Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tubac, AZ

Tucson/Lazydays KOA
Tucson, AZ
February 5, 2016

Last Friday, we headed south about 40 miles with Lynn and Dave to enjoy a little history, art and lunch.  Our destination was Tubac, AZ which is the first European settlement in Arizona.  It has one of three presidios in Arizona...the only site where the story of New Spains's presidios can be adequately told (tubacpp.com). 

Arizona's second oldest school house
Our first stop was the visitor center at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park.  There we watched a quick informative video about the history of the area

followed by a self-guided walking tour.

The park maintains the second oldest school in Arizona (listed in The National Register of Historic Places) and was the first Arizona school supported by public funds.  The first teacher was hired in 1878 and earned $30.00 a year.

The presidio was built in 1752.  An under ground archaeological exhibit showcases the original adobe foundation, walls and floor of the officer's quarters.

The museum offers a timeline of human settlement in the Santa Cruz River Valley dating back to the Pima Indian settlement in the 1500s.

 The Spanish mined this area for copper, gold and silver.  Th pictured arraster is a primitive system for crushing ore.   

I also had the opportunity to grind cocao beans (native to Mexico) on a metate (a heated, slanted grinding stone) to make chocolate which I enjoyed on almonds the museum furnished.  It is important to note that all state funding has been cut off for the Tubac Persidio Historic state park and all workers are volunteers.
Our next stop was Tubac Jacks Restaurant and Saloon for a yummy lunch.  I had a Vegetarian Calabacitas (a Mexican specialty which combines sauteed yellow squash, onion, green chili, corn, and cheese) flatbread pizza with mushroom, black olive, artichoke heart and shaved parmesan...a wonderful combination of flavors! And I ate every bite!

Tubac advertises that it is internationally known as Arizona's only true artist colony There are many galleries and studios featuring sculptors, painters, potters, and jewelers.

It is very touristy...
but I did fancy all the color.

And I especially took a liking to the natives...

...who graciously led us to all the local favorites.

Until next time, happy days and happy trails!


  1. What a great stop! It is surprising how far north cocao traveled, I was surprised it is found Chaco Canyon, guess we all have a sweet tooth. Sorry to hear this great piece of AZ history has fallen to the budget ax.

    1. Me too Jeff. The volunteers have done an awesome job since 2010 maintaining the grounds, visitor center and museum.

  2. Great photo of the road runner. I always appreciate an accommodating model.

    1. Thanks Ingrid. As many times as we have wandered out into the desert, that was just the third roadrunner I have been lucky enough to photograph.

  3. Really looking forward to visiting Tubac next week after the Festival:) Making the chocolate looked like fun!

    1. I think you and John will enjoy the state park. Lots of history for John...
      The web page is very informative. There is a hiking 4.5 mile hiking trail you might be interested in.

  4. LOVE the roadrunner shots! They are such unique birds...love that you caught the color stripe at the eye! The horse sculpture photo is wonderful too!

    Grinding the cocoa looks fun, and how cool that you got to taste it! I assumed all sorts of processing had to happen before it was edible.

    1. Isn't he a beauty Lisa? I couldn't believe he Was so still. I was fascinated by the horse sculptures...there were several all made from wood...quite pricey!

  5. Looks like a wonderful place to explore and learn! Roadrunners are so funny, you really captured a great one. It is always inspiring for me to see volunteers doing such a nice job of maintaining something worthwhile. I can never understand when someone says they're bored in retirement when there's so much to be done!