United States
Pima County

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90 travelers at this place

  • Day155

    Food usw. ohne Fleisch/mit Fisch

    March 22, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Es gibt tatsächlich auch anderes als Sandwiches (= Brot + etwas), Burger (= Brot + etwas), Bagels (= Brot + etwas) und Tacos. Allgemein scheint die Devise zu herrschen: Weshalb kochen, wenn man es abholen kann.
    Etwas Neues habe ich wieder gelernt: Jesus sagte, um gesund zu bleiben müsse man Fleisch essen. Das stehe so in der Bibel. Die Person, die mir diese Bibelstelle zeigen kann, bekommt ein tolles Nachtessen von mir😋!
    Read more

    Brigitte Leuzinger


    Christina Bandyk

    And because breakfast is the most important meal we like to eat gummy bears😁 da hast du es dir aber kulinarisch gut gehen lassen in einem der Länder mit den grössten Gegensätzen wie Massentierhaltung versus vegan-raw-food oder Jesus against vegetarian😂Sicher spannend! Geniess deine Reise mit allen Sinnen!


    Monika Esseiva


    Nächste Station? da bin ich gespannt, denn du bist immer wieder für Überraschungen gut!

  • Day101

    Old friends

    October 5, 2020 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 73 °F

    Today, Glenn and I drove south of Tucson to Green Valley and Sahuarita to visit with Jean and Clayton for lunch and Janet and Dick for dinner and a swim in their pool.

    We are blessed to know both couple.

    Janet and I were at Moody Bible Institute together and even served on the Moody Alumni board together. Jean is from Dallas and I were in the youth group together with her daughter Kathy. We enjoyed our visit and go caught up on life and how God has been faithful.
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  • Day53

    Day 53 - We have picked up a BUG!

    June 13, 2019 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 33 °C

    Woke up at 7.30am feeling decidedly groggy & wandered out into the garden in just my boxers & flip flops. It was a pretty sight!

    I wanted to jump in the pool, but couldn’t because there was another dead mouse in it. Instead, I had to wait for Jackie to wake up to deal with it. When Jackie finally woke up she dealt with the mouse & then declared she wanted to get as much clothes washing done today as possible.

    There was nothing for it, I whipped off my boxers & went skinny dipping. Now I wouldn’t normally mention this, but it was over half an hour or so later (& with a slightly pink backside), that I went in for a shower & to get dressed. Ten minutes later, I went back outside only to discover that in that time, the pool maintenance guy had been, done his thing & gone. I must have missed him by minutes, if not seconds!

    We then drove back to Tucson Airport for our date with Enterprise Car Rental. We went to the Returns Office & discovered that Steve who we had dealt with yesterday was off & had not left a note to say we were coming in for a convertible. This was not boding well.

    We explained our situation to the very lovely Pamela, who informed us that company policy did not allow them to rent convertibles out that were going one way to the East Coast. Brilliant, Steve should have told us this yesterday. Pamela then came up with a brainwave & enquired if there was a convertible at their depot that was due to be sold off. There was, a Mini Cooper & Pamela said she could ‘accidentally’ sign it out to us. This was sounding better!

    While we waited for the Mini to be delivered, I tentatively asked how much this would cost & she asked what we had been quoted. I cheekily piped up that Steve had quoted $1400 for a Mustang. She said she could beat that for the Mini & she could get under $1200, she also then gave us an Emergency Services Discount that saved us over $50. We were happy.

    Pamela & I then went out to our Nissan to get the mileage, which worked out that we had driven 4677 miles in the 30 days we had it. Whilst in the parking lot, we came across a new bright red Volkswagen Beetle Turbo, which she had forgotten about. We were now getting on like a house on fire & she said that might suit us more as it had more room & she’d let us have it for the same price. I told her she would get a special mention in my blog!

    We waited until the Mini Cooper arrived & compared the two convertibles. There was no comparison, the Beetle was newer, but more importantly much larger. Pamela went off to sort out the paperwork while we swapped our bits from the Nissan to our new wheels.

    Pam (she wouldn’t mind) came back with the paperwork, I signed it without really checking it & we were good to go. She had also updated the computer & paperwork to say that we could just return our VW to JFK Airport on the day of our departure, 33 days later.

    We were really chuffed with our new deal, it wasn’t much more than we had paid for the Nissan Sentra for 30 days, which we thought was a good deal. Not forgetting Hertz wanted $10,000!

    Next we rang Charlie who invited us to his work place to look at the Rolls Royce 747. Charlie drove us out to the aircraft only to discover that airport staff had closed the door & moved the steps away. Hopefully we will board it tomorrow instead. Anyway, whilst at the 747 we were able to walk underneath it & study the undercarriage. We sat in the engine & in the tug & had a bit of a photo session. It felt quite a privilege to get so close to the aircraft.

    Feeling generous, we offered to visit Tobacco Barn, a drive-thru tobacco shop for Charlie. It is on an Indian Reservation & much cheaper than supermarkets, I think because they don’t pay tax. Anyway we joined the queue of 5 cars & waited to be served. Apparently most of the customers at this time of day are gamblers picking up their fags on the way in to the Casino.

    Whilst in the queue, Jackie for some reason decided to check the paperwork that Pamela had given us. One sheet was an invoice for $625 for the last car. NO, surely Pamela hasn’t stitched us up with an additional one-way charge for the Nissan Sentra. Now all flustered we bought our cigarettes then drove to Walmart car park to sus out this payment.

    The paperwork definitely stated we were being charged $625. We weren’t having this. I rang the phone number on Pamela’s business card, but it put me straight through to a generic help desk. Anyway, I eventually spoke to a real person & I gave her my reference number. I expressed my concern about this additional payment & was informed that the $625 was the total payment for our 30 day one-way trip in the Nissan Sentra. The lady on the phone told me that we were due a refund of over $700. I don’t know what she did but we love Pamela, I feel guilty for ever doubting her!

    We popped into Walmart to enquire about chargers for our laptop, we shouldn’t have bothered, the lad was more than useless. We cruised home & spent several hours chillin’ in the pool. Charlie got home at 5.00pm & at 6.30pm we set off for darts. We did liberate a Ground Squirrel that had got caught in the traps about half a mile down the road.

    A 20 minute drive in Charlie’s truck took us to a little dive bar called LB Saloon on the outskirts of Tucson. What I loved about it is you would never go there unless you knew someone.The venue was a proper locals Sports Bar & it was lovely to see whites, blacks & Mexicans really enjoying themselves together. As always, everyone loved the Queen’s English Accent & loads of people were keen to talk to us, including Smiley & Dwight. Apparently I was the long lost cousin of a bloke at the bar & the barmaid went giddy over my accent!

    There were 7 dartboards lined up in a row & 3 pool tables at the end. We sat & watched Charlie trounce his opponent, Jim, 13-2. I think I could have beaten Jim. Charlie peppered the treble 20, with 180s & 140s.

    It was Single’s League Night & Jim didn’t have a chance. Charlie wasn’t happy because he won 13-2 & lost concentration because his opponent was so poor. By 9.30pm we were back home, Charlie went straight to bed & Jackie called it a night at 10.00 pm.

    I stayed up writing my blog knowing that the next stops required my attention & it was too hot to make a name for itself. What a great day!

    (I am now reading this the following morning & realise I probably had a beer too many last night , because I have no idea what I was trying to say in the above sentence!)

    Song of the Day - Beetlebum by Blur.

    Bonus Song of the Day :-

    Charlie Boy by The Lumineers
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    Angela Bambridge

    Probably a combination of beer and feeling a bit giddy over the lovely Pamela!!! xxx

    Simon and Jackie Annals

    I think you are right. Just one more night of drinking & we’ll be back on the road again xxx

    Pam Harris

    All Pamela’s are lovely!!

    5 more comments
  • Day55

    Day 54 - US Air Force are Thieving C*#%s

    June 15, 2019 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 22 °C

    You win some & you lose some. Today we definitely lost some. If I had been writing this this morning I wouldn’t have put the symbols in.

    Got up at 7.30am & waited for Jackie to get up & make me a sausage sandwich. At 8.30am, I rang Charlie & he delivered the bad news that we couldn’t get on board the Rolls Royce 747 jet today, that was a shame.

    At 9.30am we set off for Pima Air & Space Museum & our “Boneyard” AMARG Tour. We arrived at Pima Air & Space Museum at just before 10.00am & went to the ticket desk to announce our arrival. The girl at the desk asked for our passports, then looked our names up on the manifest, but they weren’t there. It would seem that the US Air Force still hadn’t processed our vetting application, so we weren’t going to the “Boneyard”, despite having already paid $20 each for the tour.

    To say I was furious is an understatement. I had applied for the tickets 16 days ago & sent our vetting forms as soon as they asked for them. They require just 10 working days to process them, so why they weren’t done in time we don’t know & apparently we will never know. We should get an email when the vetting has been done. I enquired if we could reschedule our tour until after the vetting was done, the answer was just “No”. Thanks for that.

    The ticket girl, definitely not a Pamela, was not empathetic enough for our liking. She just kept repeating that it was not her decision, it was the rules of Davis-Montham Air Force Base. The only thing she offered were directions to where we could view the “Boneyard” through the fence.

    It could not have been more disastrous news. The “Boneyard” was supposed to be one of Jackie’s Top 3 highlights of our whole trip & we had diverted our whole route to visit the “Boneyard” on this day.

    We entered the Pima Air & Space Museum & heard an ex-military volunteer shout out that he was about to start a free 45 minute walking tour. Well, we were definitely going to get our money’s worth & by goodness weren’t we glad we did. Our guide was genuinely called Don McLean & he was utterly brilliant. The tour was a brief introduction into the technological advances in aviation in 70 years from its conception to the present day.

    The tour started with an accurate replica of the Wright Brothers plane that took the 1st recognised flight on 17th December 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. He showed us the smallest jet plane, the smallest single winged plane & Bi-plane. The aircraft were improved as a safety or performance related need, but more often than not it was conflicts & war that created the technological improvements. Don showed us about 15 planes & explained the significance of each one, finishing with the Blackbird that had a top speed close to 2,500mph. He had fascinating anecdotes for each one & the people who flew them, including several women!

    The planes included aircraft actually used in some famous movies. The world’s smallest jet was featured in Octopussy. The jet fighter from Top Gun. The world’s most dangerous plane, one in eight people that flew it died. Also, a Rutan Long-EZ, the experimental aircraft that John Denver was flying when he crashed in Monterey Bay in 1997. Denver apparently was an alcoholic, he had had his pilots licence revoked & was flying illegally at the time.

    At the conclusion of the tour which lasted well over an hour, we & the other visitors gave Don a round of applause. It was so good I had almost forgotten about the “Boneyard”. Don walked off & whispers started circulating that Don was doing another tour in Hangar 3 at 11.30am. There was no way we were missing that.

    At 11.30am, pretty much the same crowd were ready & waiting for Don. This tour was all about Aviation during the 2nd World War. Again an absolutely enthralling tour with lots of intriguing anecdotes. We both thoroughly enjoyed it. What “Boneyard” tour?

    We continued the tour of the Museum solo, then went out into a dusty outside area with hundreds of different aircraft. We started at helicopters, did bombers, reconnaissance, fighter jets, rescue aircraft, VIP aircraft including Air Force 1 used in the Kennedy era & all sorts of other weird & wonderful planes. It was over five & a half hours later that we finally left the Museum.

    Our next stop was that bloody “Boneyard”. We went to the two roads we had been given, E Irvington Road & E Escalate Road, where we were able to stop & take photos through the wire fence. We convinced ourselves that this was better than being driven around the site in a 52 seater coach. We would just like our money back!

    The fun didn’t stop there. We went to McDonald’s for a cheeky burger, 2 for $5 plus a frappe. As we left, I spotted an exit. We fought our way through a kids party & opened the exit door only for a siren to start up. We were the centre of attention, one mother said ‘Just go’. We did, with the alarm ringing in our ears, we walked fast up the road without looking back.

    We walked to Best Buy with our computer to sort out our charging issues. Very soon it was established that my iPad charger isn’t powerful enough & hadn’t charged the MacBook. If we wanted it to charge during our trip, we would have to buy a new charger. How much, $70 for the charger & $20 for the cable. We bought a charger, but they price checked Amazon $60 & we didn’t need the cable.

    We got back home & asked Charlie what he want to do. He fancied going out as he didn’t go out that often. We got ready & got a Lyft down town to the Trident Grill 2. Maddie (Madison) was our waitress, we had several pitchers of beer & a bit of food. All very nice, another locals bar, another experience.

    When we got back, we had a music play off with a few strong cocktails. It must have been strong, because Jackie went to bed leaving Charlie & I to it.

    Song of the Day - Leaving on a Jet Plane by John Denver.
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    David Byng

    Have you actually moved in with him ?

    Simon and Jackie Annals

    Leaving today in Doodle, not a Jet Plane! Next time you are at the US Embassy you can tell them what an absolute disgrace there boneyard tour bookings are & I want my money back

    Angela Bambridge

    Nice wheels! X

  • Day48

    Day 48 - Indian & Airbnb Reservations!

    June 8, 2019 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 24 °C

    By 10.30am we were out & on the road again. Literally next door to us was the Mesa Arizona Temple, which apparently was set in stunning gardens, but not today. It was a building site.

    We headed east to Apache Junction, then headed northeast on Route 88 (N Apache Trail). Our 1st stop was Superstition Mountain Museum, which had an indoor Museum requiring payment, but a free 15 acre outdoor area with a large collection of Cowboy & Indian exhibits. We chose just the outdoor option & strolled around the collection of buildings & machinery. This included our 3rd ‘Boot Hill’ Cemetery. A sign warned of the wildlife to beware of - Rattlesnakes, Scorpions & Tarantulas, which focused the mind on where you stepped!

    As with all these types of places, it had been used as a film set for numerous (29) Westerns, then known as Apacheland Movie Ranch. Pride of place was the Elvis Memorial Chapel which figured prominently in the Elvis Presley movie “Charro!” Superstition Mountain Museum was a very enjoyable stop & it was free.

    A mile up the road we stopped again, this time at Goldfield Ghost Town. It was big & brash & felt like you were at an Old Western Theme Park. There were numerous old buildings, but the inside were designed to part you from your money, whether it was gifts, food & drink, shooting galleries, horse rides, dressing up photos or train rides. Jackie, last of the big spenders, bought a bag of Guatemalan Worry Dolls for $2.

    We continued up the road, which was another scenic byway. The road was mountainous (possibly something to do with the Superstition Mountains) surrounded by the cartoon looking Saguaro Cacti🌵. The road took us past another little western town, Tortilla Flat, through Tonto National Forest & beside Canyon Lake. It was all vivid yellow, green & Blues & may have been my most favourite of our scenic drives!

    I intended to next visit Geronimo Surrender Monument, but when we got to the turning the road was a dirt track, which we had made a decision to avoid so we didn’t damage the car. So on we continued for just a short distance until the tarmac on our road stopped. This became the scene of a disagreement, because the sign said that the road was a dirt track for the next 22 miles.

    After I had agreed to drive VERY carefully, we continued. What the sign didn’t say was that the dirt track would take us up & down mountains, the track would be extremely narrow in places & more often than not a sheer drop on one side without any barriers. It took about an hour of total concentration, but we came out the other end unscathed. Just a brilliant driver, I guess!

    Having past Apache Lake & Salt River, we arrived at Theodore Roosevelt Dam, which was completed in 1911 with the loss of 41 lives. At the time it was the largest masonry dam in the world, measuring 280ft high & 723ft long. It created Roosevelt Lake, which for a short while was the largest artificial reservoir in the world.

    Now back on tarmac & time ticking on, we raced south down Highway 188, then west on Highway 60 until we arrived at the grandly named town, Superior. I’m surprised it hasn’t been taken to court under the Trade Descriptions Act, because it appeared to be nothing more that a scruffy little Highway town. The only thing of note was it had ‘The World’s Smallest Museum’ or so they say. We took a photo of the outside & moved on swiftly.

    Next was the town of Florence which is in the middle of nowhere & full of Prison Complexes. Florence Prison was built to replace Yuma Prison, we visited the day before. Florence Prison had a gallows, but now been replaced by a gas chamber. It has housed lots of terrorists & gangsters from Al-Qaeda, Japanese Red Army, the Mafia, White Supremacists & most notably for me, Oklahoma City Bomber, Timothy McVeigh.

    Just down the road on Highway 79 was a rest area at Tom Mix’s Death Site. He lost control of his speeding Cord Phaeton convertible and rolled it into a dry wash (now called the Tom Mix Wash) in 1940. He was actually killed by his luggage in the back of his car, dubbed “Suitcase of Death”. There were newspapers cuttings & a Memorial to Tom Mix, who made 370 full length Westerns & Jackie signed the guest book.

    From here, we rushed on to our home for the next 7 nights, it is an Airbnb house in north Tucson & our host is Charlie. After getting in some supplies from the local Safeway, we sat & drank (too much & played darts) into the early hours. Hence the late Blog & no details yet about Charlie & his house & wonderful garden.

    Song of the Day - Apache by The Shadows.

    Bonus Songs of the Day :-

    Superstition Mountain by Yuma
    Geronimo by The Stereophonics
    Charlie Don’t Surf by The Clash
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  • Day50

    Day 49 - Hungover in Paradise

    June 10, 2019 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 25 °C

    Jackie woke me up at 9.30pm. I felt ropey after too many beers & homemade limoncello drank into the early hours. Charlie, our host, was up, but went out at 10.30am to play a darts match.

    We are staying in a 3 bedroom bungalow belonging to Charlie, which is very nice, but the garden & pool are absolutely stunning. It is paradise in Arizona.

    Charlie our host is a 46 year old single Englishman who works for Rolls Royce as a mid-flight aircraft engineer. He was originally from Derby & has lived out in Tucson for the last 6 years. He bought his bungalow 4 years ago & has spent a lot of time & money making it into a fabulous place particularly the garden. The property is located in a rural northern district of Tucson in the Catalina foothills affording fabulous views of the Catalina Mountains.

    The private garden has a pool, waterfall & is full of cacti & bird feeders that attract a constant stream of birds & other wildlife. Beyond the garden wall, Charlie owns the immediate surrounding land & that is full of cacti & small trees. I’ll save details of the flora & fauna for another day.

    Charlie (Charles Harrison) likes his darts & is ranked 27th in the USA & plays in tournaments all over the country. Last night after a few beers we took him on at darts, but even with a head start we couldn’t complete when he was hitting 180s.

    It initially seemed weird staying in someone’s house when they live there. We have exclusive use of 2 bedrooms & a bathroom & shared use of the rest of his house. It means that when he is out at work or darts, we have the whole place to ourselves & it genuinely feels like paradise.

    Charlie was out all day until gone 4.00pm, so Jackie & I just wallowed in & by the pool. It wasn’t without incident, a hummingbird feeder for no apparent reason fell of its hook & smashed, I sat on a lilo Jackie had been on all day & it popped & sunk, but worst of all a dove flew into the glass door & died.

    When Charlie returned we broke the bad news to him, luckily he was in a good mood, because he had won at darts! Jackie & I then went out to Walmart, where we bought 4 new lilos for Charlie & I bought myself some swim shorts & flip flops.

    That evening Jackie cooked a delicious Cottage Pie, which we all had, then we just chilled in the garden with a beer. Perfect!

    Song of the Day - Paradise by George Ezra.

    Bonus Song of the Day :-

    No Doves Fly Here by The Mob
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    David Byng

    Looks like paradise.

  • Day50

    Day 50 - Jump in the Pool

    June 10, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Woke up early & sat at the table & chairs by the bird feeders. There was a constant stream of birds that are attracted to the seeds & sugared water.

    My favourite are the Black-Chinned Hummingbirds, but we have a whole family of Gambel‘ s Quail complete with 12 chicks, Northern Cardinals, Red-Tailed Hawk, Northern Mockingbird, Pine Siskin, doves, woodpeckers, house finches & sparrows & many more. Too many to mention or identify!

    We also have a resident Desert Spiny Lizard & it’s mate, ground squirrels & rabbits. Coyotes are regular visitors, but we have only heard them not seen them & occasionally a Bobcat passes through.

    Jackie got up at 8.00am & announced that there was a dead mouse in the pool, I left Jackie to deal with that. After breakfast, we plonked down on our sun beds & lilos and literally did nothing, apart from wash the car.

    The only thing of note is that at lunchtime, we had a solitary beer each, then stupidly decided it was a good time to doing some star jumps off the diving board. Jackie did 3 or 4 while I tried to capture a decent photo, but unfortunately it had the effect of shaking up all the beer inside her. She went queasy & just made it to the bathroom to throw up. I think there is a moral to this......

    The day had been a positively pleasant 95 degrees with just the odd wispy cloud (I imagine it is similar in the UK being the middle of June!). Around 6.00pm, our sunbathing was rudely put on hold by a dark cloud that drifted over & watered the garden for half an hour.

    Charlie & I finished up the Cottage Pie, whilst Jackie had salad. We had a glass of wine & a relatively early night.

    Song of the Day - Jump (For My Love) by The Pointer Sisters.

    Bonus Song of the Day :-

    Hummingbird by B.B. King
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    Jonathan Annals

    Ooh, think I just spotted a European Great [Fat] Bustard!

    Simon and Jackie Annals

    I’ll tell Jackie you called her that. Or did you mean I was soaring gracefully like a bird of prey?

  • Day52

    Day 51 - Cacti or Cactuses, You Decide!

    June 12, 2019 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 23 °C

    Another glorious day in paradise. Sat, wrote my blog & did a bit of twitching in the shade under the trees. Charlie had put a trap out in the cactus field to try & catch the animal digging holes next to his cactus. I had a look but it was still empty.

    After breakfast, we did the square root of f*** all on a lilo in the pool. By midday the temperature had hit the mid 90s. At lunch, an ice cream & apple turnover, I checked the trap & saw that a ground squirrel had been caught. I decided to leave it for Charlie to liberate when he got home from work, apparently he drives a couple of miles down the road & lets them go.

    I then conducted a field study of the different species of Cacti or Cactuses (both are used) in his garden & grounds. I have identified a few small Saguaro Cacti, Jumping Cholla, Golden Barrel Cacti, Prickly Pears, Buckthorn Cholla, Agave & Totem Pole Cacti.

    During the afternoon, the temperature increased to 104 degrees & we could feel the sun burning our shoulders. At 4.00pm we called it a day in the sun. Whilst Jackie was showering, I checked on ground squirrel 🐿, only to find him dead. Poor little bugger!

    After getting ready we drove to Fry’s, the local supermarket. It seemed cheap, but after using the self checkout, we were shocked at how much we had spent on effectively booze & suncream. Apparently you needed a loyalty card to get the discounts.

    We dropped the shopping back at 4400, N Ave Del Cazador, then set off for Mount Lemmon in the Santa Catalina Mountains to hopefully witness a fantastic sunset. It was a one hour drive to the top, about 37 miles. Just before we started climbing, we saw our 2nd Coyote of the trip. It was a mangy looking bitch that nearly managed to evade my camera, again.

    The lower section of the Santa Catalina Mountains was riddled with the wonderful looking Saguaro Cacti, but we continued upward on the Catalina Highway toward the over 9,000 ft summit. At the top was Mount Lemmon ski resort which was pretty much closed for the summer & had no view of the sunset because it was in a small valley.

    We drove back down the way we had come, occasionally stopping for a photo until we reached Windy Point Vista. We parked up & scrambled over the rocks to find a suitable spot to sit to watch the sunset with the dozens of others, mainly college aged kids, plus a young couple all dressed up for wedding or prom photos.

    Windy Point Vista has a great outlook over the Santa Catalina Mountains & Tucson below, but as the name suggests it is blowy. At just under 7000 ft, it is also a lot cooler, which felt damn cold in just our flimsy tops. Someone told us sunset would be in about 20 minutes so we huddled together & waited patiently. Sadly it was a bit of a flop.

    We drove back down the mountain arriving home at around 8.30pm for chicken wings & beer.

    Song of the Day - Cactus by David Bowie.

    Bonus Song of the Day :-

    Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset by Luke Bryan
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  • Day53

    Day 52 - Not More Bloody Cactuses!

    June 13, 2019 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 24 °C

    The same start as the last couple of mornings. I got up & waited for Jackie. She got up around 8.00am, we had breakfast, then got ready & dressed to give our appearance an air of respectability. Tough ask!

    Around 10.00am we set off for Tucson International Airport to try & broker a new hire car deal. Tomorrow we have to return our hire car & need a new car, Jackie is insistent that it is a convertible. As we arrived at the Airport we saw the Rolls Royce Boeing 747 that Charlie works on.

    We headed for the Enterprise car rental returns office & spoke to the duty manager who was very helpful. They didn’t have any convertibles in, but 3 were being returned the following morning. He looked at his computer & after we had kept banging on that we needed a decent deal, he reckons we could get one for $1600 minus 5 or 10% discount. We told him we would back tomorrow at midday.

    We then went into the Airport Terminal, where there were 7 car rental company desks. We queued & spoke to each & everyone of them with our request to hire a convertible for 4 weeks & drop it off in New York or somewhere on the East Coast. Just in case they could improve on the Enterprise quote. Most didn’t have any convertibles available, Budget had a Chevrolet Camaro for just over $4000 & Hertz quoted us $10,000. Ridiculous!

    We drove out of the car park & turned the wrong way. Weirdly we drove past Charlie & a colleague who were out having a walk. After stopping for a quick chat we set off to the other side of Tucson & to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. The entrance fee is slightly steep, $21.95, but it has everything you could imagine that exists in a Desert. Great for Desert aficionados! I was also impressed that it has stations to fill up your water bottles everywhere & sun cream in the restrooms.

    We started off in the Aquarium, which had exhibits mainly from the Colorado River, then the Reptile Hall with it’s Rattlesnakes, Tarantulas, Scorpions & Chuckwallas. The Museum main route then headed out along paths into the desert to different exhibit areas.

    Next was a Cave area followed by an Ancient Arizona area neither of which were that exciting. Next was the Mountain Woodland area which promised to be my highlight. 1st was the Mountain Lion, after much searching we finally espied it’s tail & one leg poking out of a rock crevice. The Black Bear, Gray Wolves, Mule Deer & Western Screech Owl had all gone missing. The only other thing we saw here was the backside of a sleeping Porcupine. It is probably not the best time, (middle of the day in the summer), to visit a wildlife / zoological park, BUT we’d paid our money, they could have made an effort!

    On we went to the Desert Grassland, which I don’t even remember, then the Desert Loop Trail, which is 800 metres long. We were supposed to see Coyotes & Javelinas, but guess what..........zilch. It was hot in fact it was the hottest day of the year, 107 degrees.

    In the Cat Canyon we only saw the back of a sleeping Bobcat & in Riparian Corridor we saw a River Otter & Bighorn Sheep, but no sign of a Beaver. In the Walk-in Aviary, we saw mainly ducks & doves & in the Hummingbird Aviary, just a couple of brown hummingbirds that were camera shy.

    One of the highlights for me, was the Cactus Garden & Pollination areas, which were exceptionally well set out. By this time, Jackie was overheating & Cactuses had lost their appeal.

    I then left Jackie in the shade at the entrance, but not to be defeated I went back to the Mountain Woodland area. My perseverance paid off because I came face to face, albeit through glass, with the Mountain Lion & the Wolves were howling from their hiding place.

    It was over 3 hours later when we returned to the oven (car), then drove just a couple of miles to Saguaro National Park, where Jackie uttered the immortal words. “Not more bloody cactuses”. Firstly, it was free with my Parks Pass & I was searching for the perfect Saguaro Cactus, apparently fruitlessly, because they all look the same.

    We drove around the unpaved Cactus Forest Loop Drive getting our nice clean car all dusty again & admired the sea of Saguaros. Before we knew it we had completed the Loop, so I popped into the Visitors Center to get my glossy brochure, then it was straight back home over W Gates Pass Rd for a much needed beer.

    While Charlie & Jackie prepared, then cooked food on the fire pit for a Traditional Arizona BBQ, I agonised over what my Song of the Day would be. Our BBQ was lovely, perfectly cooked T-bone steak, sausages, burgers, sweet peppers stuffed with cheese & wrapped in bacon, potatoes & courgettes, washed down with a drop of wine & beer.

    After a few drinks, the conversation turned to music & when I pushed Charlie to name his favourite band, he said “Spear of Destiny”. Wow, I didn’t see that coming. That was it, we then had a music session where I gradually took more & more control of the playlist (as I always tend to do, apparently!).

    Song of the Day - Saguaro by Hacienda Brothers.

    Bonus Songs of the Day :-

    Take Me I’m Yours by Squeeze
    Never Take Me Alive by Spear of Destiny
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  • Day32

    So You Think Your Cactus!

    October 19, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    The country we’re in reminds us of those silhouettes of a sleeping Mexican, sombrero pulled down, leaning up against a cactus as part of a decorative house number on a 60’s fibro beach shack.
    Those were much better than the giant metal butterflies people used to stick on the side of there place, they were real shockers.
    Actually my favourite is the swan carved out of an old car tyre especially if they went to the trouble of painting eyes and a red beak on it.

    All that stuffs pretty good but now to be amongst the giant Saguaro Cactuses in the Sonoran Desert is something special. We’ve seen that type of cactus shape cliched so often that now, driving through a desert where your amongst thousands of them it feels very surreal especially in the early morning and late afternoon light, they’re huge and spectacular.

    FUN FACTS ABOUT: Saguaro Cactuses
    Have to be 65 years old before they grow their first flowers so they’re probably the only species where you get a 64 year old virgin unless you’ve got a big L tattooed on your forehead.
    They have to be 90 before they grow their first arms and live to be about 200 years old. They probably make that age because no one wants to mess with them, the spikes are vicious. Except for Woodpeckers, they drill holes in them and live there. Now that’s real Darwinian, imagine how many inaccurate pecking between the spikes woodpeckers these big boys would sort out.
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    jan brown

    Spot the virgin!

    jan brown

    Not sure whether it was these or some other type of cactus that the Velcro guy got the idea from....he got sick of getting his Levi’s snagged, worked out why they got snagged all the time, copied the cactus spikes with little hooks on them, and the rest is history...bet the Mexicans are cranky they missed that one as well. So far they’ve missed out on oil and Velcro royalties....and they have to pay for a wall.

    jan brown

    Ooooh....more virgins!

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You might also know this place by the following names:

Pima County, ፒማ ካውንቲ፥ አሪዞና, مقاطعة بيما, Пима, প্রিমা কাউন্টি, Condado de Pima, Pima maakond, Pima konderria, شهرستان پیما، آریزونا, Piman piirikunta, Comté de Pima, Pima, okrug, Pima megye, Պրիմա շրջան, Contea di Pima, ピマ郡, 피마 군, Pima Kūn, Hrabstwo Pima, پیما کاؤنٹی, Comitatul Pima, Округ Пима, Pima Kontluğu, Піма, پیما کاؤنٹی، ایریزونا, Quận Pima, Condado han Pima, 皮马县