Tuesday, January 19, 2010




Figured this was our last good weather day for awhile so decided to head for Tucson on a few errands.  Had some things to pick up at Camping World, a telescope repair at Stellar Vision Astronomy Shop, a stop at Trader Joe's & a GPS decision at the Summit Hut Outdoors store.  We had checked out all these locations before hand & found they were all located in south east Tucson.  I was a tad familiar with this area because I had been to the Davis Monthan Airbase in the same area on New Year's day of 2007.


Skies were looking pretty angry ahead as we headed northwards up the valley through Elfrida heading for I-10 just west of Wilcox.  A bit of rain started at the border patrol check point east of Pearce but it wasn't enough to get out & swim in.  All was dry again as we swung up onto I-10 & put the hammer down for Tucson.  Quick pit stop at Benson's McDonalds for a morning muffin & coffee.  The drive to Tucson was beautiful between the mountain ranges & the sky was a mixture of dark stormy clouds & filtered rays of sunshine dabbling across the desert floor.  The sky was cloaked in a moody personality which in itself complimented the hulking mountain ranges with shadows & color.  This truly is a beautiful part of the country & we are so fortunate to be a part of it.

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(click pics to enlarge)

We hadn't used our Garmin Gertie GPS system since coming through Indianapolis last October so this morning it was time to wake her up & fill her in on todays activities.  She seemed a little confused at first but it didn't take long to get herself oriented with the orbiting satellites & as soon as Kelly punched in the address for Camping World, she clicked her heels, recalculated herself & set us on a northwesterly course for Tucson.  Traffic was light as it always is in the southwest compared to the east & before long we were pulling onto Irvington street where CAMPING WORLD is located.  It was our second time here having first rolled in here in December of 2006 needing a water leak repair in our 5th wheel.  No repairs today but we did pick up a few items in the store for the motorhome that we have been wanting.

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It was a good thing we had Garmin Gertie with us because I made a wrong turn coming out of Camping World & Gertie had to speak rather harshly to me before I was back on track again.  Kelly punched in the address for the telescope place & Gertie took us right to it despite me turning one block to soon.  I don't know where Gertie got all those nasty names for me but she sure wasn't short of any again today.  She's quite a gal & if it wasn't for her today we would have hopelessly been lost half a dozen times easy.


We had thought the STELLAR VISION ASTRONOMY store was going to be in snappy doo plaza & were a little taken aback when the address turned out to be kind of an industrial section of town & the store itself looked kinda shabby with a hand painted sign on the garage type large door.  Thought to myself, oh oh!!  When we opened the smaller worn iron screen door we were in for quite a surprise.  Telescopes everywhere!!  I had never seen so many telescopes in one place before.  Just about anything you could imagine was set up in this warehouse like room with the walls painted black & large colorful interstellar paintings & photos hanging all around.  Very impressive compared to the outside of the building.  Met owner & head tech Gary, showed him the problem with the telescope & he said come back in a couple hours & he would have it all fixed up. 


From Stellar Vision our Garmin Gertie gal carefully directed us through some 6 lane traffic with left & right turns along the way.  Once again she was spot on & deposited us right on the doorstep of the SUMMIT HUT OUTDOOR GEAR store.   We probably spent a good 40 minutes inside looking at & agonizing over various Garmin ETrex units trying to decide which one would be good for our hiking & driving needs.  In the end we just could not justify the expense of buying a GPS unit at those prices.  Kinda felt sorry for the young clerk trying to help us because he invested a lot of time in our many novice questions.  He probably went home this afternoon with a different view of Seniors today. 


From the Summit store Gertie led us another 9 or 10 blocks to Trader Joes.  When I walked in & saw it was just another grocery store I decided to go back & wait for Kelly in the car.  She explained to me that it is more than just an ordinary grocery store because it has it's own brands.  Well, a banana is a banana is a banana so back to the car I went.  Fortunately it didn't take her the standard half hour to buy one item & before long we were on our way back to the telescope shop to pick up the nicely repaired Meade 'Go To' telescope.  Nothing serious but the scope did have to be disassembled & re-calibrated.

With the repaired scope safely back in the car it was time to head for home. Gertie led us through many lanes of traffic & back up onto I-10 pointing our nose southeast with our destination being a one & a half hour drive to Margie's Corner Cafe in a little town called Sunsites on highway 191 southwest of Wilcox.  JERRY had blogged this morning about him & Suzi stopping in there Sunday for Chicken Fried steaks with mashed potatoes & gravy.  Said it was the best he ever had.  When he mentioned the words mashed potatoes & gravy I just knew I was going to have to get my face into a pile of that.  Sunsites was right on our way home so by 3:20 this afternoon we were seated in Margie's & I was awaiting a big plate of mashed potatoes & gravy.  Oh, & chicken fried steak too.

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The food was great, just as Jerry had said & I cleaned my plate right up.  Didn't even stuff anything in my pockets for later.  What Jerry didn't mention in his blog was Larry the waiter.  Larry's one of those fellows with a big personality & makes you feel welcome as soon as you come through the door.  He has a sense of humor & a genuine interest in his customers so if your in the area, drop in to Margie's, meet Larry the friendly waiter, enjoy a great meal, & tell him the Bayfield Bunch sent you.  Next stop was just down the road at Sweet Treats for some chocolate yogurt.  This is quite a colorful little sweets shop with just about every kind of candy you can imagine.  Jelly beans, home made fudge & much, much, more.  Kind of like those old candy shops of yesteryear. 

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We were back at the ranch by 5 after stopping a few times along the way for photos.  The southwest skies never cease to fascinate me & it's hard to go from point A to point B without stopping to photograph something.  Lots of wagging doggy tails when we pulled in to the ranch & it is always such a great feeling to be welcomed home by such a great bunch of pals.................:))


GROANER'S CORNER:((  THE SENILITY PRAYER: Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.


BLOGGER WEBSITE http://thebayfieldbunch.com/

OUR PHOTO ALBUMS  http://picasaweb.google.com/stargeezerguy/

The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now....AL.


  1. nice picture...interesting trip. keep it up! your blog has been very happening and interesting to me. all the best!

  2. Oh my, that chicken fried steak looks good!

  3. Yumm, chicken fried steak looks awesome - makes me hungry for lunch before I've even had breakfast yet ! great blog - Thanks!

  4. When I read you post about the restaurant I was thinking "Whatever happened to Al's diet that he was on"?????:-)

  5. OOPS! I did say "Lizard Hats" didn't I? Shows you that I cannot see very well "on the fly"...Thanks for clearing that up! Hope to meet you guys soon.

  6. I don't have any idea what a "chicken-fried steak" is - is it chicken or beef? In any event, it looked good whatever it was!

  7. Wow, that astronomy store sure caught my "eye"! I would have had a lot of fun checking out the telescopes & also be very tempted to take one with me! After I had paid for it of course!

  8. Sweet Treats sure looks like my kind of place!

    Nice pics of all of those birds. Really outstanding, Al. Thanks for sharing your day to Tucson with us.

    Kelly is right...Trader Joe's is special. :)

  9. Oh, the stopping for a photo story is so familiar. In a middle of a highway, in traffic, when the picture is right there you better not be behind me :) Love your photos.

  10. thank you for coming to margies corner cafe. It was a pleasure to have you.I will be fowlling the bayfield bunch from now on. what beautiful pictures. some day my husband Myron&I would like to join you. love margie

  11. Your pictures of the southwest skies are breathtaking!

    Love them..