Tucson..CHIRICAHUA

Saturday, Dec 17th
Ever hear of Chiricahua National Monument. I had not, but Jayne had….We started out just to go to Wilcox to see the area. Stoped at a great barbaQ place for lunch. It was in a old railroad car that had bee added on to. I could tell Jayne did not want to go in, but did for me. Glad we did as it was really good!

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Jayne had read about this place, Chiricahua, so we headed that way..started the tracking app on our way snd it shows where we were and our route back. Below is a map of the park…thata about a 7 mile drive up to around 7000 feet

The rock formations are just outstanding….they have been formed over the years by weather….the pictures just do not do justice to the formations..

 

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At one of the look outs the sun was reflecting off the tree branchs that still had ice on them from yesterdays rain..

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On the way back we came across deer in the tall grass

 

 

Tuesday, Dec 20th

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img_1715Went for a drive up to Oracle and ended up making a loop back on the Eastern side of the mountains. Over 40 miles of that was a gravel road with a lot of wash boards in it.  That is really deselate country!  Jayne was luckey and spoted an Owl sticking its head out of a cactus hole.   See the photo in the Tucson wild life photo album…..The cactus formations  were outstanding..and of coarse these Jack Asses

 

 

Friday, Dec 23

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On the last trip, we were going to cut thru on Redington Rd, but thought it was much ruffer than the road we were on. Today we decided to see the Tucson end and drove part way thru the mountians.

As we drove up the dirt road full of holes, several off road buggys came by. We chased a few Hawks that were soaring above and lead us to a canyon that had runing water and water falls.

Monday, Dec 26th

img_1750We took another drive to the Sagurao National Forest East.  This is just South of where were were earlier this week.

It is about an 8 mile look thru the foot hills filled with Cactus, but filled with Snow Birds.  Crowded is the best word.  We could not even stop snd take pictures as there was alwas a line of cars behind ..there were not a lot of birds anyway.

 

At the visitors center there was this 3D mural that showed all the various animals in the desert..

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Then there was this strange animal…

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Tucson..part 2

Reminder….tap any picture to see it larger

Sunday, Dec 4

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Went down town where found the old hotel CONGRESS that had a great Restaurant. We were surprised to find in the lobby a 3 piece trio that was GREAT.  There was a bar where they made custom Bloody Marys. You had to fill out this form and then they make it for you..img_0255

Jim..this is a place for you..really great Bloody Marys…define what you want in them!

The food was great too.  We will be going back here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday the 5th
img_1607Went to theTucson Botanical Garden today and were surprised to find they had a butterfly section. This one really liked Larry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday the 6th

img_1615 img_1616Explored Sabino Canyon yesterday. They have a tram that will take you 3.5 miles into the canyon where you can get off at different stops and hike. We road up and walked part way down and stoped by the stresm and ate the packed lunch we brought and had a great time. Found this neat spot where the stream water collects in pools and small waterfall where we had lunch.

Webnesday the 7th
Went looking for a place called Wetlands Park….found it. It is a big water reclaimed area, sewage plant, lots of cattails and birds.  We did not have cameras as we were just looking. There is a big bike trail that runs along the river. And wr had the bike so we took off. After about a mile we crossed to the other side hoping we could cross again and mske a short loop. Boy was that wrong.  By the time we figured out that there was none, were were to comitted..bottom line, we road 8 miles round trip.

After that it was time to eat..went up and tried the Tucson Tamales…boy were they good!

Friday, the 9th

DirecTV was to come and install a new Geni receiver this morning.  They called at 5:15am to confirm.  Some how they think the install is in New York, I went thru all that with them 3 days ago…I got an email after the call saying they would be there at 11:15am. Agsin the New York address..I called and after a long discussion they said I could not instsll a Geni on an RV so they were cancling.  Bottom line after several calls I need  to open a new account…

img_1625By now its 11:00 am and we are off to the 4th Ave street fair which starts today.  Parking was full all around and most streets are parking petmits only. We did find a lot at the top end for 5 bucks.  Walked both sides..bottom line….no really interesting stuff.

 

 

Saturday the 11th

img_1631Took a trip up to Madira Canyon today….Met a couple from  Missouri up on the mountain who had a 10 year old Jack and were birders.  Seems we had a lot in common.

Tomorrow we are going to the Toy Train Museum.

 

 

Sunday, the 11th

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Went to the Congress Hotel for Brunch again..guess this is our Sunday Brunch place.  The Trio was there again so We brought a CD.  We enjoy their music

 

After Brunch We went to the Toy Train  Museum.  It is only open a couple Sundays a month.

img_4411This is a wooden model of an old Steam Engine.  The tender says BURLINGTON…Day worked on these as a machinest for 45 years.  This model was carves with the pocket knives you can see in the left edge of the photo.

 

img_4414As a kid I used to go to work with my Dad and get to run the Turn Table represented in this model.

 

 

 

 

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They had minature setup of all the different model gusges. HO, N ,Ect

Tucson…

We arrived in tucson on Sunday afternoon the 20th…stayed at the La Posada Lodge.  It was an old place but nice.

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Monday We went to see the Bus and get the new cell antenna installed. Found the bus to be in great shape…I had it waxed and found a few places that needed touch up. They came and did that fast.

 

 

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The cell phone install was fairly easy, but getting the antenna thru the cabinet was not as easy as I thought,
but all installed except for the amp and testing.yn

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Tuesday we Tuesday we were up early and I called LazyDays to see if we could come earlier in the day…no problem so we pick up the bus and headed down to get settled.

We got space1364, a nice spot with grass, and we can stay in this spot until Jan 2. Now getting everything back on line.  Got the basics done, electric hooked up and water…we are in..but I brought a new DVR and need to get that running ASAP, you know the voice is on tonight.   That turned out to be a night mare…trying to get Directv to turn this one on..3 calls to them and 2 to the installer who put the Travler Dish on in LasVegas last year…

When  I thought it was all done I find out the remote does not seem to work or is it the IR system in the Bus?

I did get the router working with the campground wifi….here it is fast enough not to need the cell booster..

Wednesday, the 23rd….getting ready for Thanksgiving….we  decided to get all the fixings from a GREAT market that has a great deli.  We went up around 10:30 on Turkey Day and were glad we did. We were not the only ones who did not want to cook!  There was a mob, and more picking up ready to go big turkeys.  We tried Netflicks using the campground wifi…it worked!  Just wish I could get that remote to work..

We enjoyed 2 dinners that day one about 1 pm and of course left overs around 6 pm with pumpkin pie.  Good thing it was a small one, because we ate the whole thing!

 

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Sunday, the 27th…We decided to go down to Tubac, a little tourist town, with a great restaurant we like , called Elvira’s… and of coarse to look at all the art stuff.  Jayne found a little bird shop and we got a small bird bath and a feeder to go with the humming bird feeder we bought the other day.   They are now outside the Bus and we have birds!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had to buy a new pair of cheater glasses and did not have a knife to remove the tag, but need them at Evaliers ..so I could read the menu

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img_1552Monday, the 28th

Took our 1st bike ride today. Tucson has a great system of bike trails….well they are more than trails they are paved roads…you can ride all over the city, if you have the stamina ..

 

 

 

 

 

I am going to load the tracking APP on my cell phone so we can see where we road..just for fun..

 

 

 

Friday, Dec 2nd..

img_1578Today we took a drive up to Mt Lemmon.   It’s about 10,000 feet and at the end there is a small ski area.  The say the Southern most in the U.S.

The drive up was spectacular! I gave never seem rock formations like these, even in the Rockey Mts. img_1574Look close at the Satalite photo you can see where we were and the big

 

canyon were going around as we went up. A couple photo shots…

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img_0242Went to a Mexicsn Restruant for lunch on Saturday….Just could not resist getting this..

Condors

Friday, Oct 29
Up at 05:30 , breakfast at 06:30…headed out at 07:00 for the national park. We passed as huge quarry and followed trucks up the mountain
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side and finally stopped at a small lodge/restaurant to photograph the largest hummingbird, but also got some shots of the Condor nests way across the valley.  As we continued up, there were places to pull out and photo the Condors.  As we made our way up the mountain we stopped many times to photograph birds.  It took 5 1/2 hours to get to the top , but only 2 1/2 to get back including all the traffic.
Hope to link photo galleries to these posts soon.
Off to the airport at 7:30pm

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San Jorge de Milpe Orchid & Bird Reserve

Tuesday, Oct 25
Today we had breakfast at 07:00 and left shortly after. We took the same route as yesterday as far as the paved road and then turned left.
The route thru the mountains is that dirt road that Yesterday was in the clouds and foggy…..
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  today the sun was out so we could look for some birds.  This lodge is down about 3700 ft and in a very wet area.  When we arrived it was mist and fog.
The room is great, a suite it says, has a  sliding doors out to a patio with hammocks..and overlooks a big canyon, but there is so much foliage you can not really see the bottom.img_1358
The restaurant area and birding watching is again all open air..lots of birds…but we are in a sub tropical rain forest…so it’s wet. The rooms have a small box with a heater in them to dry out your camera.
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There are lots of birds in the trees so Jayne was busy .
We missed the 3:00 walk somehow, and there was not a lot of Bird to photograph so we went back to the room and took it easy until dinner at 7:00
Wednesday, Oct 26
Woke up at 05:30 and the sun was out.  No rain or fog..
Beautiful day.
After breakfast we took a walk looking for all kinds of birds. I guess from the guide , we found a bird that’s unusual….that’s all I know
Thursday, Oct 27
We had breakfast at 06:00 and left shortly after that for a reserve about 2 hours away. There were took a short walk to the top of a hill where they had a feeding station.
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There was a girl there who put bananas at the various station and Miguel must know her well as she stayed with us and keep the bananas flowing.  The birds are incredible colorful.  You will see when pictures arrive.  After an hour  Miguel and the other lady wanted to walk down the road to a second feeding station, Jayne and I decided to stay as neither of us recalled wanted any more long walks.
After about an hour we got restless and headed back toward the road only to meet Miguel running back yelling pigmy owl ….we jumped into the van and drove to the second feeding station as fast as that van would go..about 1/2 mile  …and sure enough..we got to see and photograph that cute little owl.  Poor Miguel had run all the way back to get us.
The reason I can not post photos yet as they are in the camera and those that are copied to the laptop are in RAW format, so I have to wait until Jayne gets them processed.  Some are taken with the iPhone, like the one above, and I can use those.
We  finally ended up at the San Jorge Quito lodge, the place we started at last Monday, about 4:30.  Yes we have a room down off the hill so we do not have that hike and it is a great room with a big fireplace.
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 We will stay here tonight and take a drive up to a park at about 12,000 feet early in the morning to see the condors and who knows what else.  When we return in the afternoon we will pack and head to the airport to catch our 11:30 pm flight to Dallas..
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On to San Jorge

 Thursday, Oct 20..
Yesterday was a rest day, or I thought it was.  We are staying in the Hotel Quito in between the Galapagos and the San Jorge reserve trips. 
Unknown to us the UN is having its Habitat III gathering here in Quito, so lots of security.  This hotel is having the closing cocktail tonight at 16:30.  We were up in the restaurant, 7th floor, when the fire works started…right at eye level.
I said a relaxing ,day….well a Jayne wanted to walk down to this church we passed in the taxi this morning.   It’s not far, 4 to 6 blocks…straight down.  Going down was not to bad, but coming back up..well we’re we’re about half way and I think our legs etc said that enough.  Remember we are at 6000 ft.   Thanks to the Taxi driver who was able to stop and get us back to the hotel. 
San Jorge/Quito (8000 ft)
The driver picked us us around 10:00 in an old Chev 4 door pickup.
It took about 45 minutes to get to the lodge.  The last mile I started to wonder what we got ourselves into.  The road, maybe path is a better name, was nothing but one big rut, about a mile of it.  Our room is up on top of a ridge looking down on rest of the compound.  The problem us the dining room etc is down a path that’s again almost straight down.  
Going down is ok, but coming up…no no no…we are at 10,400 ft now and I feel it. 
Lots of humming birds at the feeders…yes the feeders are are down there…
Today is a be on you own so Jayne is taking it easy. This room is cold.  Who would ever thing that on the Equator it cold.  I am cold!
The power is out!  The little space heater that is in the room is  big enough to heat a very small 3×3 room maybe…oh well..we will see…
Well …they moved us down to a smaller room that had a small wood burning fireplace in it for the night.   That was going to help, but then the power came back on.  Jayne was not feeling good so I went to dinner alone and she got in bed…I do not think either of us slept very well. 
Friday, Oct 21
Today the sun is out and we are shooting, pictures, of hummingbirds.  image2.JPG
There is a patio with lots of feeders and a Guide assigned to our group.  I guess others on the same schedule are put together for the activities.  Our group is only 3, the two of us and an older single woman.
Most of the morning was shooting humming birds and a short walk around the premises. After lunch we loaded into a old van for a 1 hour drive across Quito , in traffic, to a reserve called Jerusalem.  We walked around, but not sure we saw anything really worth the drive.  The drive back was in rush hour traffic so we got back just before dark.  I had the guide drop us off up top so we did not have that terrible climb, but assumed they would leave the key there also when they moved us back to that upper room.  We could not stay down below because they had another group coming.  Well…no key..so down I went to find someone and back up to let us in our room , then back down for dinner and back up again…NO MORE. 
Saturday Oct 22
Breakfast was at 06:00 as we were to meet a new guide, Miguel who stays with us all week, to take us to the next lodge for 3 nights.   Down the long windy path luging our stuff.  We left one big case with all the stuff we do nit need for the next 5 days as we come back here for one more night before we are taken to the airport.
I made it clear when we return that we wanted a room down below…we will see…
 San Jorge/Tandayapa (5600 ft)

We departed about 6:30 with our new guide and are taking the Yanacocha old road.  Well that was worth the trip!  The road is more like a washed out cow path winding up the mountains , 11,500 ft I measured. 
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As we worked our way along this road, our guide would stop and we would photograph differed birds.  Jayne has to put a gallery of photos together as there was just to much to see.
About 6 hours later we arrived at Tandayapa.  Again windy rut road up to this lodge, but this place is great.  Our view from our room is outstanding and the room is 1st class!  We had the room on the top floor end room
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The next morning, Sunday, we arrived at the breakfast patio, all meals are outside, at 6:15 to photo all the birds around.  Again Jayne has to put a gallery together.
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Breakfast at 08:00 and then a walk in the jungle and up the mountain. 
Jayne took a small nap and I stayed on the patio and watched the humming birds and a few very colorful ones.  Lunch was at 1:00 and then another walk at 3:00.  This time we saw a Queczal….ok what’s that you say well …..a photo soon …
Monday Oct 24th
Same routine as yesterday, but after breakfast our guide ask if we wanted to take a ride to see more humming birds at a friends place.  Off we went..
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The road was again a narrow rock strewn path. As you can see on the map we did come back partly on a paved road.  Miguel suddenly stoped the van and we jumped out to see a….Cock of the Rock…..Everyone was excited so it must be special…I’ll get a photo posted here soon…

We arrived at the place and the The place was amazing! Hummingbirds and more hummingbirds…all kinds…



Photos to come



 
 
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Black Turtle Lagoon

Tuesday, Oct 18
Ponga ride at 06:00  to the black turtle Lagoon to see all kinds of stuff, Blue footed Boobies, Lava Herons and turtles.  The tide was going out and the white tipped sharks were leaving the mangroves in mass.
Back at the boat at 07:30 for breakfast and then loaded into the ponga for our final trip to the dock to board our bus to the airport where the hurry up and wait starts. 
Back at our hotel, near the airport in Quito, we had a farewell dinner…
some left after dinner and others the next day. We were to get a taxi in the morning to the hotel  Quito for a day of rest..
 Note…will update this when I have access to photos

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