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Published: March 3rd 2015
Dana left on February 18th to join his brother and others for 10 days of golf in Orlando. My brother's girl friend Linda came in on the same day. It was nice to have company while Dana was away.
Linda and I spent a couple of days at the Grand Canyon which was a "gasping" experience for Linda who had never been there before. On arrival, we enjoyed a fabulous sunset and relaxed for the evening . The following day we spent some time hiking around the south rim and part way down the Angel trail. The weather was comfortable unlike the North rim which is cold and closed to the Public this time of year.
Next stop was Sedona with some awesome views of the "Red Rocks" and the Chapel of the Holy Cross . We chose to hike to the "Devils Bridge"; the trail itself was fairly easy until we reached the bridge and had to use our hands and feet to crawl up to the top. Our efforts were rewarded with a beautiful view and terrific (though scary) photo op. We hiked the Courthouse Butte loop the next day and took in the Tlaquepaque Arts and
Crafts gallery(local artisans) before heading back to Tucson.
While in Tucson Linda and I took in a hike at Sabino Canyon, toured the downtown area and visited the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun a very special and unique gallery . The gallery is a 10 acre historic district in the foothills that was created by a famous local artist Ted DeGrazia; his style is unique and the subjects of his paintings varied. We really enjoyed the visit ( check it out at www.degrazia.org. ). Every visit to Tucson should include a drive up to Mount Lemmon. This was a spectacular scenic drive ( so I am told as my eyes were on the road for the entire 8000 feet!) . We did encounter a snowstorm up top so we did not linger too long since the temperature was -2. I was glad to get down to +18 but do plan to take the drive again as a passenger!!.
Our last adventure was to the Kitt Peak Observatory located about an hour outside of Tucson. The observatory is located on land belonging to the Tohono O'odham Nation. The observatory leases only the top part of the mountain
from them. This facility has the world's largest collection of research telescopes( 23). We took 3 guided tours that covered the McMath- Pierce telescope (the largest solar telescope in the world), an older 2.1 metre telescope and finally the Mayall 4 metre telescope. These telescopes are used almost every night. Scientists from all over the world submit presentations in order to book one night's use.Competition is fierce. Unfortunately there is no longer any funding for the upkeep of some of the telescopes here and much of the newer equipment is now being located in Chile. Very interesting and informative tours although admittedly some of the info was way over my head. Our friend Randy would certainly enjoy a visit here particularly the discussions about dark matter and dark energy! You can visit the observatory at night but it is pre booked for weeks in advance and involves a harrowing drive down the mountain in the dark.
Lest you think Linda was worn out from all the activity I am happy to report that on her final day here we went for a short walk and spent the balance of the day at the pool relaxing.
Looking forward to having our friends Pat and Lesha visit for a few days later this week.
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