Agave Gulch Military Family Camp Davis Monthan AFB Tucson AZ High today 67 F currently 48 degrees F and clear
I had a moment this morning, while walking to the laundry, that felt like I wasn’t traveling at all, that I was just living “life”. I wasn’t on a big trip, I was just doing laundry. How do you explain moments like that? Of course I am on a “trip”, and yet it feels a bit like full timers feel when they say traveling around the country in a motorhome isn’t a vacation, it is just life.
We landed at Davis-Monthan AFB Agave Gulch Campground yesterday afternoon, early enough that the campground office was still open, and early enough to get settled in before the “big” game between the Packers and the 49rs. Having lived in the Bay Area for so long, Mo is a 49rs fan. We weren’t able to get local tv with the antenna, but managed to get a pretty good description of the game on the radio as we settled in for a couple of days here in Tucson. It was a good day all around, Mo’s team won.
It was also a good day in that there were plenty of sites to choose from here at the FamCamp, and we got a nice one on the outside loop with no one next to us. This is definitely a great place to stay in Tucson for just $20 bucks per night for full hookups, minus TV of course. Hence a game on the radio. Mo bought a satellite for the MoHo recently but it didn’t arrive before we left on this trip. Oh wait…we aren’t on a trip….we are just living. Well, we are living without much TV and I find that extremely relaxing. It is good to get out of the news cycle now and then. Of course, I do have the internet and the computer for the really important stuff. Like banking. What in the world did we do when travelers didn’t have access to online banking?
I had planned to do laundry here because I remembered the nice clean laundry facility with plenty of machines and only 1.00 to wash and 1.00 to dry. It is a good place to get the rugs and blankets all spiffed up and fresh again and I took advantage of that yesterday afternoon.
Today we woke to a free day with wide open possibilities. Local friends in the Tucson area all seemed to be gallivanting off somewhere else, so there were no visits planned. Instead we decided to explore a different part of Tucson than we saw when we passed through here in 2007 and again in 2011.
Most of the time we have traveled from the air force base toward the south, with one visit to the downtown area. This time we traveled north to visit the popular Catalina State Park, at the base of the beautiful Catalina Mountains just north and a bit east of town. As we drove up Swan Road toward Oracle Road the shift in lifestyles and neighborhoods was dramatic. The flatter areas were lower middle class homes, tight little neighborhoods with lots of cars parked around and small shops and groceries. With just a little bit of elevation, the houses got bigger, and as we climbed the hills toward the mountains, the houses and shops increased in value with every foot uphill.
Before long we were in nosebleed territory with Whole Foods anchoring some pretty fancy malls and some houses that looked as big as hotels. Of course there were also hotels and spas behind huge gates, all with gorgeous views of the city below and the Catalina Mountains behind. It was beautiful, and especially in January I could imagine living here. In some other very wealthy life, I am sure.
Barbara Kingsolver is one of my favorite authors, and she lived in Tucson when I first started reading her books. She and her husband and family picked up lock stock and barrel and relocated to her ancestral home in the Appalachian Mountains. She said she wanted to live a more sustainable life, where there was water and soil and you could grow your own food. Tucson is lovely in many ways, but would be pure hell without air conditioning.
Still, as we meandered into Catalina State Park, the Arizona sun worked its magic on us entirely. The day was clear and nicely warm with a cooling breeze. The skies were so blue they almost hurt. Many bloggers have extolled the virtues of Catalina State Park, and it almost seemed like too much hoopla to me, so I was never that anxious to get there. I was so wrong.
What a gorgeous place to be in January. We checked out the campground loops and decided that yes, we could definitely spend a week or more here hiking these beautiful mountains. Funny, because the last time we were in Tucson we thought we never needed to come back unless we were passing through as we did this time. After our day in Catalina SP, I can see us coming back again for some January sunshine and blue skies.
The main reason we decided to visit this park was to enjoy the dog friendly trails. So often park trails are closed to dogs and it was great to find some areas that let us bring Abby along. She especially loved the cool water in the creek that meandered though the canyon floor. We did too, and took our time hiking three miles or so and stopping for photos and just sitting by the bubbling stream. What a perfect day!
We had planned a couple of other activities for the day, but by the time we left the park the afternoon traffic was getting thicker and we decided to skip the tour of the downtown art colony and instead go back home to our waiting supper. I recently found a nice little crockpot and decided it was time to make a stew, so it had been cooking all day while we were gone. Nice to come home to dinner all ready to go after a long day.
Jeremy wasn’t too happy for us to be gone that long, and did some old cat things that made me not so happy as well. sigh. I am glad he is with us….most of the time. Sometimes not so much. I am doing more laundry tonight, catching up on photos and blogs while I wait for the last batch to finish.
Tomorrow we will continue east toward Las Cruces. An easy day of Interstate 10 driving and an early arrival at a Passport America park within walking distance to Old Mesilla and some Mexican food!