Tucson: Rockin’ the Canyons & Gem Show

Bright blue sky today and lots of sunshine. Tough deciding what to do this weekend with so many options. After much coffee and tossing suggestions around the final picks are Sabino Canyon, FingerRock Mountain, Gem & Mineral Show and Sonoran hot dogs.

Vic and I coffee’d up on the patio while making plans.

Sabino Canyon is scenic with gentle trails for walkers like me and more challenging opportunities for those who want a more of a work out.

This place has a very relaxing vibe … the warm sunshine, endless diversity of cactus, the rugged hillside and canyons with their dirt trails and a rambling creek. Very peaceful. Cars are allowed only in the parking lot and there is a daily shuttle that goes to various locations in the park which is part of the Coronado National Forest.

Sabino roads and trails are bordered with cactus and the view is framed with the Catalina foothills.
Great views from the trails.
A large variety of cacti can be discovered here.
My brother John and me resting on a wall overlooking the dam.

Finger Rock Trail is an easily recognized landscape quirk resembling an index finger pointing to the sky above. David took on this challenging trail and took a few photos of the breathtaking views. The trail was breath taking… literally. Very steep with a lot of large rocks to climb up.

As the hike progresses, it gradually gets steeper and rockier and is challenging going up and coming down.

It’s a rocky climb with rewarding views.

Tucson Gem and Mineral Show: While David climbed FingerRock and John golfed 18 holes, Vicki and I rocked the Gem & Mineral show. Going big, we went to the Kino Sports Complex which resembled a state fair with countless white tents on blacktop reflecting and absorbing the 80 degree heat. It smelled like a carnival with that deep-fried ‘whatever’ smell wafting through the air. We were surprised to find that parking and admission were free but it took us a good half-hour to walk from the car to the entrance.

The annual event is the largest annual gathering anywhere of gem, jade, rock, fossil, jewelry, and bead buyers and sellers from around the world. The gigantic Kino complex is not the only show in town, there are more than 50 different locations throughout the greater Tucson being held concurrently. The show runs for a couple weeks each year.

The size of the Kino complex is overwhelming. Even though we were only able to cover a small fraction of the show … we saw a lot.
This amethyst geode was made into a dragon … look closely at the bottom right for the goat.

I haven’t figured out the connection of the goats and the amethyst. I’m sure it’s all good energy and it did attract a lot of attention.

There were goats and a pony at this exhibit.
Amethyst is one of my favorites and there were plenty of them to see here.
A stone cutter working on site.
This is the place to buy a gong — many different sizes available.
Several Tibetan exhibits with singing bowls, prayer flags, clothing and jewelry.
A tray of shark teeth …
… Pelts and hides …
… treasures from the sea …
… stone birds …
… lots of incense …
… and a Moon swing. Lots of interesting things to look at but after a couple hours, we headed back to the car.

Sonoran Hot Dogs: We needed to try this local delicacy. It consists of a hot dog wrapped in bacon and grilled, served on a bolillo-style hot dog bun, and topped with pinto beans, onions, tomatoes, and a variety of additional condiments, often including mayonnaise, mustard, and jalapeño salsa. It’s an unremarkable set of ingredients that becomes a remarkable taste when it all comes together.

Many vendors sell Sonoran Hot Dogs (also called “dogueros”) from street carts which are randomly found. It took a little research, but we found a little Mexican restaurant with our sought after dogs.

You know you’ve found the real thing when they have a giant Sonoran hot dog in the parking lot.
This is what we were waiting for and it did not disappoint.
A nice cold michelada is the perfect accompaniment for Sonoran dogs.

Time to wind down … a nice dip in the pool and hot tub to digest all we’ve experienced and figure out what’s left on the ‘must see’ list.

Enjoying the late afternoon sun.

Published by janeinspain.blog

Jane is a resident of Browndale neighborhood in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

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