This past month of January was of the colder ones on record here in Tucson. Not that we will get much sympathy from our friends and family back in the Midwest. But it has been a great month for us to get out and about around Tucson. Craig took the Studebaker out to Tanque Verde Ranch for a local club meeting. We managed to get out and hike. Our local owls have returned and are hooting up a storm and we finally made it down to Tubac for their annual art festival.
For those of you who didn’t know, we own a 1951 Studebaker pick-up. It was Jennifer’s Great-Grandparent’s. They bought it new in 1951. We took possession of it in 1994. Jennifer’s Dad had it stored in her Grandma’s barn. It was in a deplorable state and headed for the junk heap. He and Craig talked it over and decided to save it and restore it. Needless to say, ten years later and a lot of effort, fun, treasure hunting and dedication, it was done.
Craig has been part of local Studebaker clubs in most places we have lived since. He belongs to the local club here in Tucson. They were having their annual banquet at Tanque Verde Ranch, a local guest ranch and resort dating back to 1920s. There were about fifteen Studebakers there for a show prior to the meal and meetings. It was quite a sight. The buffet was great, even accompanied by a cowboy band.
We have not quite met our goal of hiking once a week. Between the rain, cold and my travel schedule, we are not getting out as often as we want. But we are getting out. A few weeks ago we managed to complete the southern half of the Cactus Forrest Trail we had started back at the beginning of the month.
We started at the trailhead on Old Spanish Trail road. It is a nondescript spot on the side of the road, but plenty of room to park our jeep. Like the northern half, it is relatively flat. This section seemed to have more up and downs though and the Saguaros seemed larger. We hiked in to Kiln Falls for lunch, same place we stopped on the northern half. It was a sunny, cool day, perfect for hiking.
Last year we started hearing owls hooting at night. There are two owls that must be local to our area. We saw them perching in the trees in the evenings, and even on the roofs of houses. But this winter, their hooting started growing infrequent and finally we stopped hearing them all together. We thought maybe they had left. Well, one night, we were cooking dinner and we heard them again, first time in over a month. We looked outside, and one of them was on the roof next door. We quietly walked outside and spent about 15 minutes watching it until it opened it wings and swept off. They’re back! 🙂
About 60 miles south of Tucson is Tubac, AZ. Tubac is a small art community known for its southwestern style and influence. Each winter it hosts an Art Festival of local area artists. After all our years in Tucson we finally made it there for the festival. It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the upper 60’s ,clear blue skies and not a cloud in sight. We spent the day walking through the various artist’s stands, stopping into local shops and just enjoying the day.
There were certainly a lot of artist’s stands. We even ran into an old friend’s stand where he had his art on display. So fun. Walking around was a boost to our appetite. Jennifer had heard of a “must-eat-there” place for lunch. We waited till after 1:00 to let the lunch crowd thin out, it did, but not by much. Elvira’sproved to be all she had heard; eclectic décor, great food and delicious margaritas.
So even with the colder than normal January, we still did manage to get out some. Unfortunately, the warm-up did not occur in February. Next up, “Snow in the Desert”