Monday, January 13, 2014

Finally Out on Our Bicycles

Tuesday 1/7 

Warmer this morning, 38 degrees when we arose. Yesterday it was 32. In the short time it took us to dress and head out it had already warmed to 42 degrees. Got up above 70 in the afternoon.

Late last night we went out to see the space station pass over, and although we managed to miss it we did see several “shooting stars”, actually meteorites. Star gazing is rather amazing here do to the dark sky. The City of Tucson has been at the forefront of dark sky regulations due to the close proximity of several observatories. The sky here is more like I remember from childhood than what it looks like in the Chicago suburbs - a lot more visible stars!

We did some house cleaning and hung around home most of the day. We watch the  Chicago midday news on WGN America most days and have watched with interest the reports on the severe weather afflicting the Midwest, while thanking our lucky stars that we do not need to deal with it. Been there, done that, which is one of the reasons we spend our winters in Southern Arizona!

Wednesday 1/8

Nancy had her Spanish class this morning and I sent an hour and a half doing a thorough cleaning inside the truck, been a while since a did the total job and it looks a lot nicer now.

When  Nancy got back we took our morning mini-hike in the desert and then head off to BK Tacos for lunch. Stopped at WalMart to stock up on RV toilet paper. We had stopped at Lowe’s up on Oracle the other day as they usually carry it,  but they had none. Nancy checked and found that WalMart had it and sure enough they had a whole shelf full, which we made a pretty good dent in.

Back home and relaxed. Hawks play Rangers tonight. And the “B” team showed up again! Lost the game on defensive breakdowns in  spite of another great game from Cory Crawford. I guess it’s best they get this slump out of their system before the Olympic break and hope the 10 guys going to Sochi come back healthy.

Thursday 1/9

Tucson Yoga first thing in the AM, stop at Food Conspiracy and Antigone Books to pick up the cruise guide book we ordered last week, and home for lunch.

After lunch we went over to Saguaro National Park West - just 20 mins away from us - and went to a talk on the geology of the Tucson Mountains. The volunteer ranger who gives the talk used to be a geology professor at the State University of New York (SUNY) and he give a really interesting talk. We have heard it before but we always learn (or remember!) something new each time. The geological history of the Tucson Mountains is quite fascinating, they don’t refer to the rock types in the area as “Tucson Mountain Chaos” for nothing!

Dinner at home. Really pretty sky tonight, lots of stars and our local horned owl was hooting up a storm all evening and again early Friday morning. We were also treated to a coyote serenade during the night.

Friday 1/10 

Cold this AM, 34 degrees, so we skipped our desert walk. Headed into town and stopped at the Fox Theatre to purchase tickets for the Paula Poundstone show in February. Saved $11 by picking them up at the box office instead of purchasing on-line!

Of course then we had to stop at Beyond Bread for lunch, then Trader Joe’s for a few things. Then we ran by Tucson Mall to get a new battery for my watch and a new screen protector for my iPod.

Back home Nancy did her Spanish homework and later Karen and Gary stopped by for  cocktails.

Saturday 1/11

Quiet day at home today, took a n ice hike in the desert mid-afternoon and Nancy did some laundry.

Watched the Blackhawks lose again this evening at least it was overtime. Defensive breakdowns in their own end of the ice once again and once again Cory Crawford was spectacular in preventing a blowout. At the end in overtime Patrick Kane took the puck at their own blue line and instead of heading down the ice he lazily turned back into the defensive zone which create the turnover that resulted in the winning goal! What the heck was he thinking?

Sunday 1/12

Leisurely breakfast and then I went for a hot rocks massage from Angel. Nancy took a walk around the park. After lunch we took a short bike ride around the park and the park next door just to make sure everything was working OK if we decide to go on the group bike ride Monday morning.

Monday 1/13

Monday AM meeting and then we joined the bike group for the weekly ride. Bummed a ride with one of the guys that was going alone in his pickup, so he put Nancy’s bike on the rack with his and mine and another fellows in the bed and we went off to the Santa Cruise River Park off Irvington Road.

The park, which will eventually become part of a loop around the metro area, has a bike path that runs along both sides of the Santa Cruz, which is dry this time of year, for two miles between Valencia and Ajo. We rode a total of seven miles, some did more, some less. There were 22 of us altogether.

We then went across to The Olive Garden for lunch. Only fly in the ointment was that we had a group reservation for 1 PM, arrived about 12:40 and they did not have our tables ready until 12:20! Otherwise it was a good lunch with good company. We had a good time and back home about 3:30.

This evening a park resident who is a volunteer ranger at Saguaro National Park gave a talk on National Parks and cacti of area. Interesting, but we slipped out before he was done - an hour and fifteen minutes is about all the butt can take on those folding chairs (unless it is good music!)

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