Tucson Wrap-up

Once again, the winter season has flown by! Tomorrow we head out on our 2021 West Coast loop! Although many venues here were COVID-closed, we did manage to get out and do some sightseeing. I’ll share some of the highlights.

We visited several interesting museums during our stay. I already wrote about our visit to Biosphere 2. Another unique display was at the Titan Missile Museum, located just south of here. A guided tour takes you through an honest-to-gosh missile silo, complete with a (non functional) missile. The tour guide explains the detailed shift change procedures, life while stationed in the silo, and the sequence of events required for a launch. Jeff even got to push the launch button! It’s not a long tour, about 45 minutes, but it is quite interesting.

We also toured the Pima Air and Space Museum. There’s not many “Space” exhibits, but there are hangers and acres of airplanes of all types and vintages. It included everything from small kit-built hobby planes to a Presidential 747. There were commercial and military aircraft of every era. During non-COVID times, there are docents and guided tours, including a tour of the enormous airplane “boneyard”. We just wandered around and looked at a whole lot of planes. If you are an airplane buff, you’ll be in heaven! I got airplane overload after a while.

Organ Pipe National Monument lies a couple of hours southwest of Tucson, adjoining the Mexico border. The distinctive organ pipe cactus is abundant in Mexico, but only grows in the US in this area. The park has several hiking trails and scenic drives. A downloadable nature guide allows for an informative, self-paced driving tour of this beautiful area.

Of course, the Seguaro National Park is right here in Tucson. We did a fair bit of hiking in the park, as well as in nearby Sabino Canyon Recreational Area. I’m not necessarily a huge fan of the desert environment, but I’m warming up to it after this winter’s experience. The environment seemed rather brown and dead when we arrived, but a few winter rainstorms caused the area to green and even bloom. The rains caused seasonal waterfalls to flow, which was quite exciting! Seeing water flow in the normally dry desert seems almost miraculous.

Of course, the best part of our stay has been meeting some fantastic people and making new, great friends. We have exciting plans for this year, but we’ll be back in November to rejoin our friends and continue exploring the Tucson area.

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