Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cruisin Arizona

Finally, we made it out of California and are now in Tucson. RV-wise this is as far south we intend to go on this stage of our journey around the USA.
Before arriving here we stopped at Yuma just inside the Arizona border; where the sand dunes are. As we had minor RV problems there we did no sightseeing. After the stabilizers had retracted that morning they would not descend.  We had no trouble getting someone to repair them but we needed to hang around and wait for them to turn up - you all know that scenario.
Then we moved on to Casa Grande where we visited the site of the “Casa Grande” in Coolidge which is an Old Native America village/town site of the “Ho-Ho-Khum” nation. The village/town was walled with one, two and three story houses, with a plaza and ball court in the center.  They developed an innovative irrigation system for the time 1000 AD to 1350 AD by constructing canals and diverting water from the Gila River to water their crops. For a still unknown reason they just moved on around 1350. 
There was a horned owl nesting under the roof and that was a big attraction too.
So, who guessed where I was all dressed up in the posted photo?
Tom took that photo of me in “St Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery” a few miles south of Florence.   I had read their website and knew to wear a long shirt, long sleeves and a scarf but when I got there my skirt was too fancy, the cardigan was too tight as I had it buttoned up, the scarf passed muster.  There are Greek women just outside the shop that nab you to make sure you are appropriately dressed. After this you enter the shop where a monk gives you a map and instructions for the self-guided tour.  The grounds are magnificent – it was like walking around a little bit of Greece; fountains, churches, little gardens, a rose garden (in the desert), it is simply an oasis.
Across a road, still on the Monastery grounds up on a hill with lots of steps up to it there’s a white Greek Church.  I can well imagine that this is where they shot the movie “Momma Mia”.  I could just picture Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan singing their way up those steps.
So now we are in Tucson at a lovely campsite owned by an Irish family called O’Leary.  We had dinner last night with parents of a friend in a beautiful home overlooking Tucson. They loaned us several books about the history and people of Tucson.  We are enjoying reading them.    I hope to see Rhoda and Larry Geisel later in the week
Today we visited the” Kartchner Cavern” in Benson 35 miles southeast of Tucson (Cave means one; cavern means more than one cave).  These are wonderful caves that have been beautifully preserved and are open to the public about 10 years.  These caverns were so long in the making (at least 250,000 million years) they make mankind look like we just recently landed on this planet.   
This made us both realize just why we are on this odyssey - we want to see America which has so much to offer in terms of this planet as a living organism.  We just happen to live on the top layer.
Thursday, we’re off to the “Gunfight at the OK Corral” in Tombstone!

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