For a medium sized city Tucson has a lot of very talented artistic people. Every once in a while they have a ‘Made in Tucson’ market. Like many of the other markets it is located near Fourth Avenue, this time a few blocks along 7th Street.
This market was restricted to 300 vendors, with over 500 applying to participate.
There were all sorts of wares offered for sale.
Rightfully so, the artists are proud of their work and more than happy to explain their craft.
The food court included a number of trucks and one ‘food horse trailer’!
The Tucson Garden Railway Club had their annual open houses at 8 different locations around the city. I was able to visit 5 of them.
The first stop was at the Rincon Country West RV Resort. This location has over 1000 mobile homes and RV spaces, primarily for snowbirds. They also seem to have the most palm trees per square mile of anywhere in Arizona.
With all the retirees in the neighborhood they have clubs for everything, including their garden railway club. Their railway set up is permanent.
Many of the buildings were custom built.
The next stop was the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, located on the grounds of the historic railway station.
Their small garden railway has without a doubt the most impressive railroad artifact next to it, a 157,000 pound Southern Pacific Railway locomotive dating from 1900.
Next stop was a private home in the hills west of downtown. Their backyard setup was nice, as were the views.
Their pet Schnauzer kept watch over the happenings.
The 4th railway setup was in a backyard of a home in Marana. This setup showed you don’t need a lot of space to have a nice setup.
The Grand Finale was a home in Catalina Foothills. The owner, an artist, custom built nearly everything.
In addition he is an avid cacti gardener, with the railway highlighting the vegetation, and vice versa.
The building construction was impressively intricate.
All of the presentations were nice, but this one was the most impressive.
The city of Bisbee is actually made up of the original town, plus a few of the outlying former small towns. One of those just south of the original part of Bisbee is Lowell.
The town was once like most places, with a main street shops and a few neighborhoods. Unfortunately for Lowell the massive copper mine next door wiped out all of the housing leaving only the main street, Erie Avenue.
Rather than completely die, Erie Avenue lives on thanks to a group of people who make up Lowell Americana Project.
At first glance it seems it is a ghost town where someone has parked a number of old vehicles. Closer examination shows there are a number of business that cater to the steady (but small) stream of tourists, including the very good Bisbee Breakfast Club restaurant – get the Shrimp Omelet, it is very good.
We arrived mid afternoon on a Sunday so there weren’t any tourist cars parked in the way of the photo ops with the vintage ones parked all along Erie Street.
One of many low angle views, this one of an Edsel.
Almost all of the cars and trucks parked around town are ‘rusty gold’ including this Studebaker pickup.
An old Chevy underneath the dealership sign.
This old bus has been renamed Strayhound.
There are a few open businesses to entertain you.
A couple of fully restored vehicles stand out amongst the rust.
Lowell, Arizona is one quirky stop, and literally about 1/4 mile from the Shady Dell!
People from all over the world come to Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. There are more than 40 different locations throughout the city where more than 4000 vendors have booths and tents set up. This posting is for a visit to the Kino Gem and Mineral Show.
With the show running for more than 2 weeks, more posting will follow.
Some of the vendors are wholesale only.
Most however are geared to the general public. All have an eclectic collection of items for sale, starting with the minerals and gems.
The majority have collections of more finished items.
Others aren’t even gems, but still make for great photos.
While Tucson has been home to European descent people for a few hundred years, the Native American’s have been here much longer. The Mission Gardens are at the base of Sentinel Mountain, also known as ‘A’ Mountain with the giant University of Arizona ‘A’ in rocks at the top.
This location is the oldest known canal irrigated agriculture in the United States, having been home to people for 3500 years!
It is known as the birthplace of Tucson.
The gardens celebrate this history with Hohokam, O’Odham, Spanish, Mexican and Chinese cultures, as well as others.
The garden is home to many plants and trees that while might not be native to the area, have been historically important, like one of the ‘C’s of Arizona – Citrus.
Another one of the ‘C’s are represented with a few small cotton plants, which has historically been grown by the Hohokam in the deserts of what is now Arizona for thousands of years.
There is ongoing debate about the future of the cotton industry in Arizona because of the amount of water it takes to grow (although far less that the massive alfalfa fields you see throughout the state).
There are some flowers interspersed throughout the garden, including these Marigolds.
Being in the desert much of the perimeter landscaping are the native plants like the prickly pear and barrel cactus.
Some primitive art is scattered about as well.
The Chinese Cultural Center was having a celebration the day we visited.
While small, the gardens provide a vital service teaching people how to survive in the desert, while celebrating the past.