Drove back to the west unit to go to the Desert Museum. It cost us $20 a head because they asked if we were ancient enough or retired military or members or gimps but we were none of the above so we had to pay full price. Nevertheless, it is a spectacular museum with multiple outside pavilions with all kinds of critters like hummingbirds, regular birds, snakes, bugs, spiders, otters, a beaver, raptors and cats. They also have an extensive garden of both native and imported desert plants. Definitely worth the $20 but you need to either go early in the day or cover it in two days because it is extensive.
From the museum we went about 2 miles down the road to something called “Old Tucson” that seems to be a mix between an old west movie studio and an amusement park. We passed on this one.
From there we went home over Gates Pass Road again and it was just as pretty as yesterday.
Peg & I went to Tohono Chul Park in Tucson. This is a donated piece of land that has been turned into a botanical garden sort of right in the middle of town. It is gorgeous and we took a bunch of photos.
Since we look ancient they gave us the senior rate entrance fees despite the fact neither of us was 62.
From this park we drove to Catalina State Park to check out the RV camping although it is unlikely we will move. The camping spots are $20 for dry camping, $25 for 30 amp hookups and $30 for 50 amp electrical. All electric sites have water but none of the sites have sewer. The adjacent scenery is a mountain range that rises almost immediately up to the point where snow was visible in the higher elevations. Maybe next time.
From this place we drove to the west unit of Saguaro National Park. As usual, we got in free because of our access pass we bought last July in Gold Beach. This part of the park has all the same sort of cactus-like stuff we saw in the east unit but this area must get better light or more water because the vegetation is very thick. I don’t think you could walk through the areas off the road w/o being skewered by saguaro, fish hook, chollas, teddy bear chollas or some other form of cactus. We did a drive-by at the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum and we will return to it prior to departure from this area. We exited the area by driving over a road called Gates Pass and the scenery is spectacular but the road is such that about 20 mph is your best speed. There are plenty of places to pull out, however, and I heartily endorse this route as long as you are not pulling a trailer.
Departed Casa Grande and drove east on I-10 but only as far as Tucson. We set the Barbarian Invader up in the Pima County Fairgrounds for $20 a night with full hookups. Again, the wi-fi was NFG. The RV area was a big gravel vacant lot which is not too different from the surrounding country which is a big flat area with tough little desert plants. Water, power and sewer worked well. The fairgrounds are about 5 or 10 miles south of Tucson.