We’ve had a pretty rough winter in 2022 and we could hardly wait to get out of town on our way to Arizona for the Casa Grande, Region 11 rally. It wasn’t as easy as driving south and then turning right. We had to hook up in a snow storm in Santa Fe and had plenty of cold nites and mornings in Alamogodo, NM.
Once we got to Alamogordo we dropped our rig and headed to White Sands National Park for stunning scenes at dusk and sunrise.
Special note about the picnic structures - they are not seen anywhere else except at this National Park. They were commissioned by the Park Service and designed by Lyle E Bennett. The image below was shot by Gary Winogrand a famous street photographer during one of his paying gigs.
Some more imagery from Alamogordo including the Air and Space Museum high on the hill overlooking the town
Then it was onto Casa Grande for the Region 11 Airstream Rally - it was being held at the Pinal County Fairgrounds which was your typical rural, dusty dirt campground. I gave a lecture on Alternative Travel Photography which was well attended and people seemed to enjoy it.
While in Casa Grande we went north to Chandler, AZ to the Airstream dealer - They took over an abandoned Big Box store and turned it into what they are saying is the largest AS dealer in the US. It was their soft opening - they fed us, showed us around. VP of sales from Jackson Center, Ohio ( home of AS) came to greet us.
Back at the fairground there were several Vintage AS to see - this is a a sub club within the main Club.
Also while we were near Phoenix decided to visit the local art museum to see an exhibit of Japanese photographers hosted by Hitachi. Some of my favorites were there: Daidō Moriyama Eikoh Hosoe Masahisa Fukase Yasuhiro Ishimoto
Casa Grande Ruins are being preserved and show the structures used by the Hohokum tribe. They farmed the land using multiple water canals.
Last Leg - Tucson.
Tubac - an artist colony near the Mexican border - I was there 30 years ago when it was quaint. It has exploded into a much more commercial enterprise. Many stores selling the same kitsch crap. The only thing I found of interest was their cemetery and the Mission at Tumacacori just outside of Tubac.
Happy Hour at the KOA - Last nite it was hosted by John Holly who put on a great spread of vegetarian chili, corn bread made in a Bundt Cake pan, shots of margaritas, wine tasting from St. Francis vineyards and Woodford Bourbon.
We made a quick trip up into Tucson to the Center for Creative Photography on the University of Arizona campus. It is one of the premiere centers for the study of photography. Unfortunately there wasn’t much to see for the visitor - I think its really a research museum. Their viewing galleries are contained on an online database.
Next in line to see was Mt. Lemon abut 40 miles from Tucson and 9,171 ft above sea level. They get snow and have a small ski area there.
What are HooDoos? A hoodoo is a tall, thin spire of rock that protrudes from the bottom of an arid drainage basin or badland. Hoodoos typically consist of relatively soft rock topped by harder, less easily eroded stone that protects each column from the elements. They generally form within sedimentary rock and volcanic rock formations.
Sonoran Desert Museum is a must see. Doesn’t sound all that interesting but they have really done a nice job of explaining the various animals and plants to be found in the Sonoran Desert. From here is on to Mt. Lemon which tops out at about 9200 ft asl.
Then all good things much come to an end - we left the KOA in Tucson and headed to the Tullarosa Winery and stayed there over nite for free - it was just a patch of dirt, no hook ups. They generally like folks to patronize the establishment. This is thru Harvest Host program.