The "most energetic retired couple in America" was just beginning a 41 day trip in their trailer camper. As it turned out their first stop was a state park about two hours south of our home. So, we made arrangements to spent a few days together in RV camping spots that were side-by-side.
While Mike and Tamara hiked through Saguaro National Park or Catalina State Park, Betty rested after a very strenuous period of working on a major project at our church for Easter. She was beyond tired and needed to just become a "puddle" for awhile, reading, relaxing, and sleeping late. Somehow she did find the energy to make appetizers and a scrumptious desert for our last night together.
While Mike and Tamara logged hikes of over 8 miles, Betty, Bailey and I confined our hiking to a few miles around the Catalina State Park campground trail system and then returned to the RV for relaxation and afternoon siestas. Mike and Tamara, Betty, Bailey, and I gathered together each evening for conversation, wine and appetizers, dinner, and desserts at the picnic table just outside the RV door.
We discussed plans to join up again next January at the Palm Spring Film Festival and then decided to add a stop together at the world's largest RV show in Quartzsite, AZ a few days later. Our conversations (and desserts !) lasted until well after dark. It was an absolutely magical time together.
Then, on the spur of the moment the four of us decided to visit Biosphere 2, located about half an hour north of the park. What an amazing few hours! It was constructed in the 1980s to replicate a miniature earth environment and included a rainforest, ocean with a coral reef, mangrove wetlands, savannah grassland, fog desert, agricultural system, human habitat, and a below-ground infrastructure.
in 1991 eight people went inside the sealed Biosphere complex. Their mission was a two year planned experiment to see if they could not only survive, but thrive while growing all the own food, cleaning their air and converting waste to breathable oxygen and drinkable water, all while conducting scientific experiments inside a sealed series of domes.
While the history of Biosphere 2 contains both successes and failures, it is a fascinating place to tour. Owned by the University of Arizona since 2007, walking through a tropical rainforest or desert, gazing at a miniature ocean, and seeing the incredible engineering complexity of the entire complex made for an unforgettable 90 minutes.
Our original plans for this trip did not include Bisophere 2, but it made a special time with friends even better.
While it was warm (hot to most non-desert dwellers!), the weather cooperated with some breezy conditions to make the afternoons quite pleasant and mornings cool enough to require long pants and a jacket. We all parted last Thursday morning: The Reddy's off to New Mexico and us back to Scottsdale, loving our time together and looking forward to future RV encounters with each other.
I thought you might enjoy seeing some pictures:
|R.T. beneath the Catalina Mountains|
|The Reddys and the Lowrys ready for our adventures|
|After a tough day of hunting for gophers|
|Daddy and daughter out for a stroll|
|Who says the desert isn't green?|
|Our family ready to hit the trail|
|Round up the four usual suspects|
|Biosphere complex is too large to capture in one picture|
|Inside the Dome|
|Almost 3 football fields long|
|Amazing sight in the desert|
|Glass panels everywhere|
|Our morning view|
|Betty and Bailey ready to conquer the world|
A great time with friends and on the road again, if only for a few days.