South by Southwest

We've just returned from a glorious week in southern Arizona, and hewww doggies, do we have some good stuff on the way. In no particular order, upcoming posts will include:

1. The Tucson Gem Show
2. A tour of the only ICBM site in the world open to the public
3. Spanish missions founded in the 16th century
4. Old ghost towns and abandoned ruins from 13th century civilizations
5. An abandoned copper mine
6. Tombstone, AZ (home to the famous shootout at the OK corral)
7. Random scenery, like this photo of a grandaddy Saguaro cactus from the outskirts of Tucson.

We're glad to be back posting original material for you. As much as we enjoy occasional diversions about postcards and whatnot, our goal has always been to provide an authentic mix of words and photographs.

But that is often easier said than done, especially in the winter when there's just not a lot happening. We've opted to avoid the Filler Trap (posting about personal minutae, political and religous musings, and private matters better kept secret) so many other blogs fall into and instead share our perceptions about time and place and the absurd and the sublime, spiced up with RR guerilla photography. We'll never have advertising here, nor will we ever charge an access fee (not because we wouldn't like to make some extra dough, mind you. But with all of thirty daily readers, most of whom being people we know- a money truck this site will never be). We're having fun though and that's all that matters so thank you for your loyal patronage and occasional comments and emails.

Here are some teasers from our trip to the southwest:

A ferruginous hawk takes wing from an earthly perch.

Jesus stands below a cliffside shrine to the recently (and not so recently) departed.

Mexican woman making tortillas over an open fire.

Heavy metal angels hover above a garden in Bisbee, AZ.

Memorial to Army Indian scouts at Fort Huachuca, AZ.

This is what Nogales, Mexico looks like. Avoid at all costs, unless you like skeevy towns that smell of pollution and raw sewage. Walking the streets of Nogales is like being transported to the third world, within fifty yards of the United States. Pharmacies sell all sorts of drugs that can only obtained with perscriptions in the US and trinket shops peddle everything from fake Cuban cigars to ostrich leather cowboy boots. On the sidewalks, below dangling live powerlines swinging in the breeze, circus barkers yelled at us to come inside their stores or encounter bandidos around the corner (we kept walking and saw no bandidos). At one Mexican blanket store, the proprietor led us to the back where a bottle of brown tequila with no label sat on a table and offered to pour us a few shots. Uh, no thanks, we replied, that shit looks like used turpentine. At all the businesses we visited, employees followed us like we were kleptomaniacs intent on stealing their fake Gucci purses or Corona salt and pepper shakers. We quickly became discourged with shopping in Nogales and sought refuge at the historic Hotel Regis for a couple of Tecates with lime wedges, and laughed about this crazy place, south of the border.

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