February 24, 2012
Tuscon has the longest non-motorized parade in the world. It’s all horse-flesh and bands. Everyone walks or rides a horse or something pulled by a horse.
We don’t know the various schools or anybody in the parade, but everyone loves a parade, right?
Parades are always colorful.
It’s not everyday you get to paint your mule’s hooves to match your clothes. Aren’t they pretty in pink?
I don’t know my horse breeds well enough to know what they all were, but I recognized quarter horses, percherons, clydesdales, thoroughbreds, palominos, and paints; there were many others and quite a show.
People watching is always part of the show and this little guy did everything he could to make his mother mad. He had it down to an art and I got a kick out of watching his mischief, but, of course, his mother was not very happy with him.
Later in the day, we attended the Tuscon Rodeo, touted as one of the best western rodeos in the nation. They attract riders from Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, California, Colorado, Washington and probably others.
The bronc riding was exciting and dangerous as anyone can see. They have to stay on for 8 seconds. And, they can only hold on with one hand. There are rules about how they hold their feet as well.
It takes great skill and practice. Then, getting them off the bucking bronco is another challenge since the bronc doesn’t hold still while he dismounts. A good many get bucked off as you can imagine.
Bronc riding comes from the old days of catching wild horses and taming them to accept a rider.
The next event was single calf roping. The rider has to rope the calf, dismount and tie three of the calf’s legs. The horse (trained by the cow puncher) has to hold the calf steady for six seconds before the event is finished. This is a skill from when calves were branded on the open range.
Then, double calf roping is even harder. The idea is for one to rope the neck the other to rope the back legs and make short work of getting it on the ground for a brand.
The rider must hold on with one hand only. They don’t get very far from the chute. The announcer kept saying, “I don’t know what they get paid, but it ain’t enough!”
This bull was bucking inside the chute and the rider barely got out.
The final event for the day was women’s barrel racing. They have to make it from the starting point, circle three barrels and then hell-bent for leather back to the gate. I took a lot of pictures and will load them tomorrow if you want to see them. I did a very short, maybe six second video of the barrel racing you can see by clicking on the link below.
And, people watching is part of the deal, too. I liked her earring-on her!
Parade and Rodeo pictures: https://picasaweb.google.com/106530979158681190260/2012223ParadeRodeo
February 20, 2012
Tuscon’s early residents were Mexican. The Barrio was where they lived, near a wonderful spot with natural springs. Travelers could water their horses, and like Old Mexico, women brought their clay jugs to the well for household water. The Elysian Gardens formed around the spring became the Barrio center, where people met their neighbors and established social contacts. We started at the edge of the Barrio where some crumbling old adobes await restoration in the Barrio.
It is easy to see how the adobes were built, with their over the door stiles, the hand-made bricks covered over with adobe mud. The adobe, in a hot climate, is a practical, cool building even now.
Some buildings retain the flavor of those times. Especially old businesses like this theatre. Remnants of painted signs on the side of buildings provides a glimpse of the past.
What’s left of the Barrio is mostly restored and beautiful. The bright colors remind me of the Painted Ladies of San Francisco and Methodist homes of Marthas Vineyard.
The area supports a predominantly Mexican community, still.
Restored and beautiful, they retain their distinct shape and purpose.
As you walk the neighborhood, you are as likely to see a section of great charm, as you are a make-shift fence.
Adobes are flat roofed and the water drains through pipes, wood or clay troughs.
If you must use a pipe to drain your roof, why not make it a thing of artistic beauty?
Like this decorative feature for the window bars.
A brightly painted doorway and steps.
I think this one says KEEP OUT! The entire gate is knives.
I preferred this happy little bird.
Many of the adobes still had courtyards. In some of the smallest places, a cool, and inviting retreat could be seen.
Painted murals and colorful decoration are common to Mexican culture.
This resident may not be rich, but he certainly retains his sense of humor. A collection of 13 doorknobs. We thoroughly walked, photographed and enjoyed the neighborhood and returned to what was once the center of the Barrio, what is left of the Elysian Gardens and the Little Eye Springs.
Taken from the history of the Barrio is the designation Barrio Libre:
“This designation was given by the Mexican residents to that quarter of the city lying among Meyer and adjacent streets, southward of the business portion of the city occupied by the Americans. It means Free Zone, and in earlier times was allowed to remain without legal restraints or the presence of a policeman. Here, the Mescalian could imbibe his fill, and either male or female could, in peaceful intoxication, sleep on the sidewalk or in the middle of the streets, with all their ancient rights respected. Fandangoes, monte, chicken fights, broils, and all the amusements of the lower class of Mexicans were, in this quarter, indulged in without restraint; and to this day much of the old-time regime prevails, although the encroachments of the American element indicate the ultimate doom of the customs in the Barrio Libre. It must be understood that these remarks apply only to the lower class of Mexicans and not to the cultured Mexican residents of the city, who, for intelligence and enterprise, are foremost among our people.”
This shrine near the gardens is called El Tiradito, the wishing shrine and is an historical monument. It is the only shrine dedicated to the sinner buried in unconsecrated ground and is fondly referred to as The Castaway.
We then repaired to the nearby El Minuto Cafe and had fabulous Mexican food.
February 18, 2012
Yesterday, we left Sandee’s and drove to Thornydale, AZ where I was able to buy ink for our printer, fax paperwork and catch up on some business before reaching a small suburb of Tuscon. I’m learning that Tuscon covers a huge area of influence. Didn’t we just leave Tuscon 80 miles back?
We are staying with the Moose for several days where we met (serious only in the photo) Paul, our seat mate at the bar. Every now and then you meet someone who says, “What’s blogging?” It is hard to explain to people with no experience with computers. Paul kept shying away from having his picture taken and finally agreed. He was a lot of fun and agreed to sell us some home-made green corn tamales. We still lust after those we bought in Yuma in 2008. We compare all to those.
Carleen, the bartender was a hoot and kept telling us how strong she is. Doesn’t do arm wrestling, though.
Some lodges people are friendly as can be and make you feel instantly at ease. We stayed for dinner. Paul touted us on the Tuscon Rodeo and Parade which isn’t until Thursday.
We laughed with this crusty, funny gal.
I got a recipe from my friend Pam Munn that is quick and easy in an RV. Use a package of Lipton Onion Soup Mix. Add a rind of cheese, two green onions, two stalks of celery, a sprig of parsley or cilantro if you have it. One potato cut into chunks. In ten minutes, you have a fast eat. It’s protection against raining cats and dogs.
February 3, 2010
I particularly liked the shadow on the walk of this bench in Bellingham, WA. My thought at the time was you couldn’t have a metal bench like this one in a hot summer climate.
November 29, 2009
Jim has been busily charting the first leg of our travels.
He’ll spend Christmas in Yuma. From Yuma to Tuscon where I will fly to meet him on January 9th.
Tuscon to visit old friend Sandee Voges. Then on to Chiracaua National Monument Southeastern AZ.
Demming, New Mexico to visit Jim’s Spanish Teacher.
Then Columbus, New Mexico- the only place that Pancho Villa invaded the U.S. and killed American’s there.
To El Paso, Texas and down to Big Ben National Park. We travel East across Texas to New Orleans by February 5th for Mardi Gras and other attractions. We expect to spend a month in Louisiana because there is so much to see and do.
From there we will set our next few months itinerary.