Tuesday, March 26, 2019

"Stick Em Up" - Old Tucson Studio and Theme Park

High Chapparral Ranch Set

Admittedly I'm old. How old? Let's just say I hold the patent on dirt. I grew up in the 50's when the Lone Ranger, Sky King, Bonanza, Have Gun Will Travel, and Gunsmoke were among the top TV programs.   Getting to Old Tuscon Studio and Theme park from Tucson is easy. Old Tucson Studio is located at 2001 Kinney Road, Tucson, AZ 85735. If you want to plug the coordinates into your GPS they are: 32.2183° N, 111.1289° W

Ticket information

Old Tucson Studio and Theme Park is an attraction that no western film buff should miss.

Old Tucson Movie Studio and Theme Park 

More than 400 movies, TV Programs, TV Commercials and Music Videos have been filmed at the Old Tucson studio. It's a really interesting place to be and you get a real sense of what the producers and directors find so appealing about the entire Old Tucson Set. If you do wind up going to Old Tucson be sure to get a schedule of the daily events as you enter the park.

Wonder if they are looking for the "bone?"  - Or, perhaps they waiting on the 3:10 to Yuma?

Maybe you remember "High Chapparral?" Click below for the theme song

Entrance to the set of High Chaparral 

High Chapparral Ranch House

The Entire Studio is a Working Theme Park

Store Front Sets
Rio Lobo River

I guess all that remains to be said about our visit is that it makes you miss the people that used to watch these movies and TV programs with you. I miss my Dad, my brother Ken and I laying on the living room floor watching Gunsmoke. Those were moment I will never relive, but I will relish them always.

Friday, March 1, 2019

I've found a new love

It was bound to happen.  All this travel, new people, new places....I was bound to find a new love.  And, here it is!  I'm madly and passionately in love with the city of Tucson, Arizona.  Chuck and I have even discussed making Tucson our next "home" if and when we decide to stop traveling!

How do I love Tucson?  Let me count the ways!

Sunsets - Amazing and colorful -- the whole sky lights up at dusk!

 Total Wine has craft beers, local mead, cheap whiskey and ...well, lots of wine!  And Tucson has 21 local breweries and not far away there are plenty of wineries.

 Well maintained Multi-Use Trails - I got my daily walk in nearly every day!

Nature - my walks were highlighted by hawks, doves, hummingbirds, prairie dogs, roadrunners, and red-winged blackbirds. Happily, I didn't run across any rattlesnakes, coyotes or javelina, but they are rumored to be around.  We have heard the coyotes howling at night.

Saguaros - I even learned to pronounce it right - Sah wah row

University of Arizona - We attended some women's basketball games

Three Whole Foods
Two Natural Grocers
Trader Joe's
And I haven't even gotten into see what Sprouts is all about
Albertsons, Frys, and Safeway
Target and Wal Mart
Sam's Club and Costco

Art on the street corners - I hope to get one of my favorite statue before we leave, but here's a giant wine bottle for now.

History - from missions to museums to movie studios

Culture - besides dancing girls, they also have a symphony orchestra


Three within a short distance and they have events for the public, such as the Balloon Glow and a wine and beer tasting event.

Friendly People - well, except when they're driving

Relatively low cost of living

After last summer on the west coast, it was a relief  to pay normal prices for groceries and gas.

Parks - national parks, state parks, county parks, city parks, everywhere you look!

Disc Golf
We've played three different courses here - choices!

Mountains - all around you

Sunshine - abundant sunshine

Rainbows after nearly every rain

Friday, February 22, 2019

Shooting the Moon - The Super Blood Wolf Moon

Shooting the Moon – The Super Blood Wolf Moon

I will be seventy this year (damn that’s old). In all that time I had never seen a lunar eclipse before. On this night I got to see a very special one called a “Super Blood Wolf Moon” (who thinks these names up?)
I’m also glad that I had a decent camera to record the event. So, here are my photos from the eclipse. All of my photos were taken while in Tucson, Arizona.
The start of the eclipse was about 8:30 pm local
Color starting to show
Nearly at full eclipse
Eclipse receding

Things Break and Our Goose goes Uncooked

Things Break and Our Goose goes Uncooked

The black rectangle is where the vent on the new unit will mate up with the wall vent
For those of you that have followed us from the beginning you know that we have had many electrical problems aboard our 2005 Newmar Northern Star.
It all started with the meltdown of our EMS (Electrical Management System) and of our transfer switch (the latter was recalled but the previous owner never followed up). Various electrical anomalies have occurred ever since. The latest one to crop up? it was our 15 year old convection/microwave. It finally bit the dust.
For nearly a year and a half we’ve worried that it would catch fire while using it. It always had a “burnt” plastic smell. I guess that isn’t an issue anymore. The Best Buy Model number is listed below on the photo of our new unit.
With the exception of some minor compromises in how the wall bracket support is mounted the new unit mated up really nicely. I did have to pull the outside vent cover to insure that the new exhaust and the old vent ductwork mated up. I only had to de-grease the old ductwork and install some metal tape to seal up some gaps that I was unhappy with.
I am happy to say that after a few days of use we are very pleased with how well this thing works. It does cook hotter than our old unit, and we are still learning how to adjust cook times and temperatures but this is an excellent upgrade.

Recharging Tucson Aquifer's - Sweetwater Wetlands

Recharging Tucson Aquifer’s – Sweetwater Wetlands

The Sweetwater Wetlands has an abundance of bird species, it is an oasis in the city. When you first enter the area you are greeted by a gravel trail that takes you around the area. It slowly reveals a marsh with some open water and lots of cover for wildlife.

These water conservation efforts have lead to a bird watching bonanza  (Read more about Tucson’s water reclamation efforts by clicking the above photo)

Sweetwater Wetlands is a birders paradise. Many species of birds frequent the wetlands as they migrate through the area.

American Coot
American Coot
Malard Duck
Water Recharge pond along the Santa Cruz River
Sweetwater Wetlands Recharge Pond – There are many of these in the area. (Click the above photo to learn more about them.)

House Wren

Marsh Wren
If you find yourself wanting something to do and would like a nice walk while doing it, go to Sweetwater Wetlands and bring your camera.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Exploring – Gates Pass and Saguaro National Park West

We took a drive to Saguaro National Park West via Gates Pass (near Tucson) to complete our tour of the Saguaro’s. If you have never been in a Saguaro forest before, I suggest that you make it part of your visit to Tucson. These cactus are tall and intriguing. They are worth the visit.

 Click the photo above to read about how the road was built
Gates Pass road was first built by a business owner to give more access to his business (click the above photo to read about it)

Looking out over the valley from Gates Pass.
At the apex of the pass you get a great view of the valley below. This area’s geology was heavily influenced by a violent volcanic eruption. 

The terrain here is very rugged. The scenic turnout at the top of Gates Pass is also a trail head for the David Yetman West Trail and the Gates Pass Trail 
She made me squint into the sun for this one
I find it amazing that the desert supports so much wildlife. The Sonoran desert and Saguaro National Park boast many animal species. 

Sentinels of the Sonoran Desert. If you want to learn more? 
(click the on the photo above)
Walking the only Nature Path in Saguaro West
Medusas Head or Ocotillo? If you know, leave the information in the comment box.
Palo VerdeIronwood or mesquite trees serve as nurse trees for young saguaro cacti. As the Saguaro grows and becomes more acclimated to the desert sun, the older tree may die, leaving the saguaro alone.
I wonder how long that rock as been balanced?

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"Stick Em Up" - Old Tucson Studio and Theme Park

High Chapparral Ranch Set Admittedly I'm old. How old? Let's just say I hold the patent on dirt. I grew up in the 50's whe...