Saturday, June 4, 2016

Sibling Visit!

We got back safely to AZ on Thursday evening (actually Friday morning), only 3 hours late or so - no reason from the airlines - just the way it is these days! At least they didn't cancel the flight like a year ago, stranding us in Chicago for 2 extra days!  We found upon arrival that Tucson had just broken 100F for the first time Thursday, and is supposed to be something close to 110F over the weekend! It makes that final day in Chicago with a 77F high temp look mighty fine! But anyway, here we are back in Tucson...

And I'm still catching up on May posts even though the calendar sez June! Way back 3 weeks ago, before we even left for the Midwest, we were paid a visit by my sister Linda and her husband Lauren. He had never been to Arizona and she had not since she helped care for me after my first aortic valve replacement surgery 12 years ago, so figured it was a good time for a visit. They camped out at a nearby hotel and spent a few days with us, then took off to the Canyon and northern Az while we flew off to Chicago, to see them up there later in the weekend!

Anyway, we had a great time - I got to impress them with a tour of the Mirror Lab where I work, and they took an early morning tour of the Desert Museum on their own while I got some work hours in. Otherwise we spent lots of time and meals together and tried to give them a taste of Tucson. Lauren was impressed with the "dry heat" and how he never sweated with temps in the 90s, as it evaporated as it was supposed to once he got away from the humidity of Illinois. He was also impressed with the view of the mountains circling the city, so what better day trip to take than a leisurely drive up Mount Lemmon for a late lunch at the Iron Door Inn up by the ski slopes of the mountaintop? While a decent host, I didn't play much of a photographer, so don't have a lot of images of their visit other than the Mount Lemmon trip... Our first stop was at "Bad Dog" (actually Babad Do'ag) overlook shortly after ascending the slopes. That is where I pointed out all the saguaro flowers we could see from that viewpoint, yet another mile up the road and there were no saguaros to be seen at the slightly higher elevation...

Another 10 miles and we got to "Windy Point", another fine place to stop for bathrooms if not for the view. While I've not been there for ages, Linda took off scrambling over the rocks like a native, so I tried to stay within range and took a few pictures. We finally got to a point where you couldn't go much further, a great viewpoint of the Tucson Valley and the mountains beyond. Of course, knowing me, with a willing model that would hold still for a few seconds, I took a stereo pair - at left presented as an anaglyph - so get out your red/blue glasses to view the image at left. Linda told me her granddaughters enjoy looking at the 3D images I post, so they should be doubly thrilled to see grandma on the edge of the cliff! She also tried the "flying" pose a couple times, claiming it felt natural overlooking the canyon. Holding it again for a few seconds, I took a 6-frame panorama to take her and the full view in. Cropped down to reasonably fit a rectangular format here, I printed her out the original 12"X36" banner print and framed it for her while we were in Illinois - she liked it!  Note that Kitt Peak is on the horizon over her right shoulder!

We finished our drive to the mountaintop, enjoying the cool temperatures and the hummingbirds at the Iron Door patio, though we ate inside. We made the short trip down to Summerhaven to check out one or two shops, then headed down the hill. We stopped once more just above Windy Point at Geology Vista - a more regular stop of mine. Grabbing the binoculars, I pointed out a few objects of interest to Lauren, including the view at left of part of the "Boneyard", a storage yard of military aircraft for parts and available for return to service. This image is taken with a 300mm lens, and is shown at full resolution of the Canon XSi (pretty severe crop). Besides the hundreds of acres of planes shown here, at the upper part of the picture is shown the Pima Air and Space Museum, with its own impressive collection of planes. I've also paid a couple visits there the last 2 months and have yet to post about those trips, so still have more to catch up on!

So they had a great trip, and talked about another visit sooner than the 12 elapsed years since Linda has been here.  While we were a little concerned about how draining their visit would be on Melinda, she handled it fine, though perhaps their not staying with us was key to that.  I recall Lauren might have an allergy to our cats too, and with 9 of them around, that might have been a problem!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sawmill Run is also a wonderful restaurant in Summerhaven. good folks, good friends, great food, and good times. Debbie, owner of the Living Rainbow, also a good friend has some of the best gift options with the most reasonable prices. She has been the owner for several decades. Good folks up there on the mountain. News 4 was up there filming Friday and so was I.