Phoenix, Mesa, Tucson

Ah, the catch-up post. The one that never does justice to the daily nuances of travel, but that nevertheless must be done. We have barely an AT&T connection, here in the middle of (seriously) nowhere--10 miles OUTSIDE the hamlet of Tombstone, AZ. Our intention was to camp in Kartchner Caverns State Park tonight, just as our intention was to camp in Usery Mountain Regional Park last night. Twas not to be.

Parks are full to overflowing this time of year--snowbirds are still here, spring break has sprung, the weather is prime, and no reservations are accepted. The protocol is amazing--people dry camp in the overflow parking lot to queue up at 9AM the next day to see if they can get a spot for that night. Meh. We don't queue. But we did dry camp at Usery Mountain last night and it was not bad at all. After 3 nights at Mesa Regal--land of claustrophobia and 2000 nosy neighbors--we were happy to have quiet and some space around us, even if it was just asphalt on one side and desert on the other.

But when we got to Kartchner Caverns today at 1:30 and it was still full (probably snowbirds taking their 14 day maximum), we ditched the state park idea and headed to a highly rated commercial campground: Tombstone Territorial RV Park. A very nice place--all 9s and 10s. Nick, of course, hates it because it's all gravel and desert, but it's really nice. Lots of room, scenic vistas, nice pool and hot tub, which Lisa enjoyed tonight.

So, to catch us up visually, here are the Cubs game photos. Some are from the Brewers' home stadium; some are from the Cubs' Hohokam Stadium, where they've played for 57 years (and are in danger of leaving, much to the chagrin of Mesa, AZ).

Note that the sausage races were at the Brewers' stadium.....

Lovely time watching the games. First game: 12-3, Brewers. Second game (and much better Cubs squad): 12-4 Cubs over Reds. One thing I learned: keep your eye on the ball in these "intimate" stadiums. Fly and foul balls can come at any time.

And here's the actual owner of the Cubs, getting beer for his buddies and sitting in the bleachers on the visitors' side like the rest of us. Kinda cool.

One of the more colorful regulars, Mark the Beer Man.

We had a great visit with our dear friend, Peg, during these great, sunny days at the ballpark. When she flew home Sunday, we took ourselves a-sightseein' in Phoenix and went up to to Scottsdale to Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture school in the desert. I visited once before 20+ years ago and loved my second visit just as much or more. Lisa really enjoyed it, too. He's quite a character, Mr. Wright. Such a visionary. To think that he accomplished 1/3 of his famous works between the age of 70 and 92--it's remarkable.

He built Taliesin West after a bout of pneumonia that almost killed him at age 70. He spent his winters in Arizona thereafter and lived to the ripe old age of 91 or 92--can't recall. He worked up until 5 days before his death. And he had synesthesia--his particular brand of it was hearing music (particularly Beethoven) as he designed spaces. And he was such a visionary-- he designed a bank with a drive-through window and pneumatic tubes 25 years before those were in use. He created affordable housing, office buildings, museums, grand homes, and a lasting legacy via the architecture school. He constantly invented, tore it down, and invented again. He always inspires me. A few photos....

Wish we could take the once a month Friday night tour--this guy "breathes" gasoline-fueled flames!

I'm pretty pleased with this iPhone photo:

And this one, too:

But this was just for fun. Check out the details....

And then today (Monday), after boondocking at Usery Mountain's overflow parking lot (and seeing the appeal of the real camping spots!), we headed south. Had to stop at the grocery to get "bland diet" foods for Nick, who is on his third day of icky digestive upset, shall we say. No improvement yet, but suffice to say that he loves his boiled hamburger/cottage cheese/white rice concoction. He's not too pleased with the Pepto Bismal, though....

We also made a stop at La Mesa RV in Tucson for halogen lights and a marker light cover that somehow fell off, after we took the scenic side road (77) down there. Thought we'd see Biosphere on the way, but we misread the map and missed it. Ah well. Another day. We did find a Sunset magazine restaurant recommendation for lunch, though: El Guerro Canelo for the Sonoran hotdog. At $2.29, a bargain, but also delish. Hot peppers, beans, lots of different sauces, and a pillowy soft bun. We each had just one, but noted that most folks had multiples ;-)

Off to explore some Old West stuff--Boot Hill, old mines, and, of course, art galleries.


  1. Bisbee. Bisbee. Let me know what you think.,_Arizona

  2. Have you read Loving Frank? Also, consider visiting Spring Green up in wisconsin.

    Lastly, Love the sausage races. who won?


  3. Oh, let's see--I think it was Bratwurst that won the sausage race. I had bet on Chorizo--he took a commanding lead but petered out. Lisa had bet on Italian, and Peggy on Polish (if I remember correctly). We all lost....

    And Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are on our RVing list for visiting. I want to see the original Taliesin and the Johnson Wax building and, of course, Falling Water. One day....

  4. Nancy,
    We like Bisbee a lot. I don't think we'd need too much more time, though. The poor economy is hitting this town hard--lots of empty stores, but the ones that are open have some interesting art. We read that when the mines closed down (in the 70s), the hippies moved in, and that vibe does exist. Interesting shops mixed in with the rough-and-tumble history. The main museum is a must-see. They even have a joint project with the Smithsonian--cool stuff. The restaurant we had been recommended (Cafe Roka) wasn't open, but the Bisbee Grill and Santiagos (the Mexican place we had lunch) were highly recommended and quite good. We managed to pass up the interesting looking micro brewery, but we could've visited since we could just walk to the RV park ;-) We recommend a visit. Stay tuned on the Queen Mine Tour report....