Sunday, March 8, 2009


We're going to head out of Tucson on Wednesday, crawling up the state ending in Flagstaff when we're brave enough for 20 degree nights. This entry is mostly pure travel things I've found from referrals or meandering. A few days back we were resting and cleaning Hobox out in a wash (Western U.S. - the dry bed of an intermittent stream) and it happened to be the property of De Grazia Gallery in the Sun. The Executive Director, Lance, paid us a monitory visit. Then he saw Solomon and, being a cat person, very graciously gave us permission to park in his lot for the night. Solomon was thrilled by this because we heard and smelled javelinas. There was supposedly a bobcat who lived in the lot as well.

He referred us to see San Xavier del Bac Mission, built 1783-1797. Lance, not the bobcat. The area it inhabits, about 10 miles south of Tucson, still looks like this. Really stunning interior, and Jesus and Mary actually flank it's patron saint, who is centered on the back wall. I was told the 'Italians' have been working on it's restoration for some time.

This is the North Transept where Jesus hangs. On the architecture from the brochure: "It is a graceful blend of Moorish, Byzantine and late Mexican Renaissance architecture, yet the blending is so complete it is hard to tell where one type begins and another ends."

And here's a bizarre, relatively recent addition - a squaw wood carving clutching a crucifix near a Mary in a similar pose.

On the way to the Mission, I found this! Not the poster, but the place where it lives, the TITAN MISSILE MUSEUM.

Yay nukes! This drawing along with the mushroom cloud poster was in the working classroom section.

I have to admit, this place was bad ass, and the 75 year old female docent was still revved up and ready to let em fly on the Reds any day any time. I was so clueless, I didn't know that back in the 80s, Reagan had replaced all these Titan Missiles with Minutemen, far more deadly and fun! I didn't take the tour down into the lab, quarters, and missile silo (missile included) and I regret it now. There was a map full of similar sites around Arizona and I asked if someone could buy them and you can! (no missile though).

Real snake, fake terrain. Next up, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. I actually spent money for the first time here, though I suppose this was probably the easiest place to sneak in to. It's essentially an indigenous zoo, and I highly recommend a visit.

This is the most flirty hummingbird in the place but don't be fooled into loving her, she's just trying to make her stunningly attractive purple-headed man jealous.


And here is ground zero where kids go off the rails, a simple, elegant graphic tour of the last 6 billion years in our little culdesac of our humble solar system. I hung out in this section for while and heard endless variations of on this theme: "What's the big bang? Oh they think the world was created by a big hitting of things together. So retarded." Of course there's nothing wrong with teens full of myth, but younger kids listen wholeheartedly and I watched a lot of natural awe extinguish. It was like watching one scientist abortion after another.

Those are the official visits we've made. Random driving has turned up a lot of great sights as well.

We've been sleeping new places every night just to experiment. My worry about this finding a safe place to park and sleep being difficult is so far unfounded. We even crashed in the parking lot of a soccer park, then I got up the next day, worked a bit, noticed a bunch of fellow old people gathering, and joined them for a game (lost 3-2 but no cleats, so).
When I say sleeping, I mean lying down for a series of naps - every night, around 4, Solomon notices all manner of creatures (like the one here) getting their shopping done and he races around Hobox for the best views.

In the day time, he's picked the worst possible favorite seat while we drive. I can see fine of course, but all we need is one cop to notice (cops are all dog people).

Thanks again for visiting. Comments encouraged.


  1. So, eh... weird question, but where do you manage to do things like shower and brush your teeth?

    Also... how did you not die taking that photo of Solomon navigating?!?!

  2. And where and what are you eating-pictures please

  3. Hey man!
    It was nice to see you at soccer and at the soccer bar! Hope things go well for you. You are most welcome to call and stay over next time you are in town ! See you hopefully in Cape town!

  4. Danish, showering is brought to you courtesy YMCA when I can sneak in. And brushing teeth is simple. I do it at least once every two weeks.

    Sanjay, I will post my next feast for you!

    And zizu, fantastic meeting you, I miss Tucson believe it or not. Let's definitely cheer Drogba on next summer!