Monday, February 21, 2011


The 86th annual La Fiesta de los Vaqueros, Arizona’s "Celebration of the Cowboy", is centered on the Tucson Rodeo for nine days this month. It's one of the top 25 professional rodeo events in North America and the event is an official event in the year-long celebration leading up to Arizona’s 100th statehood birthday on Feb. 12, 2012.
Schools are out and Cowboys are in.
Mutin Bustin...the youngins, 5 to 7year olds, don't stay on long.......

This major outdoor event attracts locals and visitors from all over the world. Schools are closed on Thursday and Friday of rodeo week so families can enjoy the festive parade and rodeo traditions. Visitors come to experience the area’s Old West ways, including this championship rodeo, under warm desert skies, come rain or come shine. Everyone has dusted off their boots, grabbed their Setson, and are ready to see championship rodeo at it's best. Whether it's Mustin Bustin, Junior rodeo, Bareback riding, Steer wrestling, Saddle bronc riding,
Team roping, Barrel racing, or the crowd favorite, Bull Riding, there are 700 cowboy contestants, all looking to stay on a bull the longest or rope a steer the fastest. They have come at the pleasure of the massive crowds who have come to cheer them on to winning an event or two. Ada has been working as a volunteer (her third year) in the ticket booth this year; a promotion from ticket taking of previous years. (I guess they found out she knows how to work a credit card machine and has experience in sales.) Its great fun and a great non-profit organization whose mission benefits the University of Arizona Scholarship fund,  the Lion’s Club, Rotary Clubs and 4-H Groups.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Road trip, part 2, Las Vegas

We arrived in Las Vegas under sunny warm skies on Thursday, amidst a whole host of low flying planes coming into McCarran Airport in rapid succession. Its Super Bowl weekend and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority expect a great boost across the economy board with about 275,000 extra visitors. Visitors are expected to spend about $85.6 million on food, entertainment and a lot of gaming and sport betting. People are here from around the world and are out and about soaking up the excitement of the Super Bowl, and the Super weather, especially if they came from anywhere other than the Southwest, which seems to be the only area spared the evils of this winter.
The Sphinx greets the masses
at the Luxor Hotel....
New York, New York........
take a ride on that rollercoaster if you dare....
At the new Aria and City Center....
only an Engineer would have his picture taken in front of a giant eraser

Looking south on the strip.......

Looking North on the Strip,
so much walking today.....
Freemont Street........Old Town Vegas,
away from the strip, but always great fun here........
Home of the "Pawn Stars",
Old Man, Rich, Corey and Chumlee.
Donald watches this show all the time.
It's a "History Channel" reality show.

Road trip, part 1, Tucson to Palm Springs

Leaving Tucson and heading west through the Sonoran Desert,  passing through Gila Bend, Buckeye and so many other towns, small and all so similar, we are working our way to Quartzite, Arizona; the half way mark of our 350 mile trip to the Palm Springs area. Quartzite is the geode and gem rock capitol of the country and maybe even the world. We will be having lunch there and will poke around some before making our way to California, to the Palm Springs area approximately two hours down the road from Quartzite. We will actually be staying in Indio, CA, where dates are the main attraction for Donald.  For sure, we will venture over to the Oasis Date Farm, the biggest and most famous date place, where he will be having date shakes, nut stuffed dates and also purchasing a few pounds of them for himself, and a few more to take back to Tucson for Lena & Stephen. And, guess where he will spend the afternoon?  Ha, ha, ha……. and other stuff
Oasis Date Farm, Thermal, Ca.
                                                Date Palm Fields
Date Shakes.........Yum

The Salton Sea
The Salton Sea, seagulls and all, is a salt water surprise 30 miles south of the Palm Springs area along Rte 111, which was formed between 1905 and 1907 when the Colorado River burst through poorly built irrigation controls south of Yuma, Arizona. Almost the entire flow of the river filled the Salton Basin for more than a year, inundating communities, farms and the main line of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Continued filling of the Salton Sink was finally stopped in 1907, when a line of protective levees were built by boxcars dumping boulders into the breach from Southern Pacific tracks. By then, this inland lake was about 40 miles long and 13 miles wide, covering an area of about 400 square miles.

The Salton Sea is currently 35 miles by 15 miles and can be as long as 40 miles by almost 20 miles in particularly wet years. It has an average depth of 29.9 feet and, at its deepest, is 51 feet. It contains 7.3 million acre feet of water and evaporates 1.3 million acre feet each year. There is a five-mile-long trench on the south end of the Sea that is 51 feet deep. The Sea is currently 228 feet below sea level. Interestingly, the bed of the Salton Sea is only five feet higher than the lowest spot in Death Valley.

Fantasy Springs Resort.... Indio, Ca.
Nice accommodations, but a bit chilly for swiming.