Friday, November 2, 2018

Day 49 - Benson, AZ - TT

Today we visited the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum located southwest of Tucson about an hours drive from the campground. I had visited here a couple of times back in the early 1980s while still working for JPL and thought it was pretty nice back then. Now, the paths are mostly paved and a lot more has been added. It is now a combination between a zoo and an arboretum in addition to the museum.

 It is a very pleasant 73°F and not a cloud in the sky. The first picture is just an iPhone snapshot from the coffee shop in the afternoon. The second picture was taken in the morning from the trail at the museum. There were a number of loops in addition to the main path through all of the areas including a gravel path to see the javelinas and coyotes in a more natural setting. Essentially a fenced off area within the museum grounds.

There was a butterfly and moth section. I didn't see any moths but there were some butterflies. In addition to the butterfly pen, there were also netted in areas for hummingbirds and birds. I wasn't able to get any decent pictures of either as there were more people than birds. But I did get to see a number of hummingbirds.

The cactus "garden" was especially interesting. I didn't realize that there were so many varieties. While walking through the desert, all of the cholla look alike. But the saguaro looks pretty distinctive with their "arms". I knew that they grew slowly but, in reality, they grow very, very slowly. A fifteen-year-old saguaro is only about 6" tall.

This museum is a "must-see" if you are in the Tucson area. Assuming you like museum/zoo/arboretums.

There were so many different species, that it was very difficult to keep track. By noon, the place was getting more crowded with school and scout groups. In addition to a bunch of conference attendees all wearing their conference badges. It never got annoying or Disneyland crowded. We had lunch at the sit-down restaurant within the museum. Very good food, pleasant wait staff, but it seemed a bit unorganized and understaffed.

After the museum, I stopped at Camping World to get an estimate on getting some things installed or replaced. The A/C doesn't really cool well when its really hot like last summer and I asked about replacing it with a larger unit. The awning fabric is starting to tear at one end where it attaches to the trailer and you could see a couple of holes developing in the fabric. And, the RV doesn't have a slide topper installed which is like an awning that covers the top of the slide to keep debris such as leaves and acorns off. For all of this, it's around $2500 mostly parts and a 3-year warranty. The labor was less than I expected.


redlegsrides said...

$2500 for all that stuff? Seems OK I guess, right now, using white gorilla tape on my URRV's awning. I've read somewhere that AC units in RVs will only cool to about 20 degrees lower than outside temperature? Not sure, but then, bigger AC unit should be "cooler" to the slideout cover, our URRV came with one installed by PO, it's nice to not have to think about getting up on the roof to sweep stuff off the slideout before bringing it in.

RichardM said...

It was about what I expected. I had priced new A/C units on the Internet and the Camping World price was in the ballpark. And installation was less than I expected. The same with the awning replacement. The high item was the slide topper due to all of the parts and pieces needed.

SonjaM said...

An investment well worth it, I guess.

Lovely detail shots of the butterfly and cacti, Richard.

Lynne Goebeler said...

Looks like a great stop! Will put it on our list for next winter.

RichardM said...

I heard that the Sonora Desert Museum is one of the top ten museums in the country.

RichardM said...

Given that we are thinking of spending almost half of each year in the RV it's worth keeping it in good condition. I think....

Thank you!