Report #11 Eloy & Tucson 

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Saguaro Cactus

Greetings from Benson, AZ. Here is what's been happenin' over the last 2 weeks:

Eloy, AZ

Last June I acquired a house in Eloy, AZ by foreclosing on a tax lien. When I originally purchased the lien, the house was in fair shape, but by the time I completed the foreclosure it was deserted, stripped and vandalized.  The purpose of my visit to Eloy was to clean it up, make it as safe as possible, and protect it from additional damage.  I parked my trailer next to the house, which is located about a block and a half from one of the busiest (and noisiest) railroad tracks I have ever seen. I arranged for a 20 cubic yard dumpster, and hired Jose and Jimbo from the neighborhood to help me.   Even though Jimbo had to leave early one day to see his parole officer, and Jose kept drinking from a bottle he kept in a paper bag, over the next 5 days we filled the dumpster twice as we cleaned up the yard and cleaned out the house.  And I slept poorly at night, woken many times by trains whistling long and loud at the nearby crossings.  By Sunday the yard was clean, the house was boarded up, and I was on my way to the Tucson area.

Saguaro National Park

The Saguaro (sa WA row) cactus is the tall one, usually shown with two branches that look like uplifted arms.  It grows only in the Sonoran Desert, which covers much of southern AZ, a bit of southeastern CA, and most of northern Mexico.  Not surprisingly, Saguaro National Park, which is actually two parks - one west of Tucson, and one east of Tucson - is full of 'um. I spent a day hiking in west Saguaro,  then a day hiking in east Saguaro.  It's like walking in a cactus garden; Cholla, Ocatillo, Prickly Pear, Barrel, and, of course, Saguaro.  I hope to return from Benson in a few days for an overnight trip in east Saguaro.

Arizona - Sonora Desert Museum

This is a cross between a zoo (of Sonoran wildlife) and an arboretum (of Sonoran desert plants), with a little history and ecology thrown in for good measure.  Desert animals on display include Javelina, Coyotes,  Bighorn Sheep, and about a dozen varieties of rattlesnake.  Well worth a visit.

Titan Missile Museum

This is a decommissioned Titan II Intercontinental Ballistic Missile silo and control room - the only publicly accessible ICBM site in the world.
Visitors are taken 30 feet below ground to visit the control room and one level of the missile silo.  The missile is still in place minus fuel and warhead.

Mission San Xavier del Bac

According to my "Tucson Official Visitors Guide"  this is one of the finest examples of mission architecture in the country.  It was built in the 17th century on what is now the San Xavier Indian Reservation and is still an active church with a Tohono O'Odham Indian congregation.

I spent Friday relaxing and reading at the trailer parked on BLM land southwest of   Tucson.   This morning (Saturday) I moved to the Escapee Park in Benson - Saguaro SKP Co-op, where I plan to spend the next 3 or 4 days.

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Residents of Saguaro SKP Co-op perform a skit in the Clubhouse

 The weather has been a little warmer lately, and there have been a couple of rainy days this past week.  The solar panel is working well, and I'm enjoying boondocking.   So far I've always moved on because I wanted to - not because my batteries or water supply were low, or because my holding tanks were full.

I expect my next report will be from Texas or New Mexico.


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Page last updated May 02, 2004