Instead of rushing to get to the Monday meeting we got up early and took our morning walk, going out just as the sun was rising. Another amazing morning in the desert.
Nancy went to the morning meeting while I loaded the bikes on the car. The bike group went to the bike path along the Santa Cruz river just North of Speedway. A nice pleasant day and we had a good ride. We covered 12 miles, some of the group went farther. They had lunch at Peter Piper Pizza, but we skipped that. Quick stop at Albertson’s Liquor Dept. (ran out of whiskey!) and back home for the afternoon.
Morning walk and then we did some chores and minor maintenance items around our little house on wheels. Stopped by the park office to pay our monthly rent and put down our deposit to hold the same spot for next winter.
Blackhawks play again tonight and tomorrow night, we’ll see if they wake up a bit before the All Star break. And they blew the Coyotes away, really hard to figure this team out - why don’t they play like that every game? That question probably keeps coach Quenneville awake at night!
Out well before dawn this morning, the sun was just coming over the horizon as we returned. Had some clouds this morning so the sky was very pretty. Pink clouds above the a bright blue sky on the Eastern horizon and the same in the West, except the clouds to the West looked like rolls of pink cotton. We are really enjoying the dawns in the desert this year, watching each of the cactus types catch the sun at different times. The cholla, even though they are lower to the ground are the first to light up as their spines seem to concentrate and reflect the light; then the tallest saguaro light up as the sun hits them even before it clears the horizon.
Nancy had Spanish class this morning and I did some house cleaning.
Blackhawks off to good start tonight with a 2 nothing lead, then they let Pittsburgh come back and tie, but they managed to win in the shoot-out. Giving up a point to a team in the East means nothing, but getting those 2 points was a good way to go into the All Star break - no game until next Wednesday!! Boo!
Tucson Yoga this morning, then a drive through the University campus to see if any of the streets around the Tyndal parking garage were blocked off, last year there was a lot of construction there. The UA Science Lecture series starts Monday evening and I wanted to be sure of which way we want to go in.
Then a stop at the Verizon store to turn in Nancy’s old iPhone for a credit. We did not turn it in when she bought the new iPhone 6 since we wanted to transfer pictures and ring tones from the old one.
Of course that put us at Campbell and Speedway at 11 AM - just by coincidence right down the street from Beyond Bread! So... lunch there, followed by Trader Joe’s, a stop at Total Wine and Liquor to restock our whiskey supply and home before dark. Actually by about 1 PM. (Motto at the Lucas Lamps factory: “A good day’s work and ‘ome before dark!”)
Usual morning hike, then pretty much hung around home the rest of the day. Nancy studied her Spanish while I did a few things around the trailer, washed outside windows, etc.
Short walk this AM as we wanted to try the Saturday morning yoga class here in the park - in the gallery which is less than 100 feet from our door! Of course we went over about 10 minutes before the hour and the room was almost full already! Forgot that this is Desert Trails where everyone gets to things early!
Very nice class, a bit more strenuous than the “Gentle & Restorative” classes we do on Thursdays at Tucson Yoga, but a good class nevertheless.
Nancy’s sister Joan arrived today about noon. Once she got settled Nancy went over to meet her at Rincon West, where she rents a friend’s park model, and they did some shopping and then came back here for cocktails. Decided on a quick dinner so we went to BK Tacos to eat.
We came back home and watched the NHL All-Star skills competition, which was more interesting and enjoyable than we had anticipated.
Regular walk in the desert and then watched Sun Morning on CBS. Joan came over mid-morning, problem with the place she is staying, there seems to be something there - cat dander or mold? - that she is violently allergic to. We worked on finding another place for her to stay. Cat Mountain Lodge, a B & B very close to here looked like a good option, they show on line that they have rooms available all week, although not the same room every day. Nancy and Joan drove over there and oddly enough they were not willing to rent room A tonight, Room B Mon., Tues., Wed., and room C Thursday! “We don’t like to split things up like that.” So they will leave the rooms empty instead of renting them and having a person move from room to room? What an amazingly stupid way to run a business!
Joan ended up finding a reasonable room at the Holiday Inn Express by the airport, a bit farther away from here, but it will work.
After that we went and picked up her things from the first place, then stopped at Beyond Bread for lunch. We stopped at H. F. Coors after lunch so they could buy some gifts, then back home in mid-afternoon and relaxed. Watched the NHL All Star game, which was good, but not actually as entertaining as the skill competition.
Met Joan at her hotel and headed up to Reid Park Zoo. Got screwed up as to which street it is on (went across Broadway instead of 22nd St.) and by the time we realized our mistake we were all the way out by See’s Candies - a happy coincidence. After stopped at See’s we backtracked to the zoo. A bit cloudy with rain predicted, so the zoo was not crowded at all. Went straight to the elephant exhibit and were rewarded with a chance to see the whole family come out with five month old Nandi bouncing around and showing off. It appeared that she had just figured out how to walk backwards and she was doing a fair amount of that.
After a stroll through the rest of the zoo we went to try out a new place for lunch - Ajo Cafe. A tiny local place with quite good food and ecellent pies.
After lunch we made a stop at Camping World, which was just around the corner to pick up a couple staples, black tank treatment, etc.
Back home and Joan had a massage with Angel, then we headed into town for the first of the UA Science Lecture Series of the year, “What is Life.” Stopped at Gentle Ben’s for dinner before the lecture. Centennial Hall was full to bursting, probably due to the first lecturer being Brother Guy Consolmagno from the Vatican Observatory. Even though we were there 20 minutes before the start we could not find three seats together! Excellent lecture.
Joan came over here in the Morning and we headed off to The Desert Museum. Spent the morning there, a beautiful day in the low 70’s. Stopped at Coyote Pause for lunch and then back home. Nancy & Joan went into town to do some grocery shopping, I made a quick run to the hardware store. Made dinner at home on the grille tonight.
Walk in the desert before dawn this morning, a really pretty dawn. Nancy had her Spanish class, Joan went over to Angel for a massage, I did some house cleaning.
Met Joan’s friends Debbie and Charlie at Barrio Brewing for lunch, then we went with them over to Voyager RV Resort where they are staying for a tour of the facilities. Very nice place with lots of activities and what appears to be a very active group of residents. Joan is looking for a place to stay next year. Voyager is on the far SE side, but just off the expressway, so only 35 or 40 minutes to get back here. It is taking her about 30 minutes to get here from her hotel near the airport.
Blackhawks back from All Star break tonight, LA tonight then Anaheim and San Jose on Friday and Saturday - a tough road trip to open up the second half! And the Kings won on a fluky deflected goal, much like last year’s playoff win!
Off to Tucson Yoga first thing this morning, stopped at Antigone Books and Food Conspiracy after yoga. Joan is headed to Phoenix along with Debbie for a get together with some other friends in the area.
Nancy did laundry and studied this afternoon, I pretty much just relaxed. After Joan got back we met at her hotel and then met Karen and Gary at Cushing Street Bar & Grille for a nice dinner.
Met Joan at her hotel this morning and went up to Tucson Mall, light rain this AM and it rained off and on all day. Quite a heavy rain around 3-3:30. Nancy & Joan went through the mall looking for an iPhone case and page-of-the-day calendar, no luck with either one. A quick stop at Nordstrom Rack and then we hit Beyond Bread for lunch (and dinner!)
Then back home since Joan had a massage appointment with Angel on her last afternoon here. Still raining steady in the early evening. We had left our car at Joan’s hotel, so I went back with her to pick it up.
Rush hour traffic headed West on Ajo and Valencia as we were headed East looked nasty, so on the way back I went North to Drexel, then across to 12th Ave, back down to Valencia, then North on Mark/Joseph to Irvington. The Kinney to Ajo to San Joaquin. Made it home in fairly good time and avoided the worst of the traffic. A fair number of places where there was standing water or water actually running across the road though.
Blackhawks won tonight, played a better game tonight, although Wednesday was not a bad effort. Much better result tonight.
Steady rain most of the night. We had made plans to meet Joan at Beyond Bread for breakfast, lying in bed at 6:15 and listening to the rain (which always sounds heavier than it actually is in the trailer) I’m thinking, “Wish I had one of those 4 wheel drive pickups with the big tires for getting through the water on the road.” Then I thought, “Wait! I have a truck with bigger tires and more graound clearance than any of those!”
So we fired up the Volvo and headed into town, actually less water on the roads this morning than there was last night. Had a nice breakfast at Beyond Bread and Joan headed for the airport. We stopped at Rodriguez Seafood for some shrimp and they were not open! No sign of life.
Then a stop at Walmart to pick up Nancy’s prescription and a few groceries; I checked the web and Rodriguez opens at 11:00; so we stopped at Bed Bath & Beyond to look for lampshades, nothing there: tried Home Depot, no luck; tried Marshall’s & a store next door, nope; one clerk suggested Kirkland’s, still nothing. So we headed back north up 12th Ave to Rodriguez, 11 AM and still no sign of life!
Did a bit of web searching and found another seafood market, JRS back south on 12th Ave. So back south we went and found the shrimp we wanted. Finally got home about 11:45, still raining - harder out here west of the Tucson Mountains.
No walk this morning but we got plenty of exercise climbing in and out of the truck at each stop!
Watched a couple of movies this afternoon while Nancy did some baking and got some things ready for tomorrow.
Blackhawks reverted to their old ways again, playing down to their opponents level, and lost 1-0 to San Jose in a lethargic effort.
Quiet day. Quite foggy this morning when we took our walk, unable to see any of the mountains, but it was amazingly quiet out in the desert.
Many of the plants are showing more life due to the rain over the last few days - we received more than 3” of rain over the last 3 days! Pretty amazing for a place that averages less than 12” per YEAR and has been below 9” for the last several years.
Odd to see the desert looking this wet! This is water droplets on a palo verde:
We were watching an old movie yesterday afternoon missing the Prairie Home Companion broadcast, so we caught the replay on Sirius this morning. We subscribe to Sirius primarily for NPR broadcasts in the trailer and in the truck. We have been disappointed with the program selection this winter, a number of program we enjoyed have been dropped and they are running more and more re-broadcasts. Some morning we switch over to BBC radio as the show on NPR is the same one we listened to the day before.
Nancy studied Spanish this afternoon, then we went over to Gary and Karen’s for dinner and to watch the Super Bowl, disappointing as Gary is from Seattle.
Monday AM meeting and then off on the weekly bike ride. We went to the new Julian Wash bike path. Only did about 7 miles, but it was a beautiful, sunny day. After the ride some folks went to Nimbus, some to the gem show, but we went to Ajo Cafe with Karen and Gary.
Back home Nancy did some wash and I replaced our outdoor patio light with a new one that I got from Newmar, the old lens had yellowed and was looking a bit tacky.
Headed into town late for the second of the UA Science Lecture Series on “Planet Formation and the Origin of Life” at the U of A, full house again tonight and we barely got seats as we got there a bit late. Started over Gates Pass and the road was blocked for some “Special Event” - who knows what! So we had to go back and down Ajo Hwy. Got there in the nick of time and got one of the last pairs of seats! Another full house, something we have never seen in previous years.
Another day doing a few maintenance items, a couple more things that I received from Newmar Monday. Nancy did some studying and went to her study group in the afternoon. I made a quick trip to get a propane tank filled.
Blackhawks played their worst game of the season tonight, shut out in Minnesota, that’s two shut-outs in a row!
Early walk in the desert, very foggy this morning! Quite unusual for Tucson. As the sun came up we were enveloped in the fog, unable to see any of the mountains!
Nancy had he Spanish class this AM and I did my weekly cleaning. We were thinking of going to the Fry’s in Green Valley for the senior discount day, but decided that we really did not need enough groceries to make it worth the drive.
Had lunch at BK Tacos and then stopped at Walmart and Lowes - still looking for lampshades. A stop at Walmart Neighborhood Market for a prescription and the few groceries we did need and then back home.
Tucson Yoga first thing this morning and when we got home we took a late walk in the desert. Starting to get warm and we saw the first flower of spring in the desert. Took a look at the small saguaro that we found two years ago - it has almost doubled in size!
In January of 2013 it looked like this:
Now it looks like this:
Spent the afternoon just relaxing and hanging out.
Walk in the desert this AM and then we went to the County Highway Department to pick up the safety vests for next Monday’s road clean-up. Not sure how much there would be so we took the truck - turns out that 40 vests and 40 trash bags fit in one bankers box!
Nancy spent the afternoon studying here Spanish and I finished up a Jack Reacher book that I picked up a couple of days ago.
Blackhawks won in overtime tonight, played a little bit better game, but it was Crawford’s goal tending that kept them in the game to the end. Hope they do not run into Winnipeg in the playoffs, the Jets are 3-1 against the Hawks so far this season.
Nancy headed out first thing this morning headed to the H. F. Coors first Saturday sale with Angel. She picked up several more bargain pieces. I cleaned up the truck a bit. We decided to hit Beyond Bread for lunch (and dinner!), then a quick stop at Trader Joe’s and then Albertson’s and back home.
Nancy studied and I finished cleaning up the truck, then we just relaxed.
Back to cool nights and beautiful sunny days again, 45 this morning and mid 70s during the day. A delightful morning out in the desert, then our usual Sunday fare of CBS Sunday Morning. This time though it was followed by a Blackhawks game at 10:30 AM! Actually we delayed it on the DVR and did not start watching until 11:30 - that way we can skip the commercials and zip through the between period talking heads. Blackhawks had the best game of their long road trip and beat St. Louis 4-2. The last 10 minutes of the game with a 1 goal lead (fourth goal was open net) was probably the best they have played with a late lead this season.
Nancy spent most of the afternoon working on income taxes and I helped with digging out the numbers from Quicken. Pizza and Downton Abby this evening!
Road clean-up day! Nancy has been working hard getting things organized and it went off without hitch! We had 41 people volunteer to help and everyone pitched in to get it done safely and quickly. We started at 10 AM and the mile to the East of San Joaquin Rd was done by 11:30 and the mile West (where we had fewer people) was done by Noon.
I used the truck as something of a protection for the workers, sitting on the shoulder between them and the oncoming traffic, with eight LED tailights I can set up a fair warning to traffic. Along with a couple of volunteers in pick-up I drove up and down the stretch picking up full bags and distributing water.
Late in the afternoon we went in to the city for the UA Science Lecture Series. Stopped at a place called The Fix that features various Mac n' Cheese dishes beforehand, OK and interesting, but nothing to write home about. Tonight's lecture was "Life on Earth: By Chance or by Law?" Turns out the answer is "Yes?." Verey interesting presentation and one that we could actually get our head around! Once again a fukk house.
Out in the desert this morning we found our first blooming flowers! These are really tiny. This is a close-up at full zoom:
This is actual size, with Nancy's finger tips in the frame:
Stuck around home today, just relaxing. Replaced a Pressure Pro sensor on the truck, the last of our original set with are close to 10 years old. Closed the cab curtains and covered the tires.
Nancy met with her Spanish study group while I just relaxed. Nice to have a day without running around.