We've been in Tucson, AZ since Friday afternoon last. Melanie has been busy making contacts related to her EPF work, but we've also had down time to take in some of what Tucson has to offer, weather being one of those things.
This morning marked the first time since January 25th this year we've had any rain fall on us. Notwithstanding the winds, sometimes high winds, we've had generally pleasant weather, if sometimes cooler than we might have chosen. Today is breezy as the front moves through and there's a slight chance for more rain (it just started again), but the temps are pleasant enough.
It's no wonder that most of the people staying here are longer-term residents who winter in Tucson from all over the United States and Canada. I met a Canadian couple while cycling on Sunday who have been coming to Tucson for a month each year for 8 consecutive years. Nice folks who wondered aloud what had become of US politics. What, indeed.
As I was making our plans on where to stay in Tucson, I did what I often do when we are to be in a relatively major city, I checked to see what kind of bike trails might be available. After checking, I made sure we were located near one of the many bike trails located here. We're a mere 50 yards away from a trail that goes for many, many miles around Tucson and basically connects many parts of the city.
We are scheduled to be in Phoenix on Thursday morning to allow Melanie to board a plane for Chicago for a EPF board meeting. I'll be in Prescott, AZ for a few days while she's gone, but if I'd realized just how great the biking trail system is here, I may very well have put myself right back here. Kudos to Tucson for the forward thinking attitude toward cycling and making it easy and safe to get around.
In my position as logistics person for our operation, I'm sometimes faced with what to do when the mileage between cities is too great for a single day trip. Leaving El Paso, I knew we were headed to Tucson because the other options we considered, Santa Fe and Albuquerque, NM, were not viable options as the weather was still too cold for Miranda (and us).
Tucson was a bit too far for one day's travel plus we needed to stay in El Paso one more night (without reservations) to get mail being forwarded to us. The answer in those situations has been Harvest Hosts. They provide places that are farms, wineries, breweries, etc. to park Miranda (for free) for up to three days at a time. The only prerequisite (aside from membership) is that your motor home must be completely self-contained. That is, you must have your own shower, toilet, water, etc.
There's generally no purchase necessary, but since Melanie and I both drink, wine and beer are sometimes purchased. We stayed at Sombra Antigua Vineyard and Winery and Golden Rule Winery on our way to Tucson which made our trip much easier and more fun than figuring out another RV park.
On our way to Tucson, we made a quick diversion to Sierra Vista, Arizona for a visit with someone Melanie worked with at Cabaniss in Birmingham. We had lunch with Melissa Mitchell and her husband, Greg, who treated us to a great lunch in Sierra Vista. It was great to meet them, spend time and great for Melanie to catch up with Melissa. Sierra Vista is considered high desert at about 4,500 feet above sea level and, as you can see, some of the surrounding mountains still had snow three weeks after a recent weather snowfall. The climate and military base make it a great retirement area too.
Saguaro National Park
This Saturday past, we made a trip to Saguaro National Park (West). The National Park is divided into two areas near Tucson both containing the Saguaro (suh-wah-roe) Cactus.
We took Miranda on a driving tour around the park that wasn't recommended for an RV, but we drove slowly and it worked fine. The landscape is surreal and other worldly. When in Tucson, make your way to the park(s).
Steven and Melanie