Friday, September 26, 2014

A Hike In Beautiful Saguaro National Park--Tucson Arizona

                         I might have mentioned a that a few months back a buddy of mine came to the area to visit.  While he was here we crammed in as much Exploring as possible.  Years ago we used to go on long hikes and than pull the closing shift at work.  Few other people seem to go on hikes with us more than once.  Mainly because one of our hikes seems to involve getting lost, a lot of cussing, falling down hills, and a lot of repeating the phrase "This is stupid!"   We said the this a lot on this hike.   Mostly because we found ourselves high up on a mountain-- trying to climb at about noon.  Never the best idea in the middle of the desert.  We also spend a lot of time wondering what happened to our youth and more importantly all the energy we used to have.   My wife seems to wonder the same thing.   On this day we ventured to Saguaro National Park.

We hit several neat spots on this day around Tucson.
I have a whole list of places in the area I want to visit.
And am slowly working on the list. 
As our personal bank account grows, so will the adventures. 
Across this entire amazing state!

So many trails   So little time!

I am always amazed at the huge variety of plants that thrive in this area.
And try to capture different plants in each post.

On this day -first we visited the information center. 
And than drove around the twisty roads taking in the sights.
At one point -we decided this hill would be a great place to attempt to climb. 

I am still not sure why the best hikes are always greatly up hill!

Before and after cactus style. 

Nearing the ridge. 

Some views from the top.

And some well earned time to catch our breath.
Only to loose it again from the view. 


So this whole time we kept wondering why we did not see another person on the trail.
As the sun grew higher and higher we deeply started to regret playing mountain goats.  Near the ridge --we did get some cross winds. 
My shorts were covered in tiny cactus points  almost to small to see. 
As we walked on the prickly points would work there way into our skin, not out -and to the ground. 
When a large group or even one of them connected with the skin, we would yelp out in pain and than exclaim again how -not smart this hike might of been. 
I would like to say the way back down was easier,
but time consuming because we had to wind back down the hill attempting not to fall or
touch any more cactus. 

It seemed like the more we walked --the further the car got from us. 
I was sweating so much that all of my sun screen was now in my eyes.
Making navigation even easier of course.
And at this point-- it was high noon, and the sun was just above us.
I had work later that evening and was already thinking of reasons to call in.
Top of the list could have easily been a broken leg. 

Suddenly---minutes away from the car my buddy found a sign facing the other way from us.
He rushed around to read it.
And than started laughing very loudly. .....

This was facing the parking lot, but we had by-passed it some how. 
We had seen no one else the entire time---because we were not actually on a trail.

Sorry park rangers!  

      For many more pictures of mine and Exploring please check out my Washington state page also!
    And my longest running blog page---

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Z Z Top Concert

         About a month ago on what started out to be a beautiful night, but was soon very full of rain--our oldest and I ventured to Tucson for a great concert.  I happen to work at Casino Del Sol and they give out tickets to many of the concerts to workers plus one guest.  I find myself at work during most of the concerts, because that is were the tip money is at for sure.  It just happened on this night I was off work.  A few days before, I asked our fourteen year old to Google some Z Z Top--and tell me what he thought of the classic music.  They have been playing concerts for 40+ years now, so finding the music was easy.  He liked what he heard, and was more than ready to come along with me that night.  Especially because the next day was a school day and we would be out late.  I have not been to a concert for a very long time so I was also very excited.

My camera decided to stop working before the main act.
So I am very sad to say I have no actual pictures of the seasoned bearded performers. 
This is the casino's stock picture and I hope it is fine to use it. 

At first the real show was the amazing sun set. 
It started out as a great almost cloud less night.

We found a prime spot on the bright green grass - wishing we had brought a blanket or two.

As it grew darker the clouds started to move in.
And the show again was in the sky.
With the clouds growing ever darker.
And the lightning moving in.

All the band equipment was covered just in case.

And as the opening acts came out  we thought the rain was going to blow around us.

                                                   Still dry as Jeff Beck put on a great show. 

On one of the many big screens.

As they were exciting the stage the rain started to dump down.
In fact the area was starting to flood out.
And we were soon completely soaked.
At one point we joined some concert goers by the fence line, and helped hold up a beer banner over all our heads to stay dry.

                      The beer tents were packed because they had beer and because they were covered. 

   Soon enough the rain moved on, and we could leave our cover and enjoy the rest of the show.

As I said my camera gave out before the main act.  But it was an amazing show and night. 

            Next post more adventures with my buddy while he was in the area visiting. 
For all of our Exploring please check out my first blog page  at

Much more Exploring and pictures on my Washington state blog page

And my first blog page

Please check them out.

And as always


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Pima Air & Space Museum


                    A few months ago a long time buddy of mine came through town to visit for a few days.   We got in a lot of Exploring while he was here.  Hopefully he is moving to Flagstaff in the near future, and our Exploring can continue.  Flagstaff is across the state, but compared to Seattle, much closer to me.  And between Benson and Flagstaff--so many great Exploring sights are waiting to be checked out.   We both lived in the town in the past and many other parts of beautiful Arizona, but the pictures I have from then are old---and I want to keep this blog page as recent as possible.     On this day we made it to the Air and Space Museum in Tucson.    In past blog posts I have ventured close but never have actually went inside the museum. 

Looking back at one of the many hangers to Explore.

Past visits found me outside the great fences.
One of the few places --be it the air force presence or the razor wire fences-that
I stay out of when the signs say "Stay  out!"

                    On this day we actually started out on a hike -nearby and happened to drive by part of the very large plane bone yard.   We were told at the museum that there are nearly 4000 planes here at the moment.   And that is actually a greatly reduced number.   Plane parts are used on other planes, or sold to other countries that still use such -outdated- to our government planes.  And it is actually one of the few aspects of local government that makes a profit. 

I jumped out of the rental car to snap a few pictures of the bone yard.
But these do not do justice of the massive size of this place.
It is much like attempting to take pictures of the Grand Canyon.

Seeing this sparked my buddy's interest in visiting the museum.
We had some time to kill--and he said he would foot the entrance fees.
This is an amazing museum--but tickets are not cheap.
I hope to return very soon with our boys  because they would love it!

This is the amazing greeting visitors see when they first turn into the museum.

The clouds were again amazing on this day.
All day we fought the heat hoping the clouds would bring rain.

Tons to see and learn
Inside and out of the hangers.

The main building also holds a food court and a very large shop to buy souvenirs.
Although  I am not sure how many people would wish to come to a museum to eat.
The old men /workers in the hangers are super informative on all things plane related.   And life related I am sure also.

"Professor Getty" by a missile.

Checking out the cockpit.

All paper air planes and super kool!

Cramped in a cockpit.

Super shiny!

We got to see this amazing team perform a few months back.

Replica of one of the first flyer's.

This is a very hands on museum.  And great for youngsters.

Near the above flyer is also an amazingly large collection of patches worn on flight jackets from around the world.  

I do not believe TWA exists any  more

Time to brave the heat and venture outside. 
If you are willing to pay more--you do not have to walk, and get a guided tour.

Several presidential planes can be found here.
All huge aircraft.
It seems like a huge waste  but welcome to big government I guess.

This planes history is amazing.
Equally amazing is how it can even fly!

It was over 100 outside on this day  and in the middle of the huge air field I found this bench.
I do not know who would want to sit here--and sweat like crazy  but I guess it's nice it's an option. 

Airplane graffiti

We have had many a flat tire on all of our cars.
But I can't imagine changing one on an airplane.

Than it was past time to find some lunch.

This brings us to today's unofficial official business of the blog!
I need to work on the title but basically I pick a local business that gives great service and with
out there knowledge tell about them here.
Today it is Cracker Barrel. 
We received so much food   quickly  for a relatively small price.  And although it was all
very fattening it was super good!
And that is not just because we were both starving. 

Next post   some more great Exploring around Tucson
with "Professor Getty."

Much more Exploring and pictures on my Washington state blog page

And my first blog page

Please check them out.

And as always