Thursday, January 9, 2014

At "home" in Tucson

We used up our MiFi hotspot time watching the Orange Bowl January 3 (great game, even through the wrong team won) and I can’t get on the WiFi where we are right now.  Long story short, I didn’t post as soon as I wanted after arriving in Tucson on Saturday and as I write I'm at a Starbucks.

Anyway, we and the rig are at the Agave Gulch Fam Camp at Davis Monthan Air Force Base and it feels like home.  Agave Gulch had about 30 out of 200 spots unoccupied so we quickly set up with water, sewer, electricity, basic TV and so far very bad Internet for $20 a night.  

Our first full day here we got up, had breakfast, worked out at the rec center (Davis Monthan has two we can use).  Then I wandered around the Exchange (the department store), got some groceries at the Commissary, made an odd-sounding dinner that Jim liked (fried chickpeas with turkey sausage and spinach), read the newspaper for things to do here in Tucson, then watched Downton Abby.  Jim is nursing a sore back he got shoveling snow back home in Salt Lake, so until Downton Abby Saturday was a total football watching day for him -- as is any day I don’t perform my social chairman duties.

Since then our big activity has been a hike at Sabino Canyon, which is in northern Tucson and only 10 miles from Davis Monthan.  We’ve had many people tell us how wonderful Sabino is, but we’ve never visited before because they don’t allow dogs -- not even in the parking lot -- and Jim and Cooper are attached at the hip.  Despite that attachment, however, our 14-year-old blue heeler mix is now happier with a half-mile walk and then a long nap in the rig.  So we went sans dog.

Sabino Canyon is part of the Coronado National Forest and in the Santa Catalina Mountains.  The canyon has 250 miles of hiking trails and a vehicle they call a "tram" (really an open-air shuttle) that takes you to the tops of two different canyon roads.  Car access is limited, so people can walk right up the road, too, which is what we did yesterday just to get a feel for the canyon. We may have found a place that will rank in our top couple of hiking spots, two others being Millcreek Canyon near our home in Salt Lake and Capitol Reef in south central Utah.
From our rig's dining room window we have a view of the "Boneyard," an Air Force missile and aircraft storage facility at Davis Monthan Air Force Base.  Per Wikipedia it's the largest airplane storage and preservation facility in the world and takes care of about 4,400 planes.
Bev at Sabino Canyon.  We are back among the saguaros, which are native to the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, California, and the northwest Mexican state of Sonora.
Jim on one of the trails we took near the main road.  Sabino Canyon has lots of water, cacti, critters and trails.  We'll be back.
The road up Sabino Canyon. We almost didn't go hiking this day because it seemed "cold" at temps in the high 60's. So we wore jeans but should have worn shorts.
January must be autumn in Arizona, or at least this Cottonwood tree has on it's fall colors.
The Sabino Canyon tram crosses the Sabino Creek over 9 stone bridges. The ride up the canyon is just under four miles, narrated, and costs $8.  I think next time we go to Sabino we'll take the tram to hear what they say and get an overall view of this part of the Canyon.  

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