Tuesday, March 28, 2006

March 17th. St. Patrick’s Day we spent sightseeing south of the casino toward Nogales MX. We toured Tumacacori National Historic Park. It is a mission that was founded by the Jesuit’s in 1691.It was the most northern frontier of the Spanish colonial empire. After the Jesuits were thrown out of the area the Franciscans attempted to convert the Pima native people to Christianity. We then drove 3 miles north to Tubec where we toured the Tubic Presidio State park. It was AZ’s first state park and is at the site of the fort or presidio as the Mexican gov’t called their forts. It had a very informative museum.

We got a bite to eat at a restaurant. Corned beef and cabbage, of course. Walked around the town which is very artsy and had many high priced crafts etc. We then drove north of our casino parking area to Mission San Xavior. It is a beautiful Catholic church/mission that is in the process of being restored. It was founded in the 17th century. The interior has very vivid colored paintings all over the walls and domed ceilings. Over 50 statues. The bright colors attracted the natives to the church and thus to Christianity. We then went into Tucson as Bob had a nail in one of the tires. He needed new tires before we started our trip so bought them now. We did a Wal-Mart run and headed back to the Casino for more gaming. We feel our nightly contributions of $5 or less if we win is worth the cost of our camping free. Tonight there was live music at the sports bar so we danced a little. When the band took a break we went to the slots and got to play for several hours. Bob lost $4 and I left $2 ahead. Cheap evenings entertainment.

March 18 and 19 We moved to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument west of Tucson about 100 miles. Stopped at a casino for a break and lucked in with a free BBQ lunch. While at the park we drove the 21 mile loop and saw incredible views of the mountains and lots of cactus. The Ocotillo and brittlebush were blooming. Saw a hawk with a white breast but can’t find it in our bird book. We also did runs to the duty-free store but no Agavero tequila. So we each bought bottles of our other favorites, Bailey’s and DeSarnno. Had a visit from a Win man who I had signed up when I was in Oregon Labor Day weekend. Tom White Eagle. In the park there is also a couple of Wins we met at Quartzsite and when we first pulled into the visitor center there was another couple who are staying up the road near Why. Small world with so many friends on the road.

March 20. Made a quick run for the border and another liquor run then back to hitch up and we moved to Gila Bend and the Elk’s lodge. Bob shifted this truck boxes as the new one didn’t fit right in the back of the truck. That was pretty much an all afternoon project. Social hour in the lodge where we found we didn’t have to make a camping fee donation as Bob is being installed to the Elk’s tomorrow night.

March 21. We drove to see petroglyphs art Painted Rocks State Park. Then drove out on the desert to see the Butterfield Stage trail. The area has been trails for many different cultures. Indians, Spanish trail from MX to San Francisco, 49er’s, Mormon Battalion and the stage. The stage ran from St. Louis to San Francisco and took 22-24 days. The cost was $200 and the trip ran 24 hours a day except for brief stops for the horse changes. And we thought we had to ride a long ways. That’s rough. But then I don’t believe any of the passengers were in their 60’s. Back at the lodge we went in for a delicious meatloaf dinner. Then Bob was inducted with 13 others. When I was inducted here last year I was one of 80+ and couldn’t see a thing. So this was interesting.

March 22. We moved from Gila Bend to Casa Grande. While we were on the road to go to Florence to stay at the Elk’s Lodge there I wanted to drive by the SKP park to show Bob who had not been there. We decided to stay there for 2 nights. Since the first night per rig is free and it’s $2.50 per night after that boon docking we ended up spending $2.67 for use of 2 spots. His for 2 nights and mine for one. We did a major grocery shop at Walmart as we were headed to the a remote place for a week.

March 23. Bob went in early to get his taxes done. I am too poor to have to file anymore according to last years tax man so I stayed at the park and did the laundry. Got a phone call from LaMesa with good news and bad news. The motor home was ready to be picked up but it wasn’t repaired. After a week waiting for the part it arrived was put in and the same problem occurred. The have the engineers at the manufacturing plant for the jack looking into and it will be repaired in the fall after it is taken out of storage. On our way into get the motorhome we stopped for a walk around tour of the Biosphere 2. We didn't have time for the underglass tour but will go back to do that if it is still there. A developer is sueing to have it torn down as it is spoiling his view.

March 24. We relocated to Roosevelt Lake east of Phoenix to join the WINS on the last event of the winter season. Kayaking and hiking are on the agenda. We also will finish organizing the two rigs for our summer travels in one. More next week about that.

The pictures are Biosphere, Donna with a saguaro cactus over a hundred years old, Bob and Donna with an organ pipe cactus, and the Tucomcora Mission.

Donna and Bob

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