Tohono Chul Tucson, AZ

Tohono Chul (aka Tohono Chul Park) is a botanical garden, nature preserve and cultural museum located in Casas Adobes, a suburb of Tucson, Arizona. The words “tohono chul” translate as “desert corner” and are borrowed from the language of the Tohono O’odham, the indigenous people of southern Arizona. The mission of Tohono Chul is to enrich people’s lives by connecting them with the wonders of nature, art and culture in the Sonoran Desert region and inspiring wise stewardship of the natural world.

The 49-acre (19.8 ha) site itself offers a dramatic setting for Tohono Chul’s regional focus. Views of the majestic Santa Catalina Mountains form a backdrop for the natural desert habitat and its location within existing migratory tracks provides a temporary home for many species of wild, native fauna. Thirty-eight species of birds make their permanent home here while another 57 migrant species visit seasonally, and a variety of reptiles and mammals, from Gila monsters to bobcats, may be spotted on the grounds. Credit Wiki


Niagra Falls, NYC

A short drive from the Buffalo airport approx 20 miles you will arrive at your destination. The water plungs over the edge of the Niagara Escarpment – to what is now known as Lewiston, NY.

American Falls, Horseshoe Falls and Bridal Veil Falls  make up the  Niagara Falls originates from the upper Great Lakes and the river is estimated to be 12,000 years old.

The Horseshoe Falls is 170 feet high is the largest of the 3 falls.  The river below Niagara Falls averages 170 feet deep.  Annie Edson Taylor was the first person to go over the falls in a barrel.

Fun facts:
– At the current rate of erosion, scientists believe that the Niagara Falls will be gone in around 50000 years.
– Approximately 28,000,000 (that’s 28 million!) liters of water travel down Niagara Falls every second.
– The Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the United States (1885).
– About 20% of the drinking water in the United States goes through and over Niagara Falls. Yup, you have most likely drank water that came from the Falls.

Speaking of fun 2 effects which one is better?

Rogers Spring a natural hot spring

Ground water discharge from springs along the Rogers Spring Fault totals approximately 1,000 gallons per minute. Due to the importance of these springs from both an ecological and recreational standpoint, the National Park Service remains vigilant in protecting these water features from potential adverse effects associated with nearby, large-scale ground water pumping from the regional carbonate-rock aquifer.

As this ground water flows south through the carbonate rocks, it encounters several faults along the way, including the Rogers Spring Fault, which has caused the older carbonate rocks (primarily limestone and dolomite) to be displaced against younger evaporate deposits of the Muddy Creek and Horse Spring formations.

Willcox waylay free weekend

Just a short drive from Tucson is a hidden gem Willcox once spelled Wilcox. The weather is 15+ degrees cooler and is a green scenic gem.   There is plenty to do in with the locals at an affordable price. The Museums Rex Allen, Friends of Marty Robbins, Chiricahua research  range from $1-3 a person and they are full of unique history.  We found an old dining car with great BBQ and an old train depot (open M-F only)  in the historic district. The Pioneer Cemetery has the smell of history and the views are peaceful. This is the final resting location Warren Baxter Earp brother of Wyatt Earp. Warren was shot on July 6, 1900 by Johnny Boyet.  We spent a 1/2 day hiking Ft. Bowie. The 2 hour hike each way is well worth it.  The grave stone of Little Robe marks the resting place of one a Geronimo’s sons and Col. John Finkel Stone (1836 – 1869) honored by Tucson naming a street after him. The Chiricahua’s are a 30 minute drive next to the Coronado’s camping area is closed during the summer and reopen in September.   If you want to take a break from the hiking opportunities stop by one of the local wine tasting rooms.  We even did a little treasure shopping.  I am now the proud owner of an antique trumpet.

Organ Pipe National Monument

Did you know?
The major difference between a national park and a national monument is the manner in which they are created. A national park is established through an Act of Congress, and the land may originate from a variety of sources, including public and private land. A national monument is established by Presidential proclamation, and this land is to be taken only from existing public (federal) ownership.

Organ Pipe National Monument is about a 2 hour drive from Tucson.  Some quick facts.  The park was established  in 1 937 Franklin D. Roosevelt. Most of the mountains in the monument are volcanic in origin in the Ajo range. The highest peak in this range, as well as in the park, is Mt. Ajo, which elevates to a height of 4,808 feet.