Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tucson, Arizona

On the road to Tucson.  Our reason for going to Tucson was to see how effective their dark sky ordinance was in preserving the night sky.  I also wanted to see the Center for Creative Photography that Ansel Adams set up on the University of Arizona campus.  So we drove through Saguaro National Park and Tucson Mountain Park run by Pima County.

Just driving the roads you can see where Tucson still feels part of the old West.  Must have been all those cowboy movies that we watched as kids!

Yes, driving in Tucson will have you searching for those Roy Rogers and Gene Autry recordings on your IPOD.

We visited Ted DeGrazie art museum.  An interesting stop that will give you an idea of old Tucson.  The paintings are also interesting, but they are just paintings.  It has free admission. 

Here is the link:

After stopping here we put in lunch spots close to the museum on our GPS.  What a surprise!  Moderately expensive lunch spot, with great setting, good service, good food.  What more can you ask for?

This is where we ended up for lunch:

We drove into Tucson on a Sunday morning as headed for the University of Arizona campus.  The photography gallery did not open until one o'clock, so we had to make do with the University Art Museum for one hour.  Admission is five dollars and well worth the visit.  Even for someone like myself that feels one good photograph is worth a thousand paintings!

The Center for Creative Photography is free.  It always has a small rotating display of Ansel Adams photographs.  You can also make an appointment to see specific photographs in their collection.  So if there is an obscure Weston or Adams photo that you want to see
you can make an appointment on weekdays. 

Here is their website with more information:

Go on Sunday if you can.  Parking is free and easy to find.  Weekdays on campus might be much more hectic.

Tucson has a few BLM boondocking sites in the area, but we did not go searching for them.  Instead we found Gilbert Ray Campground that is located in Tucson Mountain Park.  It is just over the hill from Tucson.
Here is the campground website:

Here are the important highlights:  $20 for RV's, no discounts, no reservations, 7 day limit, 30 amp electrical service only, centrally located water and dump, no generators.  Nice looking campground, with limited availability for rigs over 35 feet according to the front desk, but when we looked at the spurs there seemed to be plenty of room.

The Tucson area is one of our favorite areas of Arizona.  We intend to spend more time here next winter.  Hopefully, we will get here earlier and stay later.

If your driving from Phoenix to Tucson or vice-versa be sure to travel through Florence.  For all the guys, you can INSIST on stopping at this outlet store.  She NEVER wants to pass up an outlet mall, so this is your opportunity to stop on your own!

Many Arizona folks are proud of their gated communities.  The best buy at the store is a tee shirt for $10 that states Florence State Prison......A Gated Community. 

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