cast came off! Finally. While I still have a cast, it's an air cast, which I need to wear for the next four weeks, then I’ll gradually wean myself back into normal shoes. Grrr….. I also need to be doing physical therapy on the ankle for the next six weeks, which, being mobile doesn’t make it easy to get to appointments three times a week, so we met with the therapist Thursday and have a series of exercises that I’ll be doing from the road. And taskmaster Greg will ensure it happens--he wants this to be over as much as I do!
Here's the incision after six weeks....almost there!
As much as we were dreading sitting in one location for six weeks, it ultimately wasn’t as bad as we had anticipated as we were able to do some exploring AND also we were able to tackle some things from the never ending list of things to do. Of course, idle hands with idle time equals more time for me to think of more projects and items for list. Poor Greg! While we are working on a post of our non-travel related projects, we’ll keep this on point with some of our mobility limited adventures!!
First, I mentioned in the last post, being at a RV park with activities was nice as we did participate in some of the entertainment the park provided. Not our normal mode of operation, but having things so close was definitely nice. And, Desert Trails does an excellent job putting a full calendar of activities together, so if you’re looking for a place to winter with lots of activities, we could definitely recommend this park.
And while the official park activities ended on April 15th, the unofficial activity of owl watching started about that time. A mama owl had built a nest in one of the trees about 75 yards from our campsite, so got to watch the mama take care of her three owlets. This also gave me the opportunity to at least figure out what buttons to push on the new camera…..eventually I figured it out!! Really do like the zoom on the camera, but in order to get a really close zoom, a tripod is definitely helpful!!
Mama and baby hunkered down
This is a video of mama feeding her babies...and of course the first video I had ever taken with the camera so not the best quality, but totally awesome content.
Video of the three owlets practicing flapping their wings
Through RVillage, we met another couple who was also staying at Desert Trails. Val and Mitch of RVLuckyorWhat were hanging in Tucson for a week or so, and we enjoyed a nice happy hour, where they introduced me to my new favorite drink-- Deep Eddy Grapefruit Vodka (a must stop at their distillery once we get back to the Austin area). We also tagged along with them one night to a local bar for karaoke. Don’t worry…neither Greg or I got on stage, but Val and Mitch are rockstars!! For real.
Such a cute couple!!
Val rockin' it!!
If you’re looking for a nice Sunday drive in Tucson, Mt. Lemmon scenic by-way is a beautiful drive. There’s a ski resort at the top and when we were there, snow was still on the ground. The drive is around 28 miles and ascends from the desert floor in Tucson to the summit of Mount Lemmon. The 28 mile drive gains over 6,000 ft . One minute, lowland desert, cactus and then poof, alpine forests!
Hard to get a lot of good pictures while driving, but the views were incredible!
The ski resort
Some cool rock formations....
One afternoon, we tackled the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures. This was a pretty low impact activity, and part of our 2-for-1 Tucson Passport book. This museum opened in 2009 and is quite spectacular for what it is, a museum full of miniatures. (The nice part of a miniature museum is that the displays, while packed full, don’t take up a lot of space, so easy to see a lot in a little space!!). The Arnell family built this from their personal collection, which is the other part that is amazing.
Whoever designed the door, genius! And a great sense of humor!!
The Christmas room...walls and floors!
Miniatures built into the wall
One of the favorites!
A stop in Tucson wouldn’t be complete without another visit to the Retro Game Show Night, held at Hotel Congress. This is a monthly show, hosted by Tempest Dujour, Delicate Flower of the Desert, aka, a very large drag queen. This month’s show was the Wheel of Misfortune and was just as much fun as the show we went to in February. The difference between the shows….we had front row seats. So what’s the big deal with that? Well Tempest took a “liking” to Greg, so that was lots of fun. She flirted with him, shared her fries with him and overall, was just totally hilarious!
Notice the UhOh on slice on the wheel?
Not a space you wanted to land on if you were a contestant!!
So we were in the front row; and yes, that is a short dress!
Went to get a pic of Tempest and Greg and before I knew it,
Tempest grabbed his hand and placed it, well, you can see where!
Luckily Greg left his tongue in!!
Our last weekend in Tucson, we had some business-related travel and stopped in Flagstaff for a quick overnight. While we didn’t have a lot of time to explore, we did get a quick trip into Montezuma’s Well/Montezuma’s Castle National Monument.
Montezuma’s Castle is a cliff dwelling near Camp Verde, AZ. The dwellings were built and used by the Sinagua people, a pre-Columbian culture closely related to the Hohokam, between approximately 1100 and 1425 AD. The main structure comprises five stories and twenty rooms, and was built over the course of three centuries.
Pretty awesome....just hard to figure out how they would get to the dwelling. Quite a hike!
Montezuma Well is a detached unit of Montezuma Castle National Monument. It is a natural limestone sinkhole about 10 miles from the Castle. About 1,500,000 US gallons of water emerge each day from an underground spring and there are some cliff dwellings that surround the well as well.
As we were walking to the well, the ranger and a student from a local college
were "tubing" a rattle snake. Nice.
Some dwellings around the well
And last but not least, we did a few drive thrus of Saguaro National Park as the desert was on the verge of a bloom (when I last posted). When we left, we still felt the desert was on the verge of a bloom. Man, it takes a long time for cactus to bloom…..
This is from the RV park. Seemed every day another flower would bloom. Takes. Forever.
We have two stops in New Mexico before we land in Colorado for a week. Thanks for following along!!