Thursday, January 10, 2013

Getting Cold Here

January 8

Well we did get in our longer hike, but only about 3-1/2 miles. It was sunny, but cool with a fairly stiff south wind that was chilly. We wanted to see is we could get to Gilbert Ray campground, which is 2-/12 miles due north - I made a GPS waypoint there last week. However, we spent our time zig-zagging back and forth as all the trails in Tucson Mountain Park  seem to run primarily East and West! Since we had to face into the wind coming back home we decided to cut it a bit short. We’ll try again later and just strike out straight across the desert using the GPS.  If you look at the map in this link, our RV park is just above the junction of Bopp and San Joaquin Rds.

Still a bit cooler here than it has been the last few winters. For the last week the highs have been in the 50’s with lows in the 30’s. Supposed to continue into next weekend, with lows Saturday down into the mid-20’s! Then a warm up next week. Guess we should not complain as those snowbirds over east in the Rio Grand Valley have had rain, snow and sleet.

As a result of the weather we have been pretty much sticking around home the past week. Today though we did have a very interesting day.

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum opened a new aquarium on Saturday, which features the fresh and salt water fish of the Sonoran desert. The Museum covers the Colorado River valley which runs into the Sea of Cortez in Mexico. At least it used to run into the Sea of Cortez, it no longer supports any water flow into Mexico because the communities to the  North from Las Vegas to Phoenix, Tucson and Southern California are using all of the water in the Colorado!

The new Warden Aquarium is open to small groups at scheduled times so you need to make reservations. They do however offer a “behind the scenes” tour each morning. We went on line and reserved a “behind the scenes” tour for this morning. We skipped Monday as we wanted to go to the weekly meeting at the RV park. That turned out to be a good choice - we had a private tour for just the two of us! The curator said she had 11 people on Monday morning.

So we got an in depth tour (an hour and a half!) from the young lady who assisted with the design, selected and acquired most of the fish. It was fascinating and we got to go behind the exhibits and watch her feeding the very unique fish and marine life on exhibit. The most unusual were Sand Eels. Yes, they are tiny eels that live in the sand and stick their bodies out to find food. They look like waving stalks of grass! If a fish swims over they suck back into the sand in a flash. They are less than an 1/8th of an inch in diameter and up to 18 inches long. Never saw anything like it.

SO ... that was enough for one day, but there is more. In last week’s Tucson Weekly, a free alternative newspaper, we saw a tiny blurb about a conversational Italian group that meets at Beyond Bread on Tuesday afternoons. Well ... what could be better, we love Beyond Bread and we are going to Italy on the Prairie Home Companion cruise next summer. So we went over there this afternoon. They were a really nice group of 7 or 8 people and very friendly and welcoming. Although we didn’t understand most of what they were saying, we did pick up a few words and plan on going back again. Who’ed a thought we would find a conversational Italian group in Tucson!

Jan 10

Walks in the desert have been a bit short this week because it has been cold and windy in the morning. It’s been warming up into the 60’s during the day. There is going to be a cold snap this weekend though, they are forecasting lows in the 20’s for the next four days! Friday’s high will be around 40! We are planning on going to the movies.

Thursday morning we were off to our regular class at Tucson Yoga, then, after we each had a short massage from Angel here at the park, we went to Agustine Brasserie for lunch and checked out the Mercado San Agustin Market. We were walking through the market and we came across the man who organizes the Conversational Italian group! He was selling Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes) which are actually sun flower roots.

Still 60 degrees at 9 PM but the wind is blowing and they say the cold front is going to be here sometime after Midnight.

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