With our departure from Green Valley looming in just a few days, we are trying to cram sights and sounds of the area into our remaining time.For at least five years, we’ve talked about visiting the Center for Creative Photography, on the U of A campus. Sunday was the day we finally pulled the trigger on this little expedition. We were quite disappointed – there is an exhibit of photos from Charles Harbutt, called Departures and Arrivals, but no permanent collection to view. Harbutt’s work failed to inspire either of us, either from a technical, creative, or artistic point of view. But, we were directed to visit the nearby Tucson Fine Art Gallery, where we found plenty of photography, sculpture, and paintings to enjoy. One oddity was the empty frame of a stolen Willem de Kooning painting, which had been stolen in 1985.Also on the “to-do” list was a hike up to Josephine Saddle. The Saddle is the site of a November 1958 tragedy, where three Boy Scouts on a weekend campout died when a freak blizzard arose. Hard to imagine. It’s a moderately difficult hike, with lots of slippery scree on the downslope. Our legs were stiff and sore for the next several days.
Of course, we still had to jam in a couple of our favorite bike rides. The long climb to the Mt. Hopkins Visitor Center is a regular Saturday event. About a 40 mile ride, with an 8-mile climb, and the corresponding screaming descent. A blast.
We also headed to Arivaca by bike this week, a 75 mile round trip. There’s a 23 mile section that’s primarily uphill rolling. It’s a hard ride, made somewhat easier by the fact that we had an overcast day, so we weren’t getting pounded by the sun. At the top, we usually stop at Gadsden Coffee Company – but it was CLOSED! Yikes! We were in need of caffeine and food, so we pedaled on another three or four miles and went to the tavern in town. Great burgers, diet Cokes for caffeine, and interesting bottlecap art on the outside patio wall.
The big downhill push, and a tailwind the rest of the way home made the return trip a breeze. Really. Riding to Arivaca is always special – it’s a very curious little town, populated with old hippies and peaceniks. I hope it will always be that way.Today, we took a tour of the Canoa Ranch, a property that was a working ranch into the 1950’s, and is now owned by Pima County. The homes and outbuildings are in the restoration process, and our tour was led the by Director of Restoration. It was focused on the nuts and bolts of the restoration project, which was fascinating. I don’ have any photos to share, but you can check out the website for the Park here. Listening to the explanation of all the research that has gone into this project, and the amazing level of detail that each little job requires, it’s a wonder that it can be accomplished on a County level. Very impressive.
We’ve begun to pack and sort stuff. How are we ever going to get all of this stuff back in the Fireball?