Friday, February 10, 2006

Tucson, AZ to Nogales, AZ

Tucson, Arizona. The mere mention of the phrase conjures up all kinds of romantic images long ago created by books, movies and songs. Reality, as always, is quite different. A warm city, mind you. On the 8th of February temperatures where in the mid twenties with bright sunshine.

We drove downtown and found the visitor's centre, where we gathered info on museums and city walks. Decided to do the walk first, to get the lay of the land. Unfortunately, as with most North American cities, you do a lot of walking to go from visual stimulus to visual stimulus. To boot, it is hot, so the fun derived from such an event is minimal. So we decided to try the art museum next, which showcased mostly contemporary artists. The highlight of the museum tours for me though, was a visit to The Museum for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona. which was featuring one of the premier photographers of the 50's and 60's Harry Callahan. Some awe inspiring work, where each image seemed to be better than the next. All of it in black-and-white. Personally, I adore sharp images, and most of his work was done with 8x10 cameras which can produce extremely sharp results.Down and out in Tucson, Arizona

Since we had a late start, the day just seemed to fly by, and we had a late lunch/early supper. Then I had spotted that the top level of the parking garage of the University of Arizona had a beautiful open view to the north, looking out at the Santa Catalina Mountains. So we hung around for a little while waiting for the sun to set, which it did shortly after six. I managed to grab a few shots of the mountains in their evening glow, even though my Canon 20d locked up completely with an error 'Err99'. I had to take the battery out to 'reboot' it. First time that that happened. It seems to work fine now though, and all images were preserved as well.

As is traditional with us, we got totally lost trying to get out of Tucson. What seemed so simple in theory (or at least in my mind), was extremely difficult in practice. Having driving 25 km where 10 would have sufficed, we headed south on I-10 to Nogales, AZ, which is on the Mexican border. We arrived at Motel 6 an hour later, checked in, went to Walgreens for supplies (hair coloring, suntan lotion, blank CDs for me), then watched as a hapless driver forgot that there was a concrete island between the north and southbound lanes while he was turning into Walgreen's and promptly managed to rearrange the positioning of all exhaust related equipment on the underside of his vehicle. He did what I would have done if I were in his position: sped up and pretended that nothing had happened. There, but for the grace of God...

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