"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

Saturday, February 2, 2019

The Desert Museum & The Biosphere 2

Tucson, AZ
Dustin's Diamond J RV Park

We finally were able to go to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and it was very well done.  It's a combination zoo, natural history museum, botanical garden and art gallery which reflects the plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert.

 Lots of very happy Prairie Dogs playing in their habitat.
 Many birds to see.  Great Blue Heron Above.  Not sure what type of bird that is below but look at that wingspan!

  A restful spot with a great view.
 The coyotes were very active and howling for us.

 The Javelina's were also out and about. 
 The Raptor Show was pretty good too.  First the Raven flew all around.  There was a Great Horned Owl and Redtail Hawk that flew all around us as well with their trainers nearby.  
 The otters were playfully swimming and showing off.
 I've not seen a Black-Bellied Whistling Duck before.
  I think I liked the cactus, plants and flowers the most.  The shapes, colors, textures.


The Totem Pole cactus is my favorite.
Some early blooms.
A Crested Suguaro
We had lunch at one of the cafĂ©'s.  The drinks were good, especially the Prickly Pear Margarita.  The food was so promising, but it didn't have much flavor.
  The Big Horn Sheep were hanging out soaking up the sunshine.
 It was nap time for the wolves.
The bear was hiding inside his shelter so we didn't see him, but this squirrel was happily munching away on his lunch.

 Just these large paws were visible on the Mountain Lion who was also napping away.
 There were small reptile and salt water exhibits too. 
 Garden Eels swaying in the current. 
My and my brother, Steve.
 Afterward we took a short drive up to The Gates Pass Overlook.

 Beautiful view of the desert below.
On Sunday the storms came in and it was very rainy and windy.  We thought an indoor day at the Biosphere 2 would be a great way to stay dry. The Biosphere 2 facility serves as a laboratory for controlled scientific studies.  There are several types of tours, we too the general tour for $20.  Since we had the Tucson Passport which gave us 1/2 off admission here as well as many other Tucson attractions.  RV friend, Cori, told us about this great savings.
Just inside the door was this huge crystal display. Pretty awesome.  It was over 3 feet tall.
So what is the history of the Biosphere 2:
It opened in 1986 to research and develop self-sustaining space-colonization technology. There were two missions, between 1991 and 1994, where Biospherians were sealed inside the glass enclosure to measure survivability for two years.  Behind this highly public exercise was useful research that helped further ecological understanding.  The property is now run by the University of Arizona. I had heard all about this as a young kid and it fascinated me.  I was thrilled to be able to visit it.  It's a fascinating place.
 This is the ocean area that opens up to a transitional Savannah.
 The warm and humid Rainforest.
 They are running some experiments about Aquaponics in the desert. 
 After the Marsh is the Desert environment you see above. 
There is a huge agriculture area where crops were grown as well as the Lung Habitat that does all the "breathing" for the facility.  Truly an amazing thing to see.   Our first week in Tucson has been busy.


  1. We visited both of these cool places when we were in Tucson during our first winter on the road. Look forward to revisiting them again one day.

    1. It was nice to see them again. Our Biosphere's tour wasn't as well done as it was the first time. We still enjoyed it though.

  2. Great pics! We've been to both...they are so worth a visit.

    1. We've been to both as well, but it's been years. Really neat places.

  3. Loved the Desert Museum when we visited but haven't been to the Biosphere yet. Was it worth going?

    1. If you knew anything about the Biosphere growing up with several people locked inside for 2 years self sustained, how could you not find it interesting? I LOVED it! Especially if you get a really good guide. I think the history tour would be fun to do too. They seemed to talk more about current/future experiment with UofA. I'm more interested in the crew that was sealed in.

  4. We stop by the museum whenever we are in the area. Good to see you picked up the passport, nice savings in there!

    1. The Passport was indeed a great savings! If we had another week we would've taken the quad out and done more hiking.

  5. Sounds like some pretty neat adventures. I followed the link to read more about Biosphere 2. I could easily spend a few hours there taking a couple of the tours. Thanks for sharing this as I don't remember hearing about it previously.

  6. I always recommend Desert Museum, it think it is well done and great intro for those who has never been to the desert.
    Glad you finally made it to those two attractions!

    1. We've done Biosphere before but not the Desert Museum. I agree with you, well done. We really enjoyed it.

  7. Just realized I missed this post! Love the flower pics! We need to get to these 2 places - we missed them last time!


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