Showing posts from February, 2011

Catalina State Park and Senior Moments

We have been taking it pretty easy here in Tucson. Just today I started getting caught up on my blog reading and I am glad John wrote the last entry or it would have been a long spell between posts. This is the longest we have stayed in one place and it has been so nice we decided to extend our stay by about 15 days so we won’t leave until March 20th. I finally sat down and mapped out our journey back to Iowa with the goal of getting there the first of May. When I mapped it out on the calendar we realized we had a little more time and since there are many things we still want to do in this area and we are enjoying ourselves so staying a little longer makes sense. Thursday we drove to Catalina State park just a little north and east on the edge of Tucson. We had heard good things about the park and had a half off the day pass in our Tucson Passport (we now have saved almost $40 by buying it). This a beautiful park and sits in a more upscale part of the metro area. Right across the stree…

Margaritas, Missiles & Missions (by John)

National Margarita Day While we were waiting for Tucson Dodge to service the truck, I learned that February 22nd was National Margarita Day. At least according to the chatty ladies on the TV, who were drinking from a fish bowl size margarita at 9:30 in the morning. How is it that I don’t know this stuff? Good thing the appointment for the truck was at 9:00 or I would have missed it. I wasn’t done learning new stuff. The transmission overheated towing over the mountains coming in from California earlier this month, which I attributed to cockpit error. So when I scheduled the service I made sure it included exchanging all the fluids in the transmission. I also asked to talk to the mechanic, so before I left Ernie the transmission guy came out and we went over how to tow over mountains. Here’s what I learned: disable the cruise, lock out the overdrive and slow down. With the overdrive locked out, this will boost the engine rpms and improve cooling to the transmission. This also applies to …

Rainbow's End

We are parked near the rainbow's end. I think the photos speak for themselves. Hope you enjoy them.

Happy Trails..........

Harris Hawks

Yesterday John and I headed to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. We used our Attractions Passport and now have saved about $15 above its cost. This is kind of a museum, desert garden and mini zoo all in one. There were some interesting exhibits but the highlight is the Raptor Free Flight program. They have a morning and afternoon program and I overheard someone say the afternoon program is different everyday. Today we had the joy of watching a family of Harris Hawks. The history on these hawks in the US is interesting. These hawks come from Mexico and South America and so they are mainly subtropic birds. At some point they began migrating into the Sonoran Desert, including parts of Arizona. In this area, unlike many raptors, they began to live as communities and learned cooperative hunting. This adaption was necessary in order for them to survive in this desert environment. Each family has an alpha female, an alpha male, other mature males who aid in hunting and protection for the fami…

Great Horned Owl

Tuesday I went on the organized group hike again. This time it was a 4 mile out and back hike to a saguaro cactus that has a great horned owl nest. Steve, who leads the hike, told us it was too early for them to be nesting. I talked with him and told him the great horned pair at the Casa Grande Ruins was already nesting. He was surprised but said we would have to see. It was a fairly flat hike to the nest and sure enough there was a momma on the nest. So the group stayed at a distance and we all took turns going a little closer. I went in the first group and as soon as we moved a little closer she left the nest, and watched from close by as several groups took turns getting a closer look. Soon as we were all back in the large group she was back on the nest. She is a big girl and quite fun to see. I am hoping John will be back in hiking form next week but we will see. If not hiking we may take in one of the bike trails here in Tucson. I found one that is about 12 miles and supposedly th…

Old Tucson

The weather here is just beautiful; we are wearing shorts and putting on the sun screen. Since it was such a beautiful day on Monday it was time to get out and about.  First we needed to purchase the Tucson Events Passport. It has 2 for 1 admissions to many of the attractions here. It cost $15 but we made that back on the first day. Someone along the way told us we could get it at the Desert Museum Gift Shop before we went into it.  Found out once we got there that they don’t sell them so we I had my handy smart phone check where they are sold and found out we can get them at the Old Tucson Movie Studio just down the road. This is another attraction we wanted to check out so instead of the Desert Museum we took in the Movie Studio. I do want to share with you a photo I took when we were checking the Desert Museum. Out front a lady had a Western Screech Owl. What a cute little fellow. They have a rapture program we definitely want to go back for. Old Tucson Movie Studios is where many w…

Nimbus Brew Pub

We have definitely settled in. Life has slowed down and we are happy. :) Saturday we went to find one of Tucson’s microbreweries, Nimbus. We always search the net for local brew pubs and this one was recommended by Dr. John. Getting there was interesting, it is in an industrial area at the end of a dead end road. We did find it and it was a busy place. It was almost 2 pm which we thought would be a down time but it was hoppin’. I’d read that their Red Beer was exceptional  but just my luck they were out. So I tried the Imperial Porter and the Brown Ale. The Brown Ale gets my vote. John always has the stout and he always likes it - tells me hasn’t met a stout that wasn’t great. The food was exceptional also. The service is a little slow but since we aren’t in a hurry anymore it doesn’t bother. That is about all we are up to these last few days. I am getting my workout in and John is walking more and tonight we got the bikes out. Our butts are definitely out of shape but it was a nice lit…

Casa Grande visit with friends

Yesterday we went to Casa Grande to meet friends from home, John and Gayle Morgan. John and I have known each other a long time. He is a periodontist and I would sub in his office when the kids were little to make a little extra money. Now he helps on the clinic floor on occasion with the dental hygiene students I teach when I am in Iowa. When we were looking for a 5th wheel we talked some and then after we ordered our Excel, John reminded me that Excel is what they had. Great minds think alike. Last summer we got together with John and Gayle and we enjoyed each others company. When we realized we were both heading to the SW we talked about getting together. When we were in California it didn’t look like that would happen but our recent move to Tucson (they highly recommended it) made a visit possible.They are currently in Mesa, so half way between is Casa Grande. We decided to meet there for lunch and then go tour the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. It was just so good to see th…

Hiking and the Diamond J

We have settled in here at the Diamond J RV Park in Tucson. It is a nice park with sites that are a decent size. It is a no frills place, has a decent laundry and club house. They do have a pickle ball court, horseshoe area and a little mini golf area, though you rarely (like never) see anyone use these. They do have a few organized events: like today there was a group hike led by one of the other RVers. One of the things we are really enjoying about this park is there are four other Excel RVs here. We have met the owners and they are a great group of people. In fact we went over to Ralph and Cheryl’s to watch the Superbowl. We were rooting for different teams and it was a close game but our Packers came out on top. We are not huge football fans but we always watch the Superbowl and we are partial to the midwest teams. Go Pack! Yesterday I went out for a walk and while walking I started counting all the different state license plates in the park. It was really fun. So far these are the…