Trip Down Memory Lane

Trip Down Memory Lane

It’s astonishing that there are places we had never been to in Tucson despite having lived here for 5 years. We didn’t even know that the Saguaro National Park is split into East and West, with the town of Tucson sitting in the middle of it. We’d been to the park on the East side several times, but had never been to the one on the West side. So, that was the first thing we hit after driving through our old neighborhood, for old times’ sake.

This park has the highest concentration of Saguaros. If you look closely, the mountain is covered in Saguaros.
The scenic Bajada Loop Drive is unpaved, so don’t take your fancy car with the 21-inch tires to drive this loop. Needless to say, we did not complete the loop.
The 97F temp limited our “hike” to the short, paved, handicap accessible nature loop. It still got us close to the towering saguaros for us to appreciate. Saguaros don’t start sprouting “arms” until they are at least 75 years old! So imagine how old this one must be!
We were impressed with how green Tucson is in comparison to SoCal. All thanks to the above average rainfall they got this year. Still praying for monsoon while we’re here.
After our little adventure at the park, we headed to the star of this trip, El Guero Canelo, for lunch.
Their famous Sonoran hotdog, and unmatched carne asada tacos.
Check out the pile of carne in one taco! SoCal’s tacos are puny in comparison!

After lunch, we headed south to the San Xavier Mission, another place Joe’s never been.

Interstate 19, between Tucson and the Mexican border, is where you’ll find the only metric highway in the US. Did you know that the US is one of 3 countries (the other 2 being Myanmar and Liberia) in the entire world that uses the imperial system?
The San Xavier Del Bac Mission built between 1783 and 1797 is the oldest European structure in Arizona. It is a beautiful Spanish Moorish style architecture that you would never expect to see in the Southwest desert.
The interior restoration is finally complete.

We spent part of the afternoon driving around town, reminiscing about our time spent in Tucson. For the most part, not much has changed, including real estate prices. However, we did see that more houses are being built, and feel that there are more cars on the road. Road surfaces are bumpier as if the city never repaved the roads in the 10 years we’ve been gone. We were also struck by how many young druggies we saw walking on the streets of downtown Tucson. Apparently, since marijuana had been legalized a few years ago, the Mexican cartels have switched from selling marijuana to hard drugs like heroin, meth, and fentanyl, making certain parts of Tucson look seedier than ever.

Passed by this mural titled “Epic Rides” by Joe Pagac on our way to dinner. Javelinas on bikes are stuff nightmares are made of. Joe and I still remember the time when he and the dogs were chased by a family of javelinas while out on a walk in the neighborhood.
Dinner was at another great taco joint (truck), El Antojo Poblano.
Al pastor and carne asada tacos were delicious, and if El Guero Canelo is a 10/10, this place would be a 9.9/10.

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