Apr 13th, 2012 | By | Category: Senior Travel

Beckers’ Second and Third Days in So. Arizona

We left Kartchner Caverns and continued driving south to Tubac having heard from senior friends that it was an artist’s colony and worth a visit. We discovered that Tubac was established in 1752 as a Spanish Presidio…that’s a really fancy word for fort, which I didn’t know.  The village remembers this colorful history at the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park with a museum that brings to life days of long ago. Here senior visitors could easily spend a day wandering amongst the wealth of paintings, sculpture, ceramics, photography, leather, crafts, antiques and jewelry shops…all hosted by the working artists whose studios fill the village. jeb found a cigar and I a bar of soap for my sister.  We’re big shoppers as you can see.

Leaving Tubac, we returned to the southwest side of Tucson, to the area bordering the Saguaro National Park where our room at the Desert Dove Bed and Breakfast was waiting for us.  What a wonderful choice my husband made with this B&B!  Harvey and Betty were ready for our arrival.  They showed us to our room, invited us to enjoy their outdoor garden, gave us a map of the park and told us how to get to our restaurant for dinner.  I was already looking forward to coffee in the morning and some time in the garden before breakfast.

We drove a couple of miles and found ourselves in the Saguaro National Park, surrounded by a lush, green desert…that sounds rather oxymoranish to me…however lush green desert is exactly what it was.  Although I doubt it stays this green or lush very long.  Several of the cacti were flowering and there were trees and more green than brown color in the desert.  Of  course, lots of saguaro cactus, but we learned not nearly the number there were years ago.  It’s a lovely drive through the park.

These Seniors Introduced to Adobe Brick

El Charro Cafe was our choice for dinner and we enjoyed delicious Mexican.  I was anxious to get to bed so I could enjoy the garden in the morning and I was not disappointed.  Coffee was served at 7:30,  jeb and I filled our cups and followed Harvey out to feed the birds.  These seniors sat contentedly for an hour until we were called for breakfast.  Betty’s breakfast was great and during our meal, we learned about the adobe brick home their architect son designed for their B&B. I’d not seen adobe brick before and found it fascinating.

We said goodbye to Harvey and Betty and headed for Biosphere 2.  In July 2007, The University of Arizona assumed management of the facility and the ongoing experiments conducted there.  Biosphere 2 contains re-creations of five of Earth’s biomes, plus a human habitat and a large ecological experiment facility.  We walked through a rain forest, a desert and descended into the ocean viewing gallery.  We saw where the team of scientists lived for two years and heard about the work they did and experiments they conducted.  It is an engineering marvel and worthy of a visit.

It was time to head home…we brought the scenic highway 79 so that we could stop at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument if in fact we were able to get there before it closed.  We’ve been wanting to  visit these Hohokam ruins and were so happy that we made it in time to stroll through, not rush through.  Another fascinating culture with just enough ruins remaining to peak one’s curiosity and interest.  So many questions remain about these “First Masters of the American Desert,” as Archeologist Emil Haury called them.  In 1892, the Casa Grande Ruins became the nation’s first archeological reserve.  To this day, the Great House keeps within its walls the secrets of these ancient people.

The one thing I had asked of jeb when I saw our full itinerary was that we not rush.  If he felt we needed to rush through a place we were visiting, my request was that we drop something from our adventure.  I was looking for a relaxed, fun adventure, not one that was action packed.  It feels like the number of things we saw and did speaks of a very full schedule.  It, in fact, was free, easy and thoroughly enjoyable.  Thank you for letting me share it with you.  mrsjeb

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