It was almost exactly two years ago when we visited Saguaro National Park near Tucson. That was on our westward bound portion of a car road trip that took us from coast to coast starting in October 2013. This time we parked our motorhome at the Western Way RV Resort which is located a little southwest of Tucson, a short drive from the Tucson Mountain District visitor’s center in the western portion of the park. We wanted to come back to see the Saguaros that are such beautiful and stately plants. Some of the native people believe that the Saguaro embodies the spirit of their ancestors, standing tall and strong as an example to be followed.
We did some hiking in the park and listened to one of the rangers talk about the Javelina, an interesting animal that is often referred to as a “desert pig” due to its appearance, although it is not at all related to pigs. Its teeth can lead one to assume that the Javelina might be an aggressor, especially the two large, sharp tusks that stick up from its lower jaw. However, they are vegetarian and rarely pose any danger to humans unless they are with offspring and feel threatened. Then they can exhibit a very determined and effective attack that will continue until they are satisfied that you no longer pose any danger to their young.
We spent one day exploring downtown Tucson. We took advantage of the Sunlink Trolley service that provides a convenient way to reach various parts of the city. We took our morning walk around the campus of the University of Arizona which borders the northeast side of Tucson. This school has over 40,000 students.
A little south of Tucson you can find the San Xavier Mission which dates from 1783. It has been referred to as “Tucson’s Sistine Chapel”. Perhaps this is hyperbole but it is a beautiful and historic building with extensive religious imagery on the inside walls and ceilings. Little is known about the artists who originally created the paintings and statues but in recent years an international group of restoration experts have been employed to bring new life to the interior art.
Next stop: Benson, AZ