Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sunday Near Tucson

 Sunday morning I traveled from Scottsdale, south past Tucson.  Along the way were bales of newly picked cotton all piled up together into the size of about a freight container…evidently going to market.
I was to meet my old school pal and college roommate, Sharon McCoy Lyons, at the Desert Diamond Casino in Sahuarita...south of Tucson and on I-19.  I left the van there and she provided a tour of the area including information on the pecan trees, plants, birds, and each historical item as we drove down I-19 to the Tumacacori Mission site.  This was the northernmost mission of the Jesuit expansion.  Serving the Pima and other Indians, the contact was first made in 1691.  Although there was work done on the church and community, they had many difficulties:  disease, Apache attacks, Spanish politics, war with Mexico and cold winters.  It was finally abandond and now is a National Historical Park. We toured the ruins but not before enjoying the outdoor fiesta held nearby.  Booths surrounded the stage where Aztec dancers in all their plumage danced to a drummer; and mariachi bands played.  There were basket weaving demonstrations and other crafts of several Indian tribes.  After that we went to Tubac, formerly the site of the mission’s garrison but now know for it’s colorful art shops.  
I should explain that Sharon is a retired school teacher who is a wealth of information.  She and her husband have wintered in the area for six years and we had dinner at their lovely home in a Del Web community.   She had about two days worth of suggested tours and maybe I’ll do them on my way back through.  Right now I’m feeling anxious to hit the road.
That night I dry-camped at the Casino which has plenty of parking places around the back edges of the paved lot.  It’s open 24/7 and has several restaurants and buffet.  Although I didn’t eat there, I picked up  cold drinks at the café.  The security people are very friendly.  
Monday morning…off early to a nearby shopping center for breakfast; a hair cut/wash/fluff, and lots of fresh fruit at Fry’s. 
Hitting the road…driving  east.


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