Showing posts with label Tucson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tucson. Show all posts

Thursday, December 13, 2012

On a Mission South of Tucson. . .

The High Plains Drifters and our friends set out on a day trip south of Tucson last week to look at the artsy crafty treasures to be found in the town of Tubac, “Where History and Art Meet”, located about half way between Tucson and the Mexican/U.S. border town Nogales.


The real treasure we found – where art and history really do meet -- was in the Mission San Xavier Del Bac on the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation, not far from Tucson.  The Tohono O’odham, meaning ‘desert people’ is the name of the Native Americans who populate the Sonoran Desert in southeast Arizona and northwest Mexico.

The present structure was built between 1783 and 1797, long before the area was to come under U.S. control as a result of the Gadsden Purchase in 1853.


The Mission was founded by Jesuit Father Eusebio Francisco Kino nearly a century before this structure was started. Kino, born in what is now Italy, joined the Spanish order and was assigned to Spain’s Colony in Mexico. History considers him both priest and explorer, as he made some 40 expeditions into the area now known as Arizona and others up the Baja before his death in 1711 in Sonora.


The missionaries were forced to leave San Xavier in 1828 but returned in 1911- a year before Arizona attained its statehood.

This Kino Mission is the only one in the nation still active in preaching to the Tohono O’odham.

The mission’s Spanish mission architecture – the domes, carvings, flying buttresses distinguish it from other Spanish missions. It is called “The White Dove of the Desert”.


If You Go:

Map picture

The Mission is 9 miles south of Tucson, off Interstate 19, exit 92 on San Xavier Road. Hours: Daily 7 – 5 Mission (no photos allowed during services) Museum daily 8 – 4:30 p.m. No admission fee for either; donations welcomed.

And Down the Road. . .

129Just south of Tubac (exit 29 off Interstate 19) is Tumacacori National Historical Park where you’ll find the abandoned Mission San Jose de Tumacacori – visited by Kino in 1691. It was after the King of Spain expelled the Jesuits, replacing them with Franciscans that the work was started on the massive adobe church that was never completed and ultimately abandoned in 1848. It is also worth a visit.

It is Travel Photo Thursday so hope you’ll head over to Budget Travelers Sandbox for more armchair adventures! If you’ve not yet signed up to receive these posts in your inbox, you can do so using the box to the right.  Or add your photo to our growing group of Google friends also found in the right hand column.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

TP Thursday: Give me land, lots of land. . .

Remember America's singing television cowboy, Roy Rogers and his horse, Trigger? They brought the Old West to life back in the mid-20th Century. And way back in 1944, he introduced Cole Porter’s song,  “Don’t Fence Me In” in a movie called, Hollywood Canteena.  The song is one of those cowboy songs that even now, decades later, I can't help but hum when we head out on road trips through America’s Southwest . . .
“Oh,give me land,
lots of land. under starry skies above,
don’t fence me in. . .

Let me ride thru
the wide open country that I love,
don’t fence me in. . .

Let me be by myself
in the evening breeze,
Listen to the murmur
of the cottonwood trees. . .

Let me wander over yonder
Till I see the mountains rise. . .

. . . Don’t fence me in. . .”
Note:  It is TP Thursday so saddle up and mosey on over to Budget Travelers Sandbox for more photos from around the world.   Photos taken in Scottsdale and Tucson, Arizona, and points in between.  If you want to hear Roy singing the full song, click the link above which will take you to a You Tube clip.

Friday, March 11, 2011

High Plains Drifters in the Sonoran Desert

Saguaro Cactus - Arizona's Sonoran Desert
j. smith photo, (c) 2011
The High Plains Drifters believe we are in the Sonoran Desert. All the travel guides are promoting hotels with views of it, golf courses that blanket it and excursions that could take you further into it.  It's a stark, dry, and somewhat intimidating place because it is so vast -- as are the cities clustered around Phoenix, which continue to spread their roads and homes out over its flat monotone surface.  Coming from the Evergreen State and its towering mountains, this place has required that stretch from the comfort zone that we are seeking when we set out on new adventures.

The Timeshare Trail led us south from Las Vegas, past Hoover Dam (more on that later), over a ribbon of highway that stretched off as far as your eye could see into the distance. It lead us through remnants of the old American West.  We passed places that just sort of appeared, all alone, hugging the highway; places like Rosie's Den offering 47-cent a cup coffee which was just down the road from  the Last Chance where you could eat the best burger.  We drove a section of Route 66 in the town of Kingman, a frontier town founded in 1882.  For those of you watching our soaring gasoline prices, the price there was $3.74 a gallon.

Just beyond Haulupai Mountain Park was the small Wikiup, AZ with a couple cafes and motels and where we noted the first sighting of saguaro cactus, those towering sentenals of the Southwest that live so long, they don't start growing 'arms' for the first 50 - 60 years of life.

We set up 'housekeeping' for the week in Diamond Resort's Scottsdale Links Resort.  We've explored the town in Ol' Orange (still the only car we've seen painted that color); me with two maps spread out on my lap and Joel's head swiveling as he announced crossroads and intersections in hopes I could assure him we were going the right direction for whatever our intended destination.

In the course of the week, thanks to several of you, we've found some new 'finds' and visited some old  favorites, I'll tell you about those places soon.  And while here, we fell in love with Pinnacle Peak, one of our directonal landmarks and a striking bit of scenery. I have more to tell ya about it, but fer now gotta pack up as we are headin' to Tucson today and Ol' Orange is awaitin'.


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