Tucson Spring 2015

Creative blog titles I have not.

I’ve gotten badly behind on here, for a very, very good reason – we bought a house. There will be a post on that soon, but I’ve got to get caught up on the befores, first.

First, Tucson. This trip was initially planned as a mini training camp for us, but as house stuff got overwhelming (the pre-closing process is awful, man), it ended up as more of a stress-relief trip.

We went a different way – out I-70 through Utah and down into Arizona, as we were staying with Aunt Judy and Uncle Bernie for a night and we didn’t want to go I-25 to I-40, as that was mind-numbingly awful last time we did that drive. 70? A much better choice.

4-8drive5
Utah hills.

4-8drive8
Monument Valley.

4-9family
Family.

4-9random
Desert first – a roadrunner in the wild! I ended up seeing a few this trip …

4-10cactus3
Cactus.

We also decided to play a bit of tourist this trip and see a few things we hadn’t before.

4-11titan3
Saguaro close-up.

4-11titan4

4-11titan6

One of those things included the Titan Missile Museum, which I had never seen as a kid, understandable as it opened in 1986 and my dad really didn’t think about it, I guess? Still, as a (U.S.) history nerd, it was cool and a piece of Cold War history.

4-11titan7
(The old-style Jeep was there as a movie about an explosion at a different missile silo was being shot on site.)

4-11titan10

4-11titan13

4-11titan14

4-11titan15
Missile itself.

4-11titan18

4-11titan23
Missile from above, outside.

Another tourist place that I hadn’t been to in years and Brandon had never been to was Old Tucson, a film studio where many Westerns have been shot (Rio Lobo, Rio Bravo, parts of McClintock to name a few).

4-11oldtucson
(And clearly “The Last Outpost.”)
4-11oldtucson2

4-11oldtucson3

4-11oldtucson4

4-11oldtucson5
(Dance photos from the Can-Can show.)

4-11oldtucson10
Most-photographed locomotive ever.

4-11oldtucson11
I found a bike.

4-11oldtucson12
Taken because Cripple Creek? Is in Colorado.

4-11oldtucson17

4-11ride
Seen on a ride.

4-12cave2
I hadn’t been to Colossal Cave in years and Brandon was interested … so in we went.

4-12cave3
Dinosaurs outside.

4-12cave6

4-12cave8

4-12sunset
Sunset on our last night.

4-13drive
Triple T truck stop and where we grabbed a very early breakfast leaving town. I’d always seen this place, but never stopped … glad we did. I love greasy spoon, truck stop breakfasts.

Advertisements

Ironman Arizona Trip Photos

Hoo boy, has it been way too long since I’ve posted in here. I’d like to try to post more regularly here, but I’ve got some catching up to do.

Here are the posts I need to do to get caught up to present day:
– IMAZ travel post
– Boston trip
– a holiday post
– a combined third and fourth quarter style post
– Mythbusters exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Important, because I’ll have another Stock Show post soon, too. But, first things, first: IMAZ.

The main chunk of last year was spent training for Ironman Arizona. If you’re curious on how the race itself went, you can read the links from my tri blog:
Pre-Race
Race Day
Post-Race

But the race wasn’t the whole story. There was a drive to and from the race site. There were various photos taken. Here is a smattering:

11-12_car2
The car packed up with all our stuff.

11-12_drive
Stop in the Springs to see our friend Norm.

11-12_drive4
New Mexico border.

11-12_drive10
Solar panels outside Hatch, N.M.

11-12_drive13
Union Pacific train.

11-12_drive14
Arizona border.

11-12_tucson2
The old Lucky Wishbone location on Swan.

11-12_tucson3
In front of the sign of the new location on Swan.

11-14var4
Brandon flopped in a hotel.

11-14var8
Lamp (saw cool angles).

11-15_tempe
Random restaurant in Tempe.

11-15_tempe7
Mike with his chocolate milk.

11-15_tempe8
Brandon and his chocolate milk (Minnesota boys, I swear …).

11-15_tempe9
With my incorrect and disappointing galaktibouriko.

11-16_prep7
Run gear bags.

11-18_post4
Post-race cigar.

11-19_car3
We did it!

11-19_drive2
Northern Arizona.

11-19_drive3
Four Corners.

11-19_drive4
Four Corners.

11-19_drive5
Four Corners.

11-19_drive6
Four Corners.

11-19_drive7
Colorado border.

11-19_drive9
Mural in Durango, Colo.

11-20_drive
Mountains.

11-20_drive2
Mountains.

On April in Tucson

In mid-April, we chose to drive down to Tucson to buy new tri bicycles, something I discussed on our tri blog. However, it was also a nice mini-vacation, getting away from the snow in Denver … but sadly not avoiding the wind. I won’t get into the triathlon-side of things here – you can click the link above for that – but I will tell the story of the trip through some of the photos I took.

4-15drive
We left in snow.

4-15drive3
Crossing the border into New Mexico.

4-16breakfast
Breakfast at Frank’s/Francisco’s. So good. All this food also cost us less than $20.

4-16food
With my Lucky Wishbone and eegee’s for lunch.

bnb
B and B Cactus Farm. Essentially a free desert botanic gardens. This was also one of the first times I’ve been able to see cacti in bloom, which was unbelievably awesome.

bnb2
bnb4
bnb6
bnb7
bnb10
bnb12
bnb15
bnb16
Brandon enjoyed the cactus.

4-17drive
Gustave enjoying driving around the city.

4-17food
Brandon and In-N-Out.

lw
lw2
The old Swan location, still standing, but no longer in use.

4-17food6
4-17food7
We are not mature.

lw4
I *heart* Lucky Wishbone.

We visited my “Aunt” Maxine after this, an old friend of my family who has known me since I was a baby. She’s … I think 99? 98? but in any case, nearing 100-years-old … and is still quite sharp.

We headed out of town after two short days, driving up to Scottsdale to visit some of Brandon’s family (Aunt Judy and Uncle Bernie, whom we stayed with in November) and then back down south so we could hit up Hatch for some chile stuff for my brother.

4-18drive
The desert on our way out of town.

4-18drive4
Water mirage on the road ahead.

4-18drive5
Chile shop.

4-18drive6
The not-so-impressive Rio Grande.

After Hatch, we stopped in Truth or Consequences, N.M., for lunch at K-Bob’s steakhouse.
4-18food2
4-18food3
We were a bit exhausted at this point.

4-18drive7
Food perked us up.

We slogged home, not reaching our beds until midnight, but one last thing of note: a bit before reaching the New Mexico/Colorado border, Fiona the Rav hit a milestone:
4-18drive11

IMAZ Trip

In November, Brandon and I also drove down to Tempe, Ariz., to volunteer and ultimately sign up for Ironman Arizona.

I recapped the volunteer experience on our tri blog, but I wanted to share the basic trip here.

We left late Wednesday night after I got off work, planning to do most of the drive overnight. We made it into New Mexico and to a rest stop not too far out of Las Vegas, N.M. where we stopped to crash for a few hours. After about three hours of sleep (and the two of us shared driving/napping duties), we woke up and continued on, stopping in Socorro for a breakfast sandwich from a gas station, where I saw this across the way.
az_drive

We got back on the road and save for gas, didn’t stop again until we hit Arizona and The Thing.
az_drive2
The Thing is a piece of roadside Americana (if you will) that has been around as long as I can remember. We’d drive down to Tucson for Christmas when¬†I was a kid and always pass it by. My brother and I would always want to stop (you see billboards for it for at least 50 miles, if not more) but we never did … well, at least until a few years back. I can’t remember now whether it was high school or college, but we finally saw it. I’m not going to ruin the surprise, but it probably wasn’t worth the stop. Luckily, it was only around $5 for the three of us (dad, brother and I; mom stayed in the car) to see it.

So, as Brandon and I did this, our second desert drive, I talked him into stopping. I figured we needed a break (we needed food anyway) and this kitschy roadside crap is worth seeing at least once, right?

az_drive3
az_drive4

After The Thing, we powered on to Tucson for lunch. The standard stops ensued – eegee’s for a slushy, Wienerschnitzel for fries, Lucky Wishbone for fried shrimp and garlic toast (for me) and then on to In-N-Out for a double double protein style (for Brandon). This delicious (but bad for you) food is the reason why we’re going to Tucson AFTER we do IMAZ next year.

az_drive6
az_drive7

Lunch (and then gas) and then on to Phoenix (well, Scottsdale) to Brandon’s (great) aunt and uncle’s house which would be our home for the weekend. It was great to see Bernie and Judy and meet their dachshund, Sophie.
az_trip

We had a meet up with some of our fellow MX12 VIPers on Friday, so we headed down to Mill Ave./Tempe Town Lake.

imaz
Mill Ave.

az_trip3
Meet up.

After, we met up with one of Brandon’s friends from college who owns a Trek bike shop in West Phoenix and then some more In-N-Out (mainly for me).
az_trip5
az_trip6

Saturday, we checked in for the four different areas we were volunteering for and then worked bike check-in, which was fun and informative.
imaz3
imaz4

When we were done, we met back up with Uncle Bernie and Aunt Judy, who took us up to Greasewood Flats, a really cool restaurant up in the foothills.
az_trip8
az_trip10
az_trip11
az_trip12
az_trip13

After a fun night, it was time to sleep, for we had an early wake-up call since we had to be at Tempe Beach Park at about the same time as the athletes.

imaz5
Pre-race.

imaz7
Athletes on their way.

We stripped/peeled wetsuits, took a break, and then it was off to sunscreening.
imaz10

After sunscreening and another break, we volunteered at the TriSports.com-run run aid station, which had a disco theme.
imaz11
imaz14
imaz17

After that shift ended, it was off to the park again to camp out so we could be (first!) in line to register for next year.
imaz19
Given that online registration sold out in 40 seconds this year, this ended up being a great idea.

We took the rest of Monday pretty easy and then hit the road early Tuesday, taking the northern route out of the Phoenix area and Arizona and back to I-25 off of I-40, something I’d never done before.
az_drive8
(right near the 25/40 interchange)

Then back home with plenty of time to enjoy Thanksgiving.