We’re in Tucson.  Finally!

I don’t know what time it is.  We’ve gone through a Time Zone change and a Daylight Savings change, and then we discover Arizona doesn’t recognize Daylight Savings Time.  Between the Edmund’s GPS arrival times and the laptop’s refusal to give up Central Standard Time I feel like I’m living some sort of unhinged existence, adrift in the time stream.

But at least it’s a warm, sunshiny, low humidity existence.  Tucson is literally a breath of fresh air after the dust and wind of West Texas and New Mexico.  We’re in another “resort community” park where more than half of the spaces are occupied by semi-permanent structures called Park Models.  It’s nice—quiet during the day.  At night you can admire the stars.  In the wee hours of the morning the coyotes serenade us.

We’re here for three nights, two full days of Rest and Recreation.  At my insistence we immediately seek out an In-N-Out Burger, a California burger chain I’d heard of but never tried.  According to Google Maps there’s one just up the Interstate, only two miles away.  We hop in the car and are delighted to find, not just In-N-Out Burger but a Wal-Mart and a place for Nan to get a haircut.  Nan has been obsessed with the idea of a haircut for days now, and after we have our fairly decent burgers—I was starving, not having eaten much when I was driving—she had to run across the street to the hair-cuttery before it closed.  She dragged me along and convinced me I needed a haircut and a beard trim.  I’m still ambivalent about the beard trim.  It’s the first time somebody else has trimmed my beard and I feel. . .  scruffy.

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Arizona is magical.  The desert is exactly as I’ve always pictured it but never found it in our earlier wanderings.  The cacti are spectacular.

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My desert images as a child were formed by a mural-sized photograph of a saguaro my Uncle Gail and Aunt Anita (Ann and Sally’s parents) had in their living room wall after they returned from California.  In Tucson the saguaro (pronounced “sah-wah-ro” or “suh-wah-ro”) are everywhere, entire forests of them.

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Our first day in Tucson we went to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.  It’s on the edge of the Tucson Mountain Park and Saguaro National Park, both just a few miles West of the city.  The museum has a variety of desert life on display as well as as huge variety of cacti.

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After the museum we spent several hours wandering around the Old Tucson, a film studio-cum-theme park where hundreds of movies and TV shows were filmed, everything from Gunfight at the O.K. Corral to Little House on the Prairie.  It was eerie to see the place where so many watershed films were made.

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I managed to get a shot of the deserted main street, deserted because almost everybody was queuing up for a stunt show held in front of the Old Mission set.

Our second day in Tucson we spent hanging around the Edmund doing chores like the ever-popular dumping of the grey and black water tanks and lounging around outside, admiring the mountains.  I got a phone call from the Las Cruces RV supply store we ordered the tow package electrical harness from.  Our part has arrived—in Las Cruces.  It was supposed to be drop shipped to Las Vegas.  Sigh.  They agree to forward it on to Las Vegas.

We like Tucson a lot; the climate is perfect and there are many more things to do and see.  We mark Tucson down as a keeper.  We shall return.

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