Monday, April 21, 2014

Davis- Monthan Thunder and Lightening Air Show Tucson, Arizona April 12, 2014

                         Will Allen Flying Tenor

April 12 and 13 Davis-Monthan Air Base opened their gates for the Thunder and Lightening Air Show. This was a way for the base to say thank you to the community as well as for Tucson to say thank you to the airmen who keep the nation safe. Performers included the US Airforce Thunderbirds, US AirForce Parachute Team, Desert Lightening Team, P-51 and B-25 among many others. On April 12 the wind was gusting over 40 mph making for tough flying conditions. In the afternoon the Thunderbirds and the parachute team couldn't perform. Despite the cancellation of two acts Tara, Quintin and I still saw great demonstrations and planes.

                                                Will Allen Flying Tenor

                         Kent Pietsch flyin Jelly Bean

               B-25 Mitchell

                         B-25 and P-51

                      Desert Rat Warbirds

                                              Desert Rat Warbirds

                              Helicopters with the Lightening extraction team

                             Quintin and I with a helicopter

                                     In front of the A-10 one of favorites

                                        World War II troop transport

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tucson Hullabaloo Festival April 5, 2014

                                            Love the colors

Over the last five years th city of Tucson has made a concerted effort to create more of a sense of community. This has been accomplished through numerous avenues including the revitalization of downtown with the new trolley set to open as well as the creation of festivals throughout the year. In early April I attended the inaugural Hullabaloo and Cyclovia downtown at Armory Park. The festival's mission statement is the "Celebration of community in a responsible and fun atmosphere for everyone." Activities included a big kids area with bounce houses and slides, live music, local food and micro brews from Arizona. On Sunday five miles of roads in downtown were cordoned off for bicycles and pedestrians.  Live music I saw at the festival included Salvador Duran and Jimmy Carr and The Awkward Moments.  Salvador Duran sings Spanish language songs from Mexico, Central America and South America. Jimmy Carr and The Awkward Moments is a local fusion gypsy-folk-jazz group.

                       The stage for the live music

                             Salvador Duran

                             Characters entertaining the kids

                                                   Part of the funky nature of the festival

                                Jimmy Carr and The Awkward Moments

                                 They had a really good bugle/trumpet player.

                                       Fun for all.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Hugh Norris to Wasson Peak March 19, 2014

                                        Desert marigold

On this blog I have described two routes to the top of Wasson Peak (Sendero Esperanza and Sweetwater Canyon) both of which are beautiful routes. Today's post is about the Hugh Norris trail which is the longest trail in the Tucson Mountains and also one of the more popular for reaching the summit of Wasson Peak. The trail is 10 miles round trip with 2100 feet of elevation gain. Arrive early because the parking lot at the trail head only accommodates three cars. I would suggest hiking early in the morning because the entire trail is exposed to the sun.

Trail Description: This trail is well signed and easy to follow all the way to the summit.  After leaving the trail head the Hugh Norris trail switchbacks through a drainage with Teddy bear cholla and Saguaro. After two miles the trail reaches the west ridge of Wasson Peak. From here to the summit the views are truly exceptional. Bring a map along and try to identify some of the ranges. After about three miles the trail reaches the junction of the Sendero Esperanza Trail. After the trail junction the Hugh Norris trail gains elevation more precipitously entering a new habitat of Jojoba, yucca, grasses and Ocotillo. At about 4.5 miles the Hugh Norris trail reaches the King Canyon trail junctiion. From here it is about .4 miles to the summit. On this hike I saw Ocotillo blooming, Desert marigolds, blooming Hedgehog cactus and Staghorn cholla. (information from


                               Ocotillo and Saguaros on first part of Hugh Norris trail

                     Pink flower Hedgehog Cactus

                                 Blooming Hedgehog cactus

                          Me on top of Wasson Peak

                        Staghorn Cholla in bloom

                          Sonoran Desert in Ironwood National Monument