It’s A Dry Heat

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backyard.jpgSpringtime is the best opportunity to visit Tucson, AZ.  I spent a summer in southern Arizona many years ago.  Let me tell you, Ft. Huachuca is NOT a great place to reenlist since 1877.

The family held a get together to sort of celebrate Grandma’s 90th birthday.  As her birthday is in July, cooler heads literally prevailed.

We checked out Kartchner Caverns.  The cave itself was stunning.  However, I could have done without the lecturing about how the oil from human hands and lint from human clothes posed some huge contamination threat to the cave’s ecosystem.  What made all that tsk-tsking even more eye-rollingly inane was the insistence that the cave cleaning crew would have to scrub the cave with bleach in order to counteract these horrible environmental threats.  Because, you know, bleach is so environmentally sensitive and all.  There was also this not so subtle criticism of the management of the other great caves in the US, particularly those in the South.  There was a display in the visitors center that implied that hillbillies were ill suited to manage Mammoth Cave and Cumberland Caverns.  Ok, maybe they have a point with Cumberland Caverns.

Later, we went golfing at the Ventana Canyon Mountain Course.   Uncle Tim was gracious enough to get us on for a quick nine holes.  The third hole is the signature hole on this beautiful course.  My grandfather’s ashes were spread on this hole.  More than likely, given the winds, his ashes were blown all over the course.
ventana3-1b.jpg If you look to the right, you can see a  large outcropping guarding the green.  My shot went right into that hellish mess, bounced about three times, landed on the green and rolled to about twelve feet from the pin.  Good to know that Grandpa’s mojo is still working on that hole.

Cousin Rory and Uncle Tim were without a doubt the big overall winners for the round.  Thankfully, we didn’t keep score. 

 Sunday morning, my father and I hiked Sabino Canyon.  To be more accurate, we took the tram to the top of the canyon trail and walked the almost four miles back to the parking lot.  No mountain lions were spotted despite the warnings.  I feel a little gypped.  The authorities claim you shouldn’t crouch down when facing off against the mountain lion, yet you should also throw rocks to scare the lion away.  I guess you are supposed to pick up the rocks with your prehensile tail.  Next trip we are going to hike the Rattlesnake Canyon trail.  Nothing bad could ever happen in a place called Rattlesnake Canyon.  No matter which trail you hike, let me recommend having some Gold Bond Medicated Powder on hand.  The dry heat evaporates any perspiration on your body, except the places the sun can’t reach.

The big party for Grandma was attended by the family and her circle of friends.  However, the amount of food involved was enough to feed everyone within a two-mile radius.  Grandma is still as sharp as a tack and far more active and engaged than people ten to twenty years her junior.  She stays in great shape and will be around for a quite a few more of these shindigs, I hope.

There is nothing I can say about how shitty air travel is that hasn’t been said before.   The best thing I can say about it is I’m glad to be off that damn plane.  As much as I enjoyed spending time with the family and getting to know my cousins (who were little tykes last time I saw them and are now grown men), it was good to get back.  It is a beautiful sight when the plane comes out of the clouds, and right below are the trees, hills and the green grass of home.


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One Response to “It’s A Dry Heat”

  1. mikexlewis Says:

    Just FYI all the accumulated oil and dirt from peoples fingers will actually alter cave formation growth and eventually take on a dirty brown appearance not unlike the greasy spots on the cave ceiling bat roosts. Glad you liked the cave, just don’t belittle the ranger’s efforts to keep the cave almost as pristine as when Randy and I discovered it.

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