From Marfa Texas to Phoenix Arizona doesn’t take ten days driving. We have made a couple of lengthy stops along the way, but somehow I never got around to writing about our experiences. Our next stop after Marfa was Las Cruces NM where we stayed five nights. We had a delightful evening with Leora Zeitlin attending a Jazz concert that was the culmination of a high school jazz festival held at New Mexico State University Las Cruces (hereafter NMSU). The performances were by NMSU music students who were wonderful with the addition of a couple of top notch professional performers/teachers. We gathered at Marianne Zeitlin’s new home with her family for Shabbat dinner and also had dinner out on Saturday night.
In between we managed to find a museum we had not heard of or been to right on the campus. It is the Zuhl Fossil Museum. It is a couple of rooms in the Alumni Center and has a wonderful collection of petrified wood pieces from slabs to cross sections to logs. There are also a large number of ammonites. It is worth a stop for the beauty although I am not sure about the academic value. We also went to Las Cruces Museum of Art where there was a special exhibit of an artist named Bauman who worked in many media, but his woodcuts are among the most interesting and wonderful. I do not remember seeing woodcuts that are so colorful. He also was a sculptor and cabinet maker as well as a painter. On leaving the Art Gallery we exited through the Science Museum which is connected. These two museums are on Main Street in the market area.
From Las Cruces we continued west to Tucson where we set up in Catalina State Park which is just north of the city. We couldn’t get a site in main camping circles, but we were able to get into the overflow area (Ringtail Circle). This is an open circle of sand with sites marked out around the edge. There are no facilities other than a wonderful bathhouse with great showers. We had site 12 and, should we ever head there again we would much prefer either 12 or 13 which are deep in a back corner with a bit of privacy and room to establish a patio.
Our solar panels (photovoltaic energy panels) provided us with sufficient electricity to keep our batteries charged and so long as we were judicious with our use of energy (no tv, microwave etc) we had little need to run the generator. Over four days we ran it less than 5 hours. There is wonderful hiking and fine birding throughout the park. We started the climb to Romero Pools, but turned back about a mile short as the going was very steep and we had not brought lunch with us. This was not a miscalculation so much as a decision. We were meeting my high school classmate Marjorie and her husband Larry for dinner nearby at 5:30.
The night before we had dinner at Eleanor and Kelly’s home in Saddlebrooke about 6 miles north of Catalina SP. We met them on our trip to Thailand and Vietnam in December and had looked forward to continuing the friendship. It was wonderful to see their lovely home with great mountain views and quail marching along their garden wall. Carol and enjoyed the evening and will certainly call again when we are in the vicinity. It is not altogether impossible that we could see them in Rochester some day as they have a son living there, Kelly worked for Kodak once upon a time.
From Tucson it was a short jaunt north to Phoenix. What a change, from the desert campsite with no hookups and absolute quiet at night to Phoenix Metro RV Park located on the frontage road to I 17 with coaches lined up every 20 feet and a city stretching in all directions. We plan to visit the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) again and maybe some other galleries/museums we have seen before. We also hope to see the Markusens from Rochester who have a wonderful place near Cave Creek. The timing depends on how their basketball team does in a tournament (pardon my ignorance of teams and tournaments – I do know March Madness will be upon us very soon, I heard it on NPR).
I hesitate to comment on my dealings with coach issues, Murphy may be looking over my shoulder. Everything has been working as I would hope. I guess I have shaken out most of the kinks, for now.