Thursday, December 27, 2018

Fall in Tucson

Tucson Lazydays KOA
Tucson, AZ
Oct. - Dec. 2018

Joe and I made what we thought was going to be a quick trip to Tucson back in early October turned into a three month stay.  Joe needed to see the dermatologist for a spot he had on his left temple.  We spent weeks trying to get him in to see a dermatologist in Grand Junction, but it was just not meant to be.  

As it turned out, Joe had 5 MOHs surgeries (one requiring a skin graft) during the month of Oct.

In addition, he had 2 cataract mid November and the other mid December.  In-between, we found a few fun things to do.

Tucson Village Farm...Harvest Festival
TVF is a working urban farm built by and for youth in the community.  It is a program of the Pima County Cooperative Extension and the University of Arizona.  The goal is to connect and teach youth how to grow and prepare fresh food.  
A 4-H member helps a child plant wheat.
Local 4-H members were on hand to answer questions and help with the events during the festival.    

Volunteers picked corn and shucked it. Lots and lots of corn for popping !

Madera Canyon 
Translated "Lumber Gorge" the canyon is located about 25 miles south of Tucson in the Santa Rita Mountains.  We have hiked here several times over the past 6 years years.  

We chose the trail that begins just past the entrance station and followed Madera Creek to the Whitehouse Picnic Area...a little over 3 miles in and out. 

We were surprised to find water at the waterfall.
Sabino Canyon Recreation Area 
Sabino Canyon, located at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains, offers some of our favorite hiking trails.  On our first visit this trip we hiked to the dam via Bear Canyon and Sabino Lake Trails.  
Fairy Dusters were very showy !
Sabino Creek Dam,bridges,and picnic tables all built in the 1930s.

It was lunch time for the Roadrunner !

Sabino Creek
 Our second visit this trip to Sabino was on Christmas Eve.  We meandered the Esperero and Rattlesnake Trails enjoying the gorgeous weather.    

 Wreaths Across America
Each December The Wreaths Across America program is carried out at various cemeteries at over 1500 locations across our nation to honor our deceased military veterans.   A short ceremony is followed by volunteers placing wreaths by each headstone in the cemetery.  Joe and I attended and volunteered to lay wreaths here in Tucson.  It was a moving ceremony which included all branches of our military being represented...including two WWII veterans.

We helped many other volunteers lay about 2000 wreaths.  

Catalina State Park
Catalina State Park sits at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains. There are 8 trails in the park varying in length and difficulty.  Joe and I have enjoyed them all.  This visit we chose the Canyon Loop Trail.  The trail is pretty flat but close  to midway you reach about 90 steps.  This time we chose to  go counterclockwise so as to go down the steps rather than climb them.  The rim offers amazing views of the mountains. 

And the canyon follows a creek... 

with lots of green...

 a sleepy tree...
and a crested saguaro.

 Tucson Botanical Gardens
The Gardens is an urban oasis not to be missed when visiting Tucson.  This beautiful gem is located on the site of the historic Porter property on Alvernon Way.  We have strolled the walkways during the day several times so we decided on a night visit to see the Christmas luminaries...     

 and over 30 illuminated silk sculptures.   

 Tucson Mountain Park
The Brown Mountain Loop Trailhead can be accessed from Brown Mountain Picnic Area or from McCain Loop Road.  We lucked out and parked at McCain Loop Road.  Lucky because the climb up the mountain had lots of switchbacks and some pretty big rock steps...we'ed rather go up steps like this and not down them.  This was a new trail for us and what a beauty it was !  What we thought was a 3.5 miler turned out to be  5.5 miles (oops !). We both had very tired feet when we finished, but it was so worth it !  

 We only have a few more days in Tucson.  Next up, San Diego for the month of January.  I'm really looking forward to some ocean time and seafood !

Until then, take care and ...






  1. So glad to hear from you guys again! Your photos were great! Were you happy (for Joe that's not quite the word is it??) with the dermatologist? Would you mind sharing his name?

    1. Thanks Janna! Yes we do like our dermatologist. She was recommended by Joe's oncologist 4 years ago. Her name is Dr. Hu and the office is Specialists in Dermatology.

  2. Wow - I had one MOHs done on my forehead which resulted in two black eyes and I thought that was miserable. Sure glad that's over for Joe. Lots of wonderful pics. Happy New Year.

    1. Thanks Sandie! I remember when you had your MOHs Sandie. Joe has had about 12 of these surgeries in the past 4 years, but this was the first time he had 5 in 2 weeks...he was miserable!

      Hope you and Jim have a Happy New Year...

  3. Hoping everything is finally on the mend for Joe.
    Lots of wonderful pictures and ideas of where to hike.
    Be Safe and Enjoy San Diego!

    It's about time.

    1. Definitely on the up side of things with Joe...thanks! Tucson and surrounding area has some of our favorite hiking trails Rick and Kathy. I do love the desert!

      Happy New Year!

  4. Fran and I had the initial thought seeing Joe's profile ... Wile E slipped on the Slick Rock! So many great photos of your hiking opportunities. Hope to catch up with again in San Diego.

    1. Thank goodness we can't blame those stitches on WileE. Bad judgement in his younger days and chemo are the cause of so many of these MOHs surgeries. The hiking in this area is totally awesome Jeff. You and Fran would love it! We are so looking forward to San Diego...hope to see you and Fran!

  5. Merry Christmas to you two! Sounds like Joe has had a heck of a stay in Tucson, thank goodness he has been able to get out and enjoy the scenery. Wishing you both a happy and healthy 2019. It's too bad we will miss you in San Diego...we're just spending 10 days over Christmas. If you pass through Prescott in 2019 make sure to get in touch with us for a visit!

    1. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and Hans. We will be heading north sometime in March...I will be in touch! We would love to see you both and hike one of those awesome Prescott trails !

  6. Glad to hear from you again and after all this hope things go well for you'll and especially Joe.

  7. Sorry to hear about all Joe's difficulties but sounds like he is on the mend. Glad you found a dermatologist that you were happy with. Sounds like you found lots of interesting places to help fill your time. Sweet to see so many flowers. All the rain Tucson had certainly has brightened the desert. Thanks for sharing photos of the puppies!! Enjoy your time in SD.

    1. Thank you Pam. I sure am looking forward to some beach time with the puppies and some awesome seafood.

      Happy New Year to you and John !

  8. Dang Joe! Glad that's behind you now.
    That green grass and dew is amazing - wonderful to see moisture in the desert. You even had a waterfall! Your photos are all gorgeous (and cute). Love the yawning old tree :-)