Thursday, 28 April 2011

Old Tucson

Old Tucson Movie Studios has been the backdrop for many movies and where movie stars including Ronald Reagan the 40th President of the United States have acted.

The loading dock in the picture below was built in 1962 for the John Wayne film McLintock which also starred Maureen O’Hara and Stephanie Powers.
It was later used in the John Wayne films Rio Lobo and El Dorado and also in Young Billy Young starring Robert Mitchum and Angie Dickinson.

Way back in the dim and distant past my favourite cowboy TV series, The High Chaparral, was filmed at Old Tucson although it was a bit scary to find out just how long ago that was. Between 1966 and 1971, ouch! We enjoyed the stunt shows one was based on the movie The Quick and the Dead, another on the Wild Wild West. The Secret of the Mission of Santa Maria was hilarious and had us in stitches,I definitely wouldn’t make the grade as a stunt woman as nothing on earth would get me to do this! The final show we saw was the Can Can Show held in the Grand Palace Hotel Saloon

and yes, it was the same stunt men and women who performed all the shows during the day.

Have fun, we are!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Romero Ruins

A trail in Catalina State Park leads across two major drainages, Sutherland Wash and Canada Del Oro,

before climbing a short steep trail to the Romero Ruins on the ridge above.

The ruins are the remains of a partially excavated Hohokam village and are named after Francisco Romero a rancher who built a ranch on top of the ancient village. At the time the ranch was a lonely 12 miles from Tucson and endured lots of Apache raids, now it’s in the middle of the busy Oro valley.

The ancient Hohokam village has a perimeter wall,

which may have been for defence or privacy, pit houses and the remains of two ball courtsRomero ruins also has a legend, in the early 20th century rumours associated the Hohokam walls with an old Spanish mission and buried treasure and so was born ‘The Legend of the Lost Mission of CirĂº.’ Treasure seekers dug large holes on the site in the hopes of finding the non-existent treasure.

Have fun, we are!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Tucson Visitor Passport

Way back in November last year when we were in the visitor Centre in downtown Tucson we spent $15.00 on a Tucson Attractions Passport.

The $15.00 buys a book of discount and two-for-one offers to various locations in and around the Tucson area ours is valid until 15 September this year. There are a lot of interesting places in the passport including Kartchner Caverns, The Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Old Tucson, Biosphere 2, The Amerind Foundation, Pima Air & Space Museum, Patagonia State Park and lots more.

We did wonder if we would actually use it, but so far I think it’s saved us about $100.00 on entrance fees and saving money is something I like!

Have fun, we are!

Monday, 18 April 2011


We'd like to welcome Rick & Paulette to our blog, we hope you enjoy following our adventures.

Have fun, we are!

Biosphere 2

Biosphere 2 just north of Tucson off Highway 77 is one of the largest greenhouses in the world and is managed by the University of Arizona. It is sealed from the ground underneath it by a 500 ton welded stainless steel liner, it is 91ft high at its highest point and has 6,500 windows – wouldn’t fancy the job of cleaning them!

Miles of pipes, tubes, wiring, wastewater tanks and other facilities make up a ‘technosphere’ designed to recreate how the earth recycles. To stop the whole thing exploding under pressure dome shaped ‘lungs’ are connected to the main structure by tunnels.

Inside the South Lung.

From 26 September 1991 to 26 September 1993 and from 6 March – 17 September scientists were sealed inside as part of an experiment in human sustainability. The guided tour takes you through the separate habitat areas our first stop was the rainforest, which was very hot and steamy. Next was the savannah, followed by the ocean, the estuary and finally the desert.

Desert habitat.

Some of the many current experiments being carried out relate to how different plants adapt to drought conditions, another is looking at a way to keep buildings cooler using less electricity,

different types of solar panels and ground coverings are being evaluated to see if they can be used on contaminated ground successfully. Biosphere 2 also has amazing views of the Catalina mountains.

It’s a really interesting place and well worth a visit if you’re in the area.

Have fun, we are!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

On a lovely sunny day, we drove over Gates Pass Road, through Tucson Mountain Park to visit the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum which is one most interesting places we’ve visited and the only one where I’ve ever seen factor 30 sunscreen dispensers in the ladies rooms!

The museum is an amazing place a botanical garden, zoo and natural history museum all in one, trails lead through desert vegetation to interesting exhibits.
The mountain lions looked really cute and cuddly snoozing in the mid-day sun, but this is the closest I ever want to get to one!

At one point a diamondback rattlesnake slithered across a path while two museum docents guarded it from the hosts of visitors peering cautiously from a distance. The bighorn sheep posed for the cameras as though they were movie stars before adoring fans. In the cactus garden, the prickly pears are just starting to flower. An elf owl perched in the shade of a tree.

Each time we visit the desert museum we discover something new, this time was no exception as neither of us remembered the sculptures situated around the grounds.

Have fun, we are!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Welcome and catching up, again!

Welcome to our new followers Brits on Tour, we hope you enjoy following our travels.

Since we’ve been back in Tucson, we’ve been taking some time out and enjoying the gorgeous weather.

Last week we went with some friends to visit Gammons Gulch over in Benson. It was a fabulous day and we had another great visit, but as I blogged about our visit in April last year I won’t go over it again.

A chip in the windscreen on the way home meant our plans for the weekend were put on hold while we got that sorted out. Bouncing along dirt roads and over railroad tracks didn’t seem like such a good idea till we got it fixed. Mind you as the weather was fabulous, clear blue skies with sunshine and temperatures in the high 90’s swimming and relaxing was absolutely no hardship.

Have fun, we are!