"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Monday, January 28, 2019

A Show, A Church & A Look Out - Tucson, AZ

Tucson, AZ
Dustin Diamond J RV Park

Even though we've been to Tucson a few times over the years, there are a few things we still haven't been able to do.  We couldn't get into Catalina State Park this time and we didn't want to take a chance on FCFS at Gilbert Ray, so we took the recommendation of our RV friends, Greg & Cori of The Restless Youngs and made a reservation for two weeks at the "Diamond J". 
While Cori prefers the sister park next door because of the extra frills, we are really enjoying this park for what it is.  Clean, quiet, nicely landscaped, decent spacing and facilities.  Full hookups with laundry is all we really care about in a private park.  We rarely stay at them, but it works great for our 2 weeks here with my brother and sister-in-law.
There are several very nice hiking trails that lead right out of the park.  My brother and I usually go out each morning with the dogs while the spouses are working.
Hungry critters enjoying this cactus. (L)

The clouds made very interesting patterns in the deep blue sky.
Small labyrinth.
The fruit of the Barrel Cactus is edible.  Tried it, didn't like it.  Somewhat bitter, even without the skin.  Maybe in a couple of weeks it would be better?
There was a Hamburger Night in the park with entertainment so we brought a side dish and sat for a while, enjoying a fantastic sunset.  The variety of food was amazing and delicious.
Me, Steve, Steve and Diane.
Another night we drove a few miles into the town of Tucson to see the Retro Game Show in the old Congress Hotel.  We also got this recommendation from Cori.  They have seen many of the shows put on by Tempest DuJour, the “Delicate Flower of the Desert.” She is Tucson’s largest drag queen with a hysterical sense of humor. Definitely not your Grammas game show! Fun night!
Wyatt Earp, Steve and Doc Holiday
After a great dinner and the game show, we walked across the street to get a geocache that just happened to be at the location of the shooting of Frank Stilwell by Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday.  We love the history of the Earps and have been to many locations they lived, fought and died at while fulltiming.  More of Stilwell's death HERE.

One place that we never made it to was the Mission of Xavier del Bac.  A National Historic Landmark, the mission was founded as a Catholic mission by Father Eusebio Kino in 1692. Construction of the current church began in 1783 and was completed in 1797.  Also known as the White Dove of the Desert.
More of the history of this mission can be found HERE.

Extensive renovation has been done inside and outside of the mission.
You can see the cross that sits on top of the hill next to the mission.
The ceilings are made of Saguaro wood. (L)  The grounds are nicely landscaped (R) 
There is a beautiful outdoor patio with a fountain that overlooks the valley.
The west tower at the San Xavier Mission stands in contrast to the eastern one, which has been in disrepair for many years. The overall mission has needed extensive restoration over the years.

In 1939, lightning struck and destroyed the 18th-century lantern atop the west tower. It was rebuilt out of common house brick and mortar and rebuilt again 2007 using threaded fiberglass reinforcing rods in the minitower legs so that metal rods would no longer attract lightning.

The Grotto of Lourdes
 A view of the valley below.
Looking down at the mission.
The cross at the top of the hill.

One of those RVs that look like they came from the Australia Outback.
After the mission we took a drive up to Sentinel Peak for a little hike to the top.  Sentinel Peak is a 2,897 foot peak in the Tucson Mountains.
We thought the rules were interesting.  While beer drinking and firearms are ok, loud music and glass containers are not.
Please Do Not Disturb Others With Loud Music?
They aren't doing so well with the loud music.  Play the video to hear what was coming out of many of the vehicles in the park.  There was also smashed glass everywhere.  Shame.
A small memorial near an overlook.
Goofin' off.
Some interesting cactus growth up here.
A view of Tucson from the top.
This rock was sitting on a bench at the top.

Beautiful sunset from up here!
Goodnight Tucson.


  1. With the places you like to go. Be sure and check our Thong Chull nature park.


    1. I just stopped by your blog and saw the Bear Trail. One we need to do. I'll check out the nature park next.

  2. We have never taken the time to explore Tucson. Not sure why. But I especially like your cloud pictures.

    1. So much to do in this area. It's taken a few years and we still can't fit it all in.

  3. We went to that church a few years ago. We thought it was beautiful, interesting and strange all at the same time and we are Catholic.

    1. We really enjoyed it too. The carvings and paintings were just a bit different from the usual paintings, tile and marble.

  4. The Tucson area has a ton to offer. How did the Snyder's Hill area look? Very brave trying the cactus fruit! We attended the Retro Gameshow last time we were there, it was hilarious!

    1. Snyder Hill was pretty packed! I don't think I would've wanted to be there with the heavy rains we had! I heard about your attendance at the game show!

  5. Our first winter we found Justin's and the White Dove of the Desert. Such a beautiful place. Lots of interesting things to do in Tucson, the Titan Missile museum, Kit Peak Observatory and of course Pima Air Museum, don't know if you done any of them but we enjoyed them.

    1. So much to see! Those things you listed elude us again. Not enough time! Next year for the rest of it.

  6. Such a mix of nature and history. The comedy show sounds like a riot. Also seems like another Tuscon trip is in your future since you couldn't get to it all this time around.

    1. The comedy show was so funny. Yep, so much to do in this area!


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