Hey, all!

Been busy, seeing stuff, working, travelling around the area, spending time with friends, not sleeping as much as I should, you know the drill.

After my brief stay in Sedona, I passed by the famous local Bell Rock on my way south. I hope to get back up there to hike it in a bit.

I also stopped by Montezuma Castle National Monument, another Pueblan dwelling, this one with twenty rooms in five stories built into the side of a sheer cliff.

After leaving this area, I was super grateful to hit up a Fry Bread operation on the side of the road to stock up on carbs for the ride ahead.

I traveled south to Tucson to stay with an old friend from high school who was eager to see me, and I much appreciated being put up to lick my wounds from traveling and hiking.

It was super hot as I traveled south! I should have been expecting it, but wow! And when I got to my friend’s apartment complex, I was treated to the unexpected sight of a family of pigs scurrying up a staircase in front of my car! I learned that these small cinder-block shaped animals were called Javelina.

At home I try to start work at 8 or 9am, but with the time change of moving West, and Arizona not observing daylight savings time (as well they shouldn’t), I have been beginning work at the fresh hour of 6am. It’s been rough on my sleep schedule, as having a social life doesn’t really mesh with going to bed at like 8pm. So there’s been a lot of sleep deprivation and napping which doesn’t really fix it.

I was absolutely jonesing for some red meat and was able to check out a local cute little area, Trail Dust Town, for a steak and some scenery of old western life.

Another big thing down here are Sonoran Hot Dogs, which is where they wrap a hot dog in bacon and fry it, and then put it inside of a bun and douse the whole thing in beans, pico de gallo, green salsa, jalapenos, cheese, mayonnaise and mustard. I initially tried a sonoran dog and a drink called Raspados (hard to describe but soda, ice cream, ice, fruit — I got peaches, and sweetened condensed milk) at Jason’s, which was really freaking good. Like, way better than expected.

I went back for another Sonoran hot dog at a place called BK. Also freaking good, like, I want to eat hot dogs this way, basically forever. I’m dreading leaving.

While in town, I checked out Saguaro National Park, which I’ll write up in another entry.

I also had the opportunity to visit Colossal Cave Mountain Park, which was pretty cool, but I was definitely spoiled from other cave adventures on this trip thus far.

It’s a warm cave which stays at about 70F year-round, with about 3.5 miles of mapped trails inside. It’s a dry cave, meaning its formations don’t grow much due to a lack of flowing water, moisture, or humidity.

I also was treated to a rare sight of a coati, or coatimundi while traversing the area, which is an animal that’s hard to believe is native in the US, looking like something out of a rainforest.

My friend was excited to show me other local attractions and towns, and we got down to visit Tombstone, Arizona, an old Western town steeped in history of bar fights and brawls, duels and gun wounds. Pretty awesome and atmospheric.

We visited the Boothill Graveyard, which is on the national register for historic places for housing hundreds of old western folks integral for the history of nearby Tombstone.

While visiting down south in Arizona, we also stopped in Bisbee, a historic, temperate mining town.

Driving in through hills and scrubby mountains, the town appears. As you drive through town, the quaint buildings catch your view, and if you keep going, you hit the Lavender Pit, a remnant of the days of massive copper mining in the town, long since abandoned.

The big draw to town is the Queen Mine Tour, where you can take a historic tram 1,500 feet into an old mine from the 1800s and early 1900s and learned about the methods used to extract copper, iron, and gold.

Of course, walking around town was wonderful, where I grabbed a pizza and checked out some of the local historic buildings.

I’m looking forward to seeing more of Arizona!