Exploring Tucson and Beyond

We haven’t spent all our time in Tucson holed up at Catalina State Park. There are restaurants, breweries, galleries and plenty of window shopping.

The Hotel Congress was built in 1919 and is one of the oldest buildings in downtown Tucson. In January, 1934 a fire started and the guests evacuated the hotel. One of the guests was John Dillinger who was laying low with his gang after a series of bank robberies. During the evacuation he was recognized and subsequently captured without a shot fired. The hotel celebrates his capture every January with “Dillinger Days”.

Some of the many murals that dot the downtown area.

No trip to Tucson is complete without a visit to one of our favorite Mexican restaurant, the mole is outstanding.

Just outside the park is access to a 131 mile bike trail. The trail loops around the city and is popular with walkers as well as cyclists. We used the trail to access the Oro Valley Farmers Market.

We also found the time to visit a couple of gardens. The Yume Japanese gardens is located off a busy thoroughfare and offers a quiet oasis. The day we visited they where having their Fall Ikebana Floral Festival.

Some of the many arrangements on display.

Last year while traveling in Florida we met fellow Airstreamers, Sandy and Bill. We’ve kept in touch through our blogs and realized our stay in Tucson would overlap.

You can check out their blog at:


We meet up for a visit to the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum. We were camping north of the museum and traveled south by way of scenic Gates Pass.

We have visited the Desert Museum in the past and have always been impressed by their unusual cacti displays.

The museum has expanded since our last visit and is definitely worth a visit if your in the area. Don’t forget to get there by way of Gates Pass.

Biosphere 2 is located about twenty miles north of Catalina State Park. We’ve seen the sign for years but have never made it there. The glass enclosed facility is 3.14 acres and recreates ocean, rainforest and desert biomes under the glass structures.

The facility opened in 1986 to research and develop self-sustaining space colonization technology. The facility was a closed system between 1991 and 1994 but insurmountable technical problems forced a reassessment of these grand goals. The University of Arizona took over management of the Biosphere in 2011 and uses it as a earth science research facility.

The “Lung”

Back at camp Bill and Shelly decided to hike to the Romero Pools while Sandy and Pat lounged back at the Tincan.

It’s a strenuous hike up to the pools.

There was even a decent amount of water in the pools.

Morning Light

Our two weeks in Tucson flew by. All too soon it was time to head north to Phoenix.

3 thoughts on “Exploring Tucson and Beyond”

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