Tucson, Usery & Sedona

April 2 – 24, 2019

In the interest of getting caught up I’m going to breeze through the next few posts letting the pictures tell most of the story. We’re in Alaska now and I’m wanting to share our adventures here but first more of our travels in the southwest.

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Campsite at Gilbert Ray

After five months stationary at Palm Creek, we decided to ease back into the traveling life by heading to one of our favorite parks, Gilbert Ray just outside of Tucson. As we were driving to our site we saw a few other Airstreams, one of which I thought I recognized. Sure enough it was Jen and Mic. We met them at the 2018 New Year’s rally at Picacho Peak. We had a nice time chatting and meeting their new dog.

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Can’t beat the views at Gilbert Ray!

 

We took one hike in Saguaro National Park. The thing about hikes in Saguaro is they all seem the same. The scenery never changes, though I do like the endless saguaros in all their comical forms that seem to be waving at you, or high-fiving, or dancing.

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These saguaros look like they’re lined up waiting for a bus. 

And on this hike we had an endless variety of wildflowers in bloom, plus one rattlesnake crossing the trail.

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Rattlesnake crossing

Enough excitement, lets go sit and enjoy the sunset views some more.

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Our week seemed to fly by and soon it was time to move over to LazyDays KOA Tucson. We used this as a base to explore. First up was dinner out to celebrate our 20th Wedding Anniversary. We tried a hip new spot, Tito & Pep. The best part of the whole meal was the dessert—scoops of chocolate ganache with whipped cream and orange zest. Yum!

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All dress up for our dinner out.

We had lunch at El Charro Cafe and then walked the Turquoise Trail. The train depot was interesting and I loved some of the architecture, but the whole part south of the convention center was just rundown. The little shops around a courtyard at Old Town Artisians were cool.

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We also drove to Tumacacori National Historical Park to see the mission. It was an interesting stop.

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The entrance has huge carved wooden doors.
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The Franciscan church built around 1800 but never completed is in pretty good shape.
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Demonstrations of traditional tortilla include samples.

Then we headed off to explore nearby Tubac, an artist town. 

Next we headed north again. This time to Usery Mountain Regional Park just north of Phoenix for one more visit with our daughter before heading off for the summer. I enjoyed the trails and distant views of the Superstition Mountains.

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Notice the arrow pointing the way to Phoenix just in case any of those pilots up there are lost.
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The sites here are huge!

Then we had a return visit to Sedona. Last time we only had a couple of days, but this time we booked a week at Rain Spirit RV Resort in Cottonwood. It’s a newer park with close together sites just off the road. It wasn’t the greatest, but it wasn’t the worst either. 

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The site had a nice patio with some views.

It was close to the small town of Cottonwood so we went one afternoon to walk around and have a happy hour date at the taco spot. Another day we drove to the old mining town of Jerome to explore.

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Checking out the old mine “elevator” and other equipment. 

And of course we had to take a hike through the red rocks.We made a loop from the Jordan Road Trailhead by taking the Brins Mesa trail to Soldier Pass to Cibola.

We wandered Tlaquepaque, an area of shops and restaurants in a sort of old Spanish village.

And we visited Tuzigoot National Monument…

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Montezuma Castle National Monument

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and Montezuma’s Well.

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We sure packed a lot into one week! Next up Lake Powell.

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Beautiful sunset in Cottonwood.

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