Monday, February 15, 2010

Our Valentine Weekend: San Xavier Mission & Catalina State Park

Even though it was Valentine's Day weekend, we didn't do much out of the ordinary. But we did get to see Bub and Winnie and do some hiking. Bub and Winnie lived in Phoenix for a while and their daughter (Tonya) went to the University of Arizona. They found a local restaurant (Bobo's)
they thought we'd like and we joined them their for a late breakfast on Saturday. We had a bit of a wait and it was busy inside!

One specialty of the house is their banana-cinnamon pancakes. We had to try them.
Bub was ready to dig in!

Next we drove out to the base and showed them the Roadrunner. We hung out for a while (or is it 'hanged out' for a while?) then went for a tour of the base. They had never been on the base here, so it was fun to show them the Fitness Center, the flightline with the F-16s, F-15s and A-10s. We also toured some of the base housing.

The base has a building program going on and a lot of nice duplexes and two story homes are going up. They look quite nice. The military seems to be make a big effort to make family life and home life a priority.

After a tour of the facilities, we decided to go back to the San Xavier del Bac Mission. They had never been there and it was a great day for a drive.

The mission was busy but not crowded and seemed to have more visitors on the weekend than whenwe visited on a week day.
The inside ceiling of the mission is ornately painted.
It was very beautiful.

We took some photos
and went back the Roadrunner for dinner.

We grilled lemon chicken and had a salad with a baked potato. Yum! They left as the sun was going down and went back home to Maricopa, about two hours away. It was a great day with them!

On Sunday, we went back to the Apple Store on the north side of Tucson, so I could learn how to use the iChat, iPhoto and iTunes. Turns out my first issue was I needed to download all the software updates. Keegan also showed me how to backup my system using Time Machine. Next, I got squared away with the other questions I had. It was a pretty each appointment and I learned a lot.

From there, Pam and I drove out Oracle way to Catalina State Park. It sits at the base of the majestic Santa Catalina Mountains about nine miles from downtown Tucson off Oracle Road.

We first checked out the RV area to see if we'd like to stay there in the future.
They have two loops for RVs, campers and tents. Most RV spaces have plenty of room for a 40' motorhome and it looks like a nice place to stay.

Next, we went over to the trail head and launched off on another short hike.
There are many easy trails we can hike of different lengths and difficulty.
We chose the Canyon Loop Trail (2.3 miles) which was good for about two hours. Later, we may try the longer 5-10 mile hikes.

Our first surprise along the Canyon Loop trail was a wash that was flowing with water. Yikes!
Where are the stepping stones? or the bridge? Nada-- have to rough it here....
We took off our shoes and sox and waded through. The water was FREEZING. The snow run off from the nearby mountains made it cold! But we recovered quickly and enjoyed the scenery:

The trails were very well marked and maintained.
And we find the desert to be beautiful.
We love the scenery.

The cactus were not as plentiful as over in Saguaro National Park, but there were still thousands of them. Over 5,000 in fact.
And we saw another crested saguaro.

We crossed the creek bed a couple more times.
And saw some horses do the same.
We finished early afternoon and went back to the Roadrunner for some lunch. I logged on and did some work while Pam did some laundry. We watched the golf (good finish for David Duval, former #1 in the world) and then the Olympics.

And that was our Valentine's Day weekend. Hope you had a good one too. Thanks for viewing!

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