This blog is about three events we’ve enjoyed during the past few weeks.
At the end of March, we visited my sis-in-law Allyson McKay and two of her long-time friends who were visiting the area from Oregon and British Columbia. They found a lovely house to rent in Green Valley for a couple of months, to enjoy some warm weather during the coldest part of the year at their homes. Since we’ve been in and out of the area so much while Ally has been here, and she’d been busy, too, this was the first time we were able to get together. And we caught her just before she headed north back to her home in Victoria, B.C.
This small trip allowed us to check out the route between Green Valley and Benson in our car, in anticipation of taking that general route in the motorhome a few days later. With the knowledge that Sahuarita Rd was under construction near I-19, we still chose to go that way in the motorhome, because it cut off about 10 miles of the route taking I-10 all the way to I-19. It was a bit tricky to dodge the construction cones in the narrow road, but I followed a wide horse trailer and figured if he could make it through, so could I. And I did!
We went to Amado, AZ to attend the Escapees Chapter 21 rally. This chapter covers southern Arizona, but most of the members have lots in the Saguaro Escapees Co-op in Benson. (We’ve been on the waiting list for 4 1/2 years.) There were about 85 people at the rally, in 45 RVs. We shared several meals in the large dining room at De Anza Trails RV Resort. The facility was previously a greyhound racing track, and the large clubhouse was built to accommodate lots of people. The park owners made us all very comfortable, and served us some breakfasts, and a dinner the last night with margaritas and a dance band outdoors on the patio!
Don and I went on several outings during the rally, and did a little geocaching as well. Below is the partially restored mission at Tumacacori (pronounced Too-mah-KAH-core-ee) National Historical Park near Tubac. The original mission was built in 1691 by Father Kino. It was moved to its present site in 1751 and subsequently abandoned in 1848.
The walls have been stabilized, but the hand-made adobe bricks show clear signs of centuries of age.
Inside the museum, this likeness of Father Kino took me by surprise. He was so realistic, at first I thought he was either a visitor or a living history character!
Quoting a description of the mine that I found online, “One of the largest mining operations in the United States, the Mission Complex is a copper and silver mining network, with an underground mine and two open pits: the Mission pit, and the smaller, adjacent San Xavier North pit. The mine is operated by Asarco … producing around 100,000 tons of ore a year, with an expected 510 million tons remaining. The main pit is 2.5 by 1.5 miles, and 1,000 feet deep. In 2000, Mission was the third largest copper mine in Arizona, the state that produces 65% of the nation's raw copper.”
At the end of the rally, we took a 350-mile detour to our friends Ken and Maryanne Watson’s house in Cave Creek for a party honoring Teddy Raven, who formerly performed professionally. Here’s Maryanne, chatting with Chuck and Jan Moore, Kathy Webster and Ken Pace in the backyard.