Thursday, March 17, 2016

Off Topic - Southern Arizona Day Trips

It is spring break at the University and we have been off on several day trips that are briefly highlighted here. Last Saturday we drove a loop through Sonoita, Patagonia, and Tubac. We had lunch at the Velvet Elvis in Patagonia - above and two photos below. This place has been in business since the late 1990s and is well-known for artisan pizza - as per the metal sculpture at the door. We definitely recommend a stop here.

On Tuesday we headed west toward Sells and lunched at the Desert Rain Cafe. The Cafe is run by the Tohono O'odham Nation and specializes in Native American preparations, many of which feature things like tepary beans, cholla buds, and prickly pear fruit. We recommend a stop there, although it is certainly off the beaten path. Note the weather theme in the metal work above, along the dining patio.

Although the landscapes out that way were dominated by brown, there were some wildflowers in bloom along Highway 86.

Above is a shot of the Tohono O'odhams' sacred peak - Baboquivari - taken from the east in the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, which is another interesting place to visit, that is also well off the beaten path.

As we headed back to I-19, we stopped to take photos at the famous cow skull restaurant in Amado - below. Think of Martin Scorsese's 1974 movie Alice Doesn't Live here Anymore. Unfortunately, the place has been closed for several years, so no interior shots.

The main aggravation of these trips was observing, up close, the extreme budgetary excesses of the U.S. Border Patrol. Many tens of huge vehicles roaring up and down the roads and highways every few minutes; numerous new facilities; and about five seemingly over-staffed and onerous checkpoints. Our overall impression is that this is an agency that is seriously out-of-control!

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