"Of all the paths you take in life make sure a few of them are dirt" US Forest Sevice

Monday, March 14, 2016

Pima Air Museum

We had heard great things about this museum and ended up staying three hours. I didn't bring my driver's license and had to have it for the Boneyard tour. We spent the time touring some of the buildings with several docents in each one. They shared their experiences flying and the stories about different planes. A person would have to make several visits to get the total tour of everything.

300+ airplanes sounds like it might get redundant but didn't with all of the excellent docents there to share the stories.

WWII bomber


This 93 year old pilot of the B17 of the 390th bomber squadron spent some time with us sharing his experiences in WWII. His crew got shot down over Germany while he was in the hospital with food poisoning. They all survived.  The day he was sick 170 planes left for Berlin and 79 did not return. He is quite a character that lives in Green Valley and volunteers once a week.
Roasting up some green chili to put in the freezer so we don't have to look for places that make burgers with green chili. Looks like there will be some in the eggs in the morning. Hurray!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

BICAS, Adios mi amiga

We like to donate our bikes so someone else can get some use and enjoyment from them when  we move on to a new model. We heard about BICAS at the shop that I purchased my new mountain bike from. When we arrived at the shop, there were already several people waiting to volunteer so they could have credit towards a bike or parts.
 I didn't think that leaving my bike  would make me nostalgic. But after 15 years of adventures all over the US including and Canada, it made me pause and think back.

The shop motto: “We don’t fix your bike for you” (a temporary solution), “we teach you how to do it” (an empowering opportunity). This has enabled BICAS to become much more than just another bike shop and allowed them to remain true to our educational mission.
For community members who don’t have much money, they also offer a unique Work Trade Program where they can earn credit, which they may use to pay for shop time, or our Earn-a-Bike Program.

BICAS welcomes people of all ages and all walks of life to learn DIY bicycle maintenance skills at the shop. Community Tools is a resource for some of the most vulnerable members of the Tucson community, including the homeless, veterans, immigrants, refugees and  youth. Many of these people rely on their bikes as their sole method of transportation, and rely on BICAS to help them keep it rolling week after week!
The people in the shop were looking for a new shock or fork before we walked out the door.

Many bike parts are made in to metalwork art sold to support this effort.
Bikes Not Bombs movement was originally dedicated to providing sustainable, human-powered transportation to communities in developing countries by setting up, in those countries, local community bicycle maintenance spaces and training local bike mechanics, the key idea being the establishment of local self-reliance; but similar needs were soon identified within the U.S. itself, particularly in the inner cities.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Titan Missile Museum

My daughter Krista is having her 37th birthday. I never thought that the time would pass but it did so quickly. I am proud of her and the family her and Luke have. But mostly I glad to have been her mom and watch her life unfold. Happy birthday Krista!
We decided to get the Tucson Passport and do some sightseeing since the doctor said  no to bike riding or hiking for the next week after I had a skin graft on my face for skin cancer. I am thankful that Mike is there and has my back even when I get a little emotional. I am usually tough but three procedures and needles in my face made me a bit teary.

The people in our tour group were so nice to me with my patchwork face. A couple of people showed me where they had Moh's surgery and you couldn't even tell. Maybe I will start wearing bandages at work so people will be nice, if that is all it takes.

One of the engineers that designed the control panel was in our tour group and told about the sleepless nights he had while working on the panel. They wanted to prevent any potential misuse of the missile and tried to go over every scenario they could think of.

The world has changed so much in the past 50 years. It is good to know that these missiles were deterrents and never used.

The suits worn to fuel the missiles and maintenance.
6000 pound door that was so well balanced even I could move it.

Mike was hungry for a green chili burger in Tubac. We had to pass the Border Patrol station on the way south.
That is one funky kokopelli.

They actually had tastings for chocolate, caramels and honey.

This is a different way to spend our days since I am not working for a while now. We are used to getting  up and going hiking or biking in the mornings.  This is working out just fine.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Javelinas in the night and Tumamoc Hill

Last night I woke Mike because I heard shuffling noises outside and thought someone might be stealing our bikes again. When he opened the door, the javelinas scrambled. but returned a couple of hours later. It was quite a sight with him chasing them in his Jockeys and a flashlight.

In the morning, since the sky was  overcast, it seemed like a good day to tackle Tumamoc Hill.  This is a great hike up a well paved  very steep hill with fantastic city views. This hike is on university property . Tumamoc Hill is a research station that has been studied since 1906. Travel is permitted all the way to the top but on pavement only.

The Hill got its name from its resemblance to a giant horned lizard basking in the desert. Sunday morning looked like a pilgrimage was taking place with many people on the 1.5 mile trail each way that gets pretty steep the higher you get. Just when you are breathing hard and heart pumping, the views suck you in.

The top of the hill is home to many radio, television, and public safety transmitters, as well as a research and education facility.

 Tumamoc Hill was a home to the ancient Hohokam people

The U of A maintains a small astronomical observatory with a 20-inch (510 mm) telescope on the hill.

Doubting Mariposa Lily

The early morning crowds thinned out as we were on our way back down since we got a late start. I would like to do that one again.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

St Andrew's Children's Clinic, Nogales, AZ

For 42 years, St. Andrew’s Children’s Clinic has provided free, specialized medical care to children living in Mexico who cannot get the care or afford the care they need in their home country. The Clinic is held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Nogales, Arizona.
St. Andrew’s Children’s Clinic, a non-denominational, non-profit organization, with a volunteer professional health care staff. The staff sees approximately 225-250 children the first Thursday of each month except July. Every October, in cooperation with Children's Surgery International and CIMA Hospital, approximately 40-45 children have cleft palate/cleft lip surgery in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. This special mission involves volunteers on both sides of the US-Mexico border who work with the medical team to give patients smiles and a much better life.

We had hoped to volunteer and tour the clinic March 3rd but had to cancel due to my own little  surgery. The volunteers help with snacks and making lunch for the children and families along with working in the clinic. We were disappointed to miss this day.

Clinic Day begins at the Border between Mexico and the U.S. All patients and families cross legally. Immigration officials donate their own time to come early to process our patients, and they greatly appreciate this. Patients and families without visas are given a one-day pass to visit The Clinic.
 Lines start forming at the Church around 7:00 a.m. Some patients come by private auto, but most come to the Border by bus. They are picked up at the Border by a van or school bus rented by The Clinic. Doctors start seeing patients around 9:00 a.m.
Because many families have been waiting a long time without food or drink, The Clinic volunteers serve a break of snacks and coffee, lemonade, or hot cocoa around 9:00 a.m.
We will be here a few more weeks so the doctor can finish her handy work with a skin graft. Then we can be on our way. We have had to stay put a bit longer than we like but sometimes a person has to do the right thing.
Red hook Cactus fruit. I haven't tried it but hear it is eatable. That has nothing to do with the rest of my stories. I just thought they looked kind of cool.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Buffel grass in the Sonoran Desert

 I work contracts as a traveling critical care nurse 6 months of the year to keep my skills current and help with our travel expenses. Though Banner Healthcare, I can work a contract full time or registry ICU float and schedule at least 4 shifts a month with the ability to take off those 6 months before returning.
After finishing a 13 week contract in Mesa, I wanted to try out Tucson and agreed to an 8 week contract at University Medical Center, a teaching hospital for the University of Arizona. On the last day of two weeks of orientation, I got a call from my dermatologist to say I had skin cancer on my nose and needed surgery. I scheduled it for the next week and called my manager. Looks like I will have a week off and return for the last four.
I wonder where I can get one of those nose shields Kid Shelleen wore after his nose was bitten off  in the movie from 1965  "Cat Ballou".  Anyone remember that one?
I have always been good about wearing sunscreen and a hat but fell short of reapplying every two hours.
While on the trails, we met a man that stopped to talk. He was telling us a story about a woman he called Buffel lady. She takes her dogs for a walk up the hill and is trying to eradicate the buffel grass all by herself.  I had to know more about the buffel grass
Actually, many people here are trying to control the buffel grass that was introduced from Africa by ranchers for grazing. It is hardy and has spread though out the Sonoran Desert. It looks like straw in the summer and causes wildfires that endangers the saguaros and other cacti that only grow in this region.

Fairy Dusters
Little globemallows blooming in the morning 
How do javelinas eat these prickly pears?
 A new section of the Loop bike path on the northern section. We rode from I 10 at Camino del Cerro to Oro Valley. It is 12 feet wide and smooth as can be.