Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 10 - Tucson, AZ

While we hadn't set an alarm clock, we were both awake and up just after 7 AM. It was easy to tell that it will be a bright, sun-shiny day here in Tucson, Arizona.

Linda had a nice bath and John worked on trying to catch up on the travelogue. We went for our complimentary breakfast around 8:15 AM. Not only did they have the perfunctory Choice Hotel waffle maker, they also offered a Denver omelette and some link sausages. It was a nice breakfast and neither one of us went away hungry.

Once back in our room, John worked on the travelogue for Day 02 and Linda gave Fannie Mae a beard and mustache bath. Then, Linda and Fannie Mae went on a short walk so Fannie Mae could do her business.

We left our motel somewhere around 10:17 AM, headed for the Saguaro (pronounced "swar" as in "swarthy" then "oh".... "swar-oh") National Park. This park is divided into two districts. There is an East District and a West District. The city of Tucson sits in the middle between the two districts. Our adventure today would take us to the East District, which is only about 9 miles from our motel (Pay attention if you are playing our Mileage Madness Game).

On our way to the park, John noticed something neither of us had seen in a very long time. There were speed limit signs posted along the way with different speed limits for day driving and night driving. A photo of one of the signs is included in today's photo gallery.

We arrived at the park and used John's National Park Senior Pass to enter the Saguaro National Park. We figure that pass is probably the best $10 we've ever spent!

Since we brought Fannie Mae with us, we couldn't plan on doing much hiking and leaving her in the car. That was just fine with John who's a bit out of shape to be an avid hiker (especially at altitudes above 300'). There is an 8 mile long loop drive through the park with many outlook points where you can pull off the road, view the scenery and take photographs. The loop drive is a one-way drive through the park. So we were able to stop pretty much anywhere we wanted to on the road and take photos. There was very little traffic except for an occasional car or bicycle. There is a dirt road about 2 miles long off of the main loop drive and goes to a picnic area with restroom facilities. Of course, we had to explore that road.

It took about 2 or 2-1/2 hours to complete our loop drive through the park. We then stopped at the Visitors Center to get our National Park Passport Book stamped and for Linda to get a lapel pin for the Saguaro National Park. Did we mention they also have restroom facilities at the Visitor Center?

On the way back to our motel we stopped at a Jamba Juice and both got a cold, refreshing drink. The temperature at that time, which was about 1:45 PM was over 90° here in Tucson.

We got back to our motel about 2:00 p.m. and had a bit of a snack so we would be ready to go out for a nice Mexican dinner this evening. Spent most of the afternoon working on travelogues for earlier days. Trying to catch up.

Just after 6:00 PM we went to dinner at La Parrilla Suiza, a nice Mexican restaurant recommended to us by an employee at the Comfort Inn. Linda had a vegetarian burrito and John had a shredded beef chimichanga. Both were way too much food and we each took half of our entree and put it in the cooler to take with us tomorrow. Our room will have a microwave....so, dinner is served.

Spent the rest of the evening on finishing up Day 03 so we can get it posted tonight and send the notification email. Then it was time to pack up the computers, make sure the camera batteries are all charged and get a good night's rest. It's only about 4-1/2 hours to El Centro and we just made reservations at the Rodeway Inn there after we got back from dinner.

To view today's photo gallery just click here.

Here is a short video:
A Few Seconds on the Saguaro National Park Loop Road

See you tomorrow!!

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