Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Long Day And Some Things Just Can't Wait

We had a pretty long day yesterday as we drove from Picacho to Nogales, AZ and back via Casa Grande.  All in all about 250 miles with stops along the way.

Our first stop was Tubac, Arizona that Mia's bosses wife told us about.  It is the mecca for all things southwestern from painted pottery suns to fine art to hang in your home.  Need a wall sconce with a southwestern flair?  This is where you come to get it.  Need yard art?  From the donkey from Sherk to  conquistador's riding horses to cactus plants.  It is quite the tourist spot and a place for southwestern interior decorators to find the materials to make their clients house fit into the landscape.  We spent some time wandering through the shops but most of the stuff is outside.  We found a quilt shop but it really wasn't what you would call a quilt shop.  Mainly finished quilts and wearables with really high price tags.
One of many odds and ends shops

Outside the quilt store

Turned bowl with turquoise inset

Turned bowls 

Nice area for a picnic lunch
Very yummy stuff

We wandered into a newer and quieter area in the town and ran across Untamed Confections.  They produce a wide assortment of caramels and chocolates using all organic ingredients and honeys from the desert.  Like many vineyards they have tasting.  No, there isn't a special tasting room but who cares.  They have a list of items you can get a bite sized, individually wrapped piece to taste and you don't have to spit it out.  So good sampling their caramels.  I bought a couple of items for later and Mia went back in and bought a couple of more.  No dogs are allowed in most of the stores it Tubac so we took turns going in while the other waited outside with Honey.
Lots of stuff outside

Tubac is nice place to visit and we were looking for something to hang on the barn in Gold Bar but nothing in the thousands of choices really called out to either of us to be taken home so we left and headed south towards the international border with Mexico.

As we drove south we began to see signs for Tumacacori which is another of the many places protected by the National Park Service.  It is something that I wanted to see as soon as I learned of its existence.  Tumacacori is the oldest surviving Spanish built structure left in the state of Arizona.  Its roots go back to 1691 when Jesuit Eusebio Francisco Kino and his party arrived at the settlement of Tumacacori.  The Jesuits became one of the regions most powerful social and economic force through tens of thousands of baptisms.  It was Kino who founded the mission San Cayetario de Tumacacori.
Beautiful Mission

Some erosion at the entrance

The Alter

The Dome from outside

Once again the buildings are made of sun dried adobe and the structural integrity is amazing.  The mere fact that they have stood the test of time with very little restoration is a testament to the early builders proficiency.  Sure, there are signs of wear and faded paintings but after 323 years what would show its age?  I was impressed that we were allowed to enter the sanctuary and stand at the alter.  There is very little left of the actual alter.  Some paintings remain on the walls and above in the rotunda.  During this period of time the priest performing mass would have stood with their backs to the parishioners singing hymns as the audience responded in song.  It was indeed an experience to stand and imagine a mass being held.

Then it was off to Nogales which is a border town, half in Arizona and the other half in Mexico.  We had a birthday card to mail and thought it might be fun to mail it from the international border town since it is heading into the far reaches of Alaska.  We didn't take any photos in Nogales but I can tell you from looking at the Arizona version and peering across the fence at the Mexican version, it appears that the Mexican version wins for appearance and livability.  Once we got to the place where we could no longer move south without our passports (conveniently left in the trailer) we turned around for the drive towards home.

We needed to restock the refrigerator so we drove past the trailer park and up the Casa Grande to visit the closest Walmart to shop.  Mia did the shopping while Honey and I walked around the perimeter of the store as she had not been out for some time.  I checked out the local fast food places for possible dinner locals and walked back to the truck.  Walmart Super Centers are huge.  You can get a get walk-out by walking around them.

Mia came back and we decided on Carl's Jr for dinner.  I had a great hamburger with fries and a chocolate shake and Mia had the Beer Batter Cod Sandwich.  She said the sandwich was good but not as good as my hamburger.  Honey enjoyed some fries while we ate our order to go in the parking lot and then headed back to the trailer.

Mia decided it was time for Honey to have a bath.  She has been scratching a lot and since we have been in a lot of sand recently we weren't sure if she hadn't picked up some riders.  We have been on the road 14 days and I haven't drained either the black or grey water holding tanks.  They indicated they were two thirds full with the grey water tank flashing full when I checked the levels.  Before Mia bathed Honey I was going to have to drag out the hoses, rubber gloves, and knee pad and empty both of the tanks.  It would have been much easier had it not been for the campground fitting which does not allow for easy exit of the fluids since it is up off the ground quite a ways.  I have a hose holder that expands and holds the hose up while giving it a gentle downward slope but that isn't going to work when the campsite tube is higher than that last step of the downward slope.  So I was left to open the valves (one at a time) and allow momentum to drive the majority of the liquid through the hose and into the septic.  Then I had to lift the hose up at the trailer end and work it to the campsite end to do the final empty of everything.  It occurs to me that this might be because they don't want their septic tanks filling up during the monsoon season that comes here every year.

While on the subject of holding tanks.  I notice a lot of campers come into the park and set up their RV's and immediately put the sewer hose in place and open both of the valves.  Based on what I know about holding tanks this would seem to be a very bad idea especially here in the heat.  Since the flushing action is very different between here and at home this could lead to some major problems not to mention backups.  Holding tanks should not be emptied until they are full.  If you open the valves expecting the same flush result as you get at home, forget it.  Most likely the liquid will drain but the toilet tissue and number two (solids) will enter the tank and land on the floor of the tank and sit there, become hard like paper mache.  The more you do it the more it builds up and the next thing you know you have blockage.  Not a good thing.  No one wants to clean a blockage.  Worse it may take a professional to rectify the issue.
It's just up too high

We spent the rest of the evening relaxing.  I was watching Facebook and noticed my daughter put a picture of a bottle of Jameson on her page.  I used to drink but I can't anymore so I posted that I really wanted a drink but since I couldn't, I didn't know what to do.  Wow, did I open a can of worms.  It was a good night and today looks a little better since it is overcast.  We plan to stay close, wash the truck, do some trailer maintenance and enjoy the day.

Hope all is well and thanks for visiting.

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