Week 164: Tucson, AZ

Mar. 20 - 26, 2022

Sunday, a nice day of doing nothing LOL. It actually rained in the desert. It wasn't a whole lot but it sure looked menacing.  Hopefully it will make the cactus blossoms pop.

Monday, we started our day at the Arizona - Sonora Desert Museum.  It was a beautiful place with a combination of cacti and desert animals.  They had a hummingbird enclosure but the birds were not that active inside. When we left the enclosure we saw a very dark almost purple hummingbird feeding on a flower bed just outside the enclosure...I wonder if he taunted the other birds?  There was another aviary for the rest of the birds, which had a lot of doves and a few Gambel's quail.  That little top knot just cracks me up. They also had bobcats, big horn sheep and even a beaver and an otter.  Several of the cacti were blooming so the rain was effective.  We spent about an hour and a half at the museum and we could have spent a lot longer.  Next we drove thru the west "campus" of the Saguaro National Park.  We enjoyed the drive and finished with a stop for groceries before returning home.

Tuesday, we explored some more military history with a visit to the Titan Missile Museum. It is a missile silo with the missile still in place, decommissioned of course.  The tour took us down into the control room and the missile silo.  It was very interesting and the docent took us thru a launch sequence.  It was incredibly easy which makes it even more scary. We also got to look into the silo from inside the structure.  We didn't visit the living quarters. Back up top they have a glass viewing port over the missile silo so that you can look down from the top.  The docent also said this was part of an agreement with the Soviets so that satellites can also see inside to confirm the missile is not operational. After the treaty was negotiated to eliminate the Titan II missiles and their Soviet counterparts, the idea occurred to us that it might be important to keep one for historical and teaching purposes. It took over a year to negotiate permission to keep the site intact, rather that blowing it up.  They had to lock the silo closure door in a half open position, and cut holes in each propellant tank and the heat shield of the re-entry vehicle. On our way home we spotted a mission in the distance so we made a quick detour to see it. It was the San Xavier Del Bac Mission, founded in 1692 by Father Eusebio Kino.  The current church was started in 1783 and finished in 1797. They are restoring the beautiful façade.  We didn't go inside but the photos look beautiful. We tried to visit the Tucson Rodeo Parade Museum as well but alas it was closed.  So we went home and had a beer. That is after I went to watch the train club playing with the trains.

Wednesday, we started the day with the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum.  It was a nice little museum and supposedly the site where Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday killed Frank Stilwell in 1882. Next we visited the Ignite Sign Art Museum. It was way cool. There were a bunch of neon and lighted signs kinda like the Neon Museum in Vegas. But here they had someone demonstrating how to bend the glass to make the neon.  Very cool, he even bent a piece for me as a souvenir. After a visit to the Quilt Basket, we stopped at the Pedego Electric Bike shop to talk about our rental reservation for Thursday. We originally booked a tour but there weren't enough people to make that so we switched to a couple hour ride on our own. We finished the day with a stop at the 1912 Brewing Company. We enjoyed a couple good beers. I had the 1730 Lager and I think Elard had the Weapons Check, both were pretty good but not as good as the Barrio Blond from Barrio Brewing.

Thursday, we really enjoyed our ride on the eBikes.  THIS is the way to go LOL, hills, no problem just kick in the battery power.  They were very easy to pedal even without the pedal assist.  The trail system was cool too, we road for a couple of hours and about 20 miles along the Rillito River.  I saw tons of hummingbirds along the route as well as prairie dogs.  When we returned to the bike shop we had a great lunch next door at Reforma Modern Mexican restaurant.  The food was good and they were having a rally for the Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.  We didn't stay for it but I spoke to the organizers to say keep up the good work. Very enjoyable day.

Friday, just chillin.

Saturday, lots of fun. We started with a visit to Biosphere 2. After the failure of the first group the location has been taken over by  the University of Arizona where they continue experimentation and study of the impacts of climate change. It was interesting and not quite as preachy as I expected it to be.  They have a tropical rain forest, an ocean, landscape evolution observatory, coastal fog desert, and mangroves. Next stop was the Mini Time Machine museum of miniatures. How awesome. From vintage doll houses, some circa 1700 and 1800's, to the miniature ship bow art carvings. I loved this museum, we didn't have much time because they closed at 4. It would be worth another visit if we have the time. After the miniatures we visited the International Wildlife Museum. This was another collection of awesome taxidermy animals, 400 species of insects, mammals, and birds from around the globe.  I think my favorite were the giraffes. We ended the day with a sunset dinner at the Signature Grill at the Marriott.  Awesome views.

Make Life an Adventure!