Greetings from Benson, AZ

Greetings from Benson, Arizona! We are staying at Butterfields resort and observatory, and last night we got to see the stars from the observatory! Really very different from planetariums. Learned a lot about how scientists study these things and why they think there is life on one of Saturns moons. But I will start at the beginning.

We were disappointed by Sedona. The campground was nice – first time we have seen actual grass in a long time – but Sedona was designed for purchasing upscale items. Camp Verde was your typical rocky campground. The roadway is paved but everything else is small rocks.

We did go see Jerome, a copper mine high in the mountains, and Montezuma’s Castle, which is not a castle and has nothing to do with Montezuma.

Montezumas CastleWe also went to Out of Africa, a wildlife park on rocks with lions and tigers and bears. We took a mog ride around the outback and saw lot of wild animals, pretty much all rescues.

Feeding a GiraffeCarlos left us in Phoenix. It has been hard to get used to his absence. Rocky is still looking for him. He has graduated college now and has to get a job, so he probably won’t be back next year.

We scheduled ourselves for a week at Butterfields, just to rest. We actually have a tree! But still no grass, it’s all rocks. There is an outbreak of Leptospirosis (a dog disease spread by urine) in this area so they are pretty strict about taking your dog to the dog park to do his business. They disinfect the dog park daily. That means walking Rocky on rocks or hot blacktop several times a day, so we are going to REI today to buy him some shoes. Not just for this area, this has been an ongoing problem for him. Hot, hot rocks.

Saguaro National ParkWe went to see Seguaro National Park yesterday, which is an 8 mile drive through the deserts with parking areas and signs to explain what you are seeing. Lots and lots of cacti. We stopped on the way home to see “The Thing”, which was probably a paper mache mummy. But it was in a museum that was probably put together in the 70’s and never updated. Some interesting cars, old implements from the 19th and early 20th century, all displayed on shag rugs and covered with a layer of dust and dead bugs. Still, it was worth the 90 cents we paid. (We got a 10% discount.)

Today we are going to REI, then off to Tombstone. Tomorrow we signed up for a private tour of a movie town and then who knows. We are still dealing with the heat, although it doesn’t get much over 95 here. We are in “monsoon season”, which means it storms pretty much every night.