With our arrival at Rincon Country East RV Resort for 2 months, we were starting our longest stationary stay of our new life. We had been looking forward to our stay in Tucson for a long time. We have friends here, both of June’s brothers and their wives would be visiting and Lynn and Julie were also coming. The day we arrived the party began, dinner with Robert, Trina, Kent and Maureen. Always so good to see my brother! The following day included a visit to a private non-profit observatory, continuing on to a lovely dinner in the old copper mining town of Bisby. Since Robert was in Tucson working, we would only get to see him in the evening. The next day found us very busy preparing for a moonlight potluck dinner that Robert and Trina were hosting at Molino Basin, a small camping area on the way up to Mount
Lemon. Our contribution for this feast was our pulled pork that we make in the crock pot. ( We are cooking more, and getting pretty good at it! ) ) We arrived early to set up and secured a lovely spot where we set up the generator and had lights aglow. There were about 20 people, with lots of food and drink, but unfortunately it was cloudy so we never really saw the moonrise 🙁 Nonetheless it was another successful party! It was now time to start enjoying some of the beautiful hiking in the area. So the next day the 4 of us went out to Blackett’s Ridge and did a nice hike, followed by another great home dinner party at the home of some long-time friends, Ted and Lori Hewitt, and their adorable gold-a-doodle, Cooper. Good friends, good food, makes for a great time! Tucson is the home to many different things to do. Next on the agenda was a tour of the mirror lab, which makes mirrors for REALLY big telescopes! It was pretty amazing stuff, and they were working on 3 mirrors, so it was pretty cool to see them in the grinders and in
the oven. Trina’s mother arrived today, so she joined us there. We had to occupy ourselves during the day the next day so of course we got on our bicycles and went for a ride, it felt great! We had purchased an Annual National Park Pass knowing that we would be doing a lot of cycling in Saguaro East National Park here in Tucson. Our resort was 12 km away, so we cycle there and then there is an awesome 13km loop within the park. We loved this loop, we did it very often!!! There is a hard hill right in the middle, and then a great downhill ride! You literally are cycling right in the middle of the beautiful Saguaro cacti! So gorgeous! For supper that night we were all invited to dinner at the home of some more long-time good friends, Toni and Charlie. The
theme for tonight was a presentation of our slides from Africa and T&C’s slides fromm Egypt ( which were fascinating ) Another great night, with great people!! Did I mention how many different things there are to do in Tucson?? Our next excursion was a drive up the beautiful Quinlan Mountain to Kitt Peak National Observatory, the home of 24 optical telescopes and 2 radio telescopes. Robert used to work here and still has contact with many colleagues , so of course we had a nice private tour of the telescope he used to work on. This is the telescope where Robert and Vicky discovered a comet and he also discovered one on his own, pretty cool! It is a beautiful view of the surrounding area and seeing the scopes high on the mountain is gorgeous! Barb had to catch a plane to go home so we headed back down the mountain and dropped her off. We continued on back home and had a nice quiet evening starting to plan our trip to Scotland and Ireland in July/August. A tearful good-bye, but we will see them before we know it!
So…that was just the first week!!!
Like I mentioned earlier re-connecting with friends was an important part of the reason for coming to Tucson. We enjoyed showing our new home and practicing our cooking skills with Kent and Maureen, Ted and Lori and Toni and Charlie. Many fun and entertaining nights were spent with Toni and Charlie, at their house or ours, playing board games, in particular, Forbidden Desert, which is an interesting game where everyone works together and everyone either wins ( lives ), or loses ( dies ). We never lived, so we have to play more when we return next year!
Meeting new friends has been so much fun in our travels and Tucson did not disappoint!! We met our new neighbours within minutes of arriving and Greg and Trisha were truly the most wonderful neighbours we could ask for! So helpful, they made us feel “at home” immediately. Once we rolled our motorcycles out of the trailer, there was a knock on the door from a fellow Harley rider, Chris, inviting us on a ride with “the Harley Gang” from the park. We ended up being so busy, it was the only ride we did with the gang 🙁 Chris and his wife Roberta ,we found out, were golfers and were kind enough to take us golfing and another wonderful friendship began. When Larry was carrying our clubs through the park ( our trailer was parked at the back for the first 2 weeks ) another gentleman noticed and struck up a
conversation. Jimmy is an avid golfer, so another golf relationship was born! Many golfing outings brought many more friends – Peter &Doreen, Kathy, Lorne, Tom, Dave, and another Larry. So, those are our Harley and Golfing friends. On our way home from one of our many bicycle rides, we came across a gentleman heading the same way and it turned out he was in the same park as us, Tom then showed us the “back door” entrance. Another new friend! Tom invited us to join him on a ride up Pistol Hill, which was a fairly long, uphill ride for the first 20km and when we stopped for a rest ( at this point he had kicked our ass up this hill) he informed us that he was 74!!!!! He is an amazing cyclist. We did several more rides with him, including a beautiful moonrise ride through Saguaro National Park. It was also funny because we ran into him many times while out doing our own rides, we felt like locals! Earlier in our travels we had learned about this sport called Pickleball ( kind of like a cross between tennis and badminton ) but, had never played
it. Well, at Rincon, they had a very active group of players. Through our friend Tom, we met Gary, who invited us to join in the fun of pickleball. The play started at 9am everyday ( to early for June, so only Larry played ) and Larry became a regular and enjoyed it a lot. We are now proud owners of our own paddles and several wiffle balls. Another wonderful bonus of this park was, there were lots of dogs!! 🙂 When we would arrive back home we always did a lap around the inside perimeter of the park which was the dog section. This is how we became best friends with Bear and Wags, and Ok I guess their owners, Bob and Ann are friends too! We would stop almost every day for June’s “dog fix” and became quite attached. They even invited us out on a very enjoyable hike with them! Turns out they are headed to Lake Havasu City when we are there, so more on them later.
With all of our new friends the Holidays were quite enjoyable! We enjoyed a lovely x-mas eve at Peter and Doreen’s with about 30 people, drinking and singing songs. Christmas Day found us at the auditorium at the resort along with about 150 people, lots of good food and socializing! New Years Eve was another big party and we danced the new year in, lots of fun!
Animals are also a very big part of our life, and here at Rincon, we made MANY new 4 legged friends! To numerous to mention them all, but just know we enjoyed everyone of them! One night June was outside of the RV and heard something up in the palm tree, and looked up and a great horned owl flies right over the RV and lands in another tree behind us. Unfortunately, we never saw it again 🙁 The other bird that was very abundant was hummingbirds! They were amazing and everywhere. What was so great, was they would actually sit in a tree, or on a feeder for long periods of time so you could actually SEE them, it was awesome!
Our next visitors, were Lynn and Julie. We specifically had saved some touristy things to do for their visit, so we had a very busy agenda planned! On the first day we took it easy and went for a drive through Saguaro Ntl. Park to show them the cacti, and then a short hike to loosen up the muscles! The next day took us to the town of Tombstone, which is known for it’s wild west history and was one of the boom towns of the American Frontier-best know for the gunfight at the OK Corral. Julie was happy to find some beautiful south west jewellery to purchase as well! Then on to Bisby for a short train tour into the old copper mine, which was cool and fun! We also enjoyed a lovely Mexican meal with excellent margarita’s! The following morning Lynn joined Larry in pickleball and another player was born. A hike was in order for today, so up we went to Blackett’s Ridge, what a great hike and the weather was sunny and warm! We certainly earned our Mexican food we had for dinner that night! As I mentioned before, lots of different things to do here, so off we went the The Titan Missile Museum. This preserved Titan II missile site, officially known as complex 571-7, is all that remains of the 54 Titan II missile sites that were on alert across the United States from 1963 to 1987. All I can say was that it was pretty interesting. On the way back we stopped at the Mission San Zavier del Bac, A National Historic Landmark, it was founded
as a Catholic mission by Father Eusebio Kino in 1692. It was quite beautiful and we had a very interesting short tour with a great guide. The day was finished off with dinner at a downtown restaurant called Maynard’s. The next day found us out at The Biosphere which is an American Earth system science
research facility located on the outskirts of Tucson. It serves as a unique large-scale experimental apparatus housing seven model ecosystems with active research by teams of multidisciplinary scientists. We enjoyed a guided tour and it was quite fascinating. In the evening we had purchased tickets to a University of Arizona men’s basketball, and we were all very excited to get there!! They are ranked at the top of their division and they did not disappoint us! What an exhilarating game! Our seats were right behind the basket and the student section, so there were lots of shenanigans! Our last day we saved for the Desert Museum. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a world-renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden, all in one place. Exhibits re-create the natural landscape of the Sonoran Desert Regions with more than
300 animal species and 1200 kinds of plants along almost 2 miles of paths traversing 21 acres. When it closed we sat at the edge of the parking lot and enjoyed a gorgeous sunset over the desert and mountains. The day was finished off with a fun dinner at Bison Witches, a great downtown sandwich place. A great way to finish off the visit the next day, was to get out and do a nice hike and enjoy the beautiful sunshine. Our week with our good friends was over the next day and it was quite sad to see them drive away 🙁
A few days later Peter and Dianne came to stay with us, yes they stayed in our home for a week! There were many dinners out with friends as well as a few dinner parties in the RV. We met friends of theirs Mike and Eva, and went out to their place in Green Valley for a lovely night. Since we had attended a men’s basketball game, we thought we should go see the women play. We had GREAT seats, 15 rows up at centre court! While the men’s game had been sold out, there were only maybe a couple thousand at this game, quite a contrast! It was a great week and it was really nice to spend time with them.
Our time in Tucson was coming to an end. We needed to get ” on the road again” or else we would never leave! We thoroughly enjoyed our time here and we have already booked our stay for February and March 2019!!!