Getting back out for our regular morning walks in the desert again, weather has been great, usually in the 40’s early in the morning and around 70 late in the day.
A couple of tidbits that I meant to mention from the Geology talk at Saguaro National Forest. First some background: I think I have mentioned before the settling ponds just to the west of us out in the Avra Valley. They can be seen from the Desert Museum and the National Park visitors center, generating a lot of interest from visitors. As we found out, they are for water coming out of the Colorado River for Tucson’s water supply. We were told that when Colorado River water was first brought to Tucson it was put directly into the city’s water supply. The water in Tucson at that time was very hard, which had left deposits in all of the system. When the much softer river water was introduced it loosened those deposits and resulted in considerable damage to the water infrastructure. As a result they decided to build the settling ponds which allow the river water to percolate into the aquifer. Maybe apocryphal, but a good story anyway.
Which brings me back to the talk on geology. There is still a lot of mining for copper and, to a lessor extent silver, in Arizona. The Tucson Mountains were the site of a fair amount of mining activity in the 19th century and the resulting pollution of the water in the mountains still has impact today. The ground water just to the west of the mountains is undrinkable and closer to the mountains it cannot even be used for bathing!
The other interesting fact is that there are no buildings in Tucson higher than 12 or 15 stories. This is due to the “mountain and basin” geology of the area, which is common in the southwest. The floor of the Tucson valley is actually eroded material from the mountains -to a depth of 10,000 feet! The Avra valley where we are is 7,000 feet of eroded material.
This morning there was a park wide “yard sale” and Nancy and Joan took a walk around to see what was there, they picked up a couple of embroidered tea towels.
We made a run across to the east side to the In N’ Out Burger so Joan could get a burger fix before she heads for home. After lunch we stopped at Tucson Botanical Gardens. We took advantage of a Groupon for a discounted membership last summer and it came along with some guest passes. The butterfly exhibit was amazing this year, seems like a lot more butterflys than there were last year.
After a cocktail back home we went to Los Nopales in Tucson Estates for dinner since it is real close and pretty good. As usual it was full and we had to wait a few minutes for a table, but they move people in and out pretty fast.
Joan is headed for home today. after she packed up this morning we went over to BK Dogs & Carne Asda on 12th Ave for lunch. Joan headed for the airport and we headed home after doing some quick food shopping.
Rolex 24 on TV this afternoon. Using the DVR I was able to watch the whole thing without watching any commercials. Managed to stay pretty much within an hour of the coverage most of Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.
After all the eating out this week I think we will be eating at home for a while! Leftover pizza tonight, along with a couple of home made pastys. The man whose trailer I moved earlier in the month gave them to us as a thank you, and they were excellent.
Other than our regular morning walk in the desert we were pretty much couch potatoes today, watching the last 6 & 1/2 hours of the Rolex 24, Sunday Morning, Fareed Zakarian, and some of the NHL All Star game, before we got to Downton Abby - whew, just thinking about it makes me tired.
Regular Monday meeting at the RV Park and we put in our reservation for the same site here next December through February.
Made a run to the Home Depot and picked up material to build a platform for the new freezer. I have to build it up about 4” to clear the door when it opens because the compartment has a lip in the front. I also needed to secure it so it does not move around while we are traveling. I laid three 2 x 10s cut to fit in the floor indentation so they cannot move. Tied them together with two more 2 x 10s the size of the freezer base, then two more crosswise to get the freezer high enough. The freezer is marketed for drug storage (hence the locking door) so it has a inside the door bracket allowing it to be bolted down. So now it is securely mounted and easily accessible.
Spent a quiet evening reading and listening to music.
A really nice day today, as most of them are here, so we decided to take a ride up to Mt Lemmon after our morning walk in the desert. Since it is all the way across on the opposite side of the city, it took us an hour just to get to the base of the mountain. From there it is 25 miles to Summerhaven and 31 miles to the ski area. Since the speed limit on Catalina Highway is 35 it took another hour to get to the top of the mountain.
It was a real pretty drive with great views of the mountains. The saguaros stopped suddenly at about 4,000 feet, and deciduous trees started appearing. At 5,000 feet we started seeing pine trees, and over 6,000 feet that was about all the growth there was. At 7,000 feet we started seeing snow in the shady areas along the highway. Summerhaven is just over 8,000 and it was 42 degrees there - it was 69 when we started the climb and 74 in the valley when we got back down. Mt Lemmon itself is 9,157 feet, and receives 180 inches of snow annually.
Stopped at Shlomo & Vitos Deli for lunch. Back home we just relaxed for the evening.
After our morning walk we did some puttering around home and then went to the nearby Fry’s Grocery for “senior Wednesday”. We still have not figured out if it is just this store or all of the Fry’s. We have not seen anything in their ads, but this store gives an additional 10% discount to seniors on the first Wednesday of each month. That is on everything, even sale items! Of course it was busy and, as I told Nancy, twice as many people as a normal day since almost every woman in the place had an old guy with a grocery cart following her around - me included!
With the new freezer we were able to stock up on frozen food a bit more than we have done in the past.
In the afternoon we headed back into the University of Arizona for a Garrison Keillor show by UA Presents at Centennial Hall. Garrison had Heather Masse and Rich Dworsky with him and they put on an excellent show with lots of songs and an outstandingly hilarious monologue from Garrison.
Before the show we had dinner at Gentle Ben’s Brewing Co. Good beer and pretty good hamburgers. Not a lot of ambiance, kind of a typical college town bar.
Off to Tucson Yoga this morning for our “gentle yoga” class. After class we stopped at the Federal Building to pick up income tax forms - the IRS office was closed! No one knew why, maybe Groundhog Day? The guards on duty had no idea why, having expected it to be open.
Back home we did some cleaning - yes, we still need to do that just like we were at home, just goes a lot faster! I figured a way to get our collapsable ladder back into the front compartment alongside the freezer, which allowed me to free up some space in our other compartments, so I repacked the main compartment and got things a bit better stored.
Diner at home and a quite evening at home tonight.
Made a run over to Costco late in the morning to restock our supply of scotch and some over-the-counter meds. Stopped at Beyond Bread for lunch (with leftovers for dinner!). Puttered around the trailer in the afternoon.
There was an excellent show in the rec center this evening Lisa Otey and Diane Van Deurzen. Lisa played a really good keyboard and they both were very good singers. Some really good Gershwin and boogie-woogie. An outstanding show.