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Monday, March 16, 2009

Visit to the Desert Museum

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is just a few miles up from the road from the park we're staying in. Friends back in Alabama had emailed us to encourage us to visit this museum, saying it was a must see. So, that's what we did today.

The museum was founded in 1952. To quote the brochure,
"You will see interpretive displays of living animals and plants native to the Sonoran Desert region - an area encompassing parts of Arizona and California in the United States and the Mexican states of Sonora, Baja California, Baja California Sur,and the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California). Within the Museum grounds, you will see more than 300 animal species and 1200 kinds of plants on display - alive in their natural desert settings. There are almost two miles of paths traversing 21 acres of beautiful desert."

We took over 2 hours to walk the paths and exhibits of the grounds. I'm sure we probably missed some things, but we sure did see a lot! Because of the time of day (midday), many of the animals were resting and out of sight. We did catch glimpses of mountain lions, an ocelot, and a bobcat. Other animals that were out and about were desert bighorns, a grey fox, a Mexican wolf, prairie dogs, a coyote and a javelina.

Grey Fox
Mexican Wolf
Prairie Dog

There was also a walk-in aviary in which there were many different birds just flying about. It was strange to have them flying so closely to us. We also walked through a hummingbird exhibit. Those are some fast, but tiny, birds!


While I enjoyed the many animals we saw, I have to admit the best part of the museum for me was being in the desert itself. It is so very different from the lush East Coast vegetation I'm used to, but it is just as beautiful. I find that I am very smitten by this area. The many different type of cactus, the wild flowers, and other brush and trees are fascinating. Walking the desert loop was so enjoyable.

This museum is definitely a must-see stop if you are in Tucson. For an admission fee of $13/adult, I think it is very reasonable. There are also several demonstrations, talks and tours given throughout the day by volunteer docents. We were never in the right place at the right for any that were offered today. But, still I feel we got our money's worth. Thanks, Bill & Kathy and Larry & Cindy for the tip on this place!

We certainly got our dose of Vitamin D for the day. Once we got home we just vegged in the rig for the afternoon. About 4pm Pat called me to see if I wanted to go to the pool with her. I hemmed and hawed a bit, but finally decided to go - we're only here for a few more days, after all! Boy, that water felt good after being the sun earlier in the day. :) It's tough to have to lounge in the pool in mid-March! :)

Tomorrow Randy's going to drop the truck off at the shop for a little maintenance, then he and Russ are going to visit the Airplane Graveyard-Boneyard at Davis Monthan Air Force Base. I'm sure Randy will enjoy that. I'm going to enjoy just hanging out at home - I'm sure there'll be some pool time included at some point! :)

Until the next time . . .

1 comment:

  1. We were there recently & loved it! Great photos!!

    Happy Travels!
    Suzanne & Brad