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Tucson Arizona

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Wilson’s Blog

Today in Tucson, Arizona, after we were in the desert and saw Old West Old Tucson pretend shoot-out, we had appetites as BIG AS DESERT!

So, we gopher lunch. Get it? We are go-pher. We are gophers going for lunch. (I make funny joke! But Ditch would probably say "lame joke, fur face.")

Mommy always said "When in Tucson, give Ditch tamale." So, we go to Mexican food restaurant and eat tamales, tacos and bunuelos for dessert.

Bunuelos are fried tortillas with cinnamon and sugar on top...if I were you I would eat that right now!

Ditch is like pig in playground. He orders twelve tamales! I say, "You're stomach is smaller than your gopher eyes!" But he eats and eats green tamales! Red tamales! If it is a tamale with a color...it goes in Ditch's mouth!

At restaurant, a mariachi band played a soothing Latin beat. These guys were all dressed like bullfighters with big sombrero hats.

They played their guitars and trumpets and sang "Vengo a cantar!"-which means "I come to sing!"

I cried a little thinking of Mommy. Ditch had arms around Mariachi guys and sang like weirdo Gopher! Ditch was happy until his stomach started exploding with noises.

Maybe we shouldn’t have gone for real western horseback ride after that! Ditch's horse sure did bounce that little gopher around. My horse was gentle as a newborn chicken. We rode through and saw beautiful Arizona sunset.

Ditch’s stomach still making noises from tamales, so tonight Ditch will sleep in back of van.

Apple Pie Picks

Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park is an 80,000 acre National Park in the Sonoran Desert of Tucson. The park is named for the more than 1.6 million Saguaro cacti that live in this desert. While touring the park you may encounter desert wildlife, rock formations and ancient petroglyphs. Pack some water and enjoy one of the many hiking trails and beautiful scenery.


Old Tucson Studios

Old Tucson Studios is a world-famous Western working movie studio recreated to look like the southwest of the late 1800s. While visiting the studio, you can take a ride on the C.P. Huntington Train, practice your aim at Dead-Eye Dan’s Shooting Gallery, watch a live show, see a recreation of a western gunfight, or head to the Iron Door Mine Adventure to pan for gold.


Sabino Canyon Recreational Area

Sabino Canyon is cut into the south side of the Santa Catalina Mountains in the Colorado National Forest in Northern Tucson. Here, you will experience a variety of wildlife, hiking trails, waterfalls, streams and swimming holes. For those who prefer riding to walking, there is a tram available that will take you on a tour through the mountains.


Colossal Cave Mountain Park

This 2000 acre park has crystal-filled caves and is the largest dry underground cave in the world. Take the half-mile guided tour to learn the Cave’s history and geology. There is a legend that there is a hidden treasure from a stagecoach robbery hidden somewhere in the caves. Be on the lookout!


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Local Chow

Green Corn Tamales

Being so close to the Mexican border, Tucson is a great place to taste authentic Mexican food. Green corn tamales are a specialty of Tucson. Tamales are little packets of steamed ground corn mixed with butter or lard and cheese. They are wrapped inside corn husks and tied like a present. These special “local” tamales are called “green” because of the whole green chile slice that is packed inside.


"I will make tamale like we do in old country. Fill it with potato and wet leaves."


"Just like mommy used to make. Oh mommy I miss your tamales!"



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Digging History

1540

Don Francisco Basquez Coronado discovers the area of Tucson on behalf of Spain in 1540.


1552

The King of Spain grants the original charter of Tucson.


1692

Spanish missionaries come to the Southwest and found the Native American village of "Stjukshon" or "Chuk-son," meaning, "spring at the foot of a black mountain."


1775

Hugo O'Conor establishes the Tucson Presidio. This year marks the official founding of the City of Tucson.


1775-1821

Tucson is under Spanish rule.


1821

After the Mexican Revolution, Tucson wins independence from Spain and becomes part of Mexico.


1848

The discovery of gold in California brings European immigrants to Arizona.


1854

Tucson becomes part of the United States territory.


1863

Arizona becomes an official territory of the United States.


1867-1877

Tucson holds the title of territorial capitol.


1877

The City of Tucson is incorporated.


1880

The Southern Pacific Railroad reaches Tucson.


1891

The University of Arizona begins classes with 32 students and six teachers.


1912

Arizona becomes the 48th state to enter the union.


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