It’s our last day in Tucson before the drive back up to Scottsdale and our visit with Jane and Michael (good friends of Steve & Arlene — and ours, and our gracious hosts last time we were in the area).
Recommended by several sources is the Mission San Xavier del Bac in the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation.
A 1783 Franciscan mission. Missionaries were forced to leave in 1828, and returned in 1911 to continue as church and school of the Tohono O’odham. The ultimate in Spanish Mission Architecture.
The story of the interior and exterior restoration is a bit of a miracle in itself. An eclectic, international gathering of historians, architects, art restorers, fund-raisers, local tribes-people and contractors, saved and created what you see.
The beautiful local symbol of the passage of life; birth through the maze of discovery, self-discovery, gathering, contemplating, and readying for the world beyond.
I guess a Tohono way to get more quickly into the next world, but sure good slathered in honey on a cool morning.
Back into town for a walk of the old Barrio and Presidio sections. At the edge of what’s left of the Barrio after razing most of it for the new Convention Center is a shrine to someone’s lover in an unconsecrated grave. The Barrio still has rows of brightly colored adobe “row homes” and small businesses.
The imposing Spanish-Style of the St. Augustine Cathedral reflecting desert themes in its decoration.
The walls are decorated with faux paintings that do look three-dimensional from distance.
Down the street a pretty wild bank building that is not Frank Gehry, but pretty cool in its setting.
One of many interesting modern installations as you enter the pristine Presidio area.
One of Tucson’s most beautiful historic structures. Spanish-Colonial style with a mosaic tile dome.
Around the beautiful setting of the Museum sits a cluster of charming historic homes in their original condition.
We drive back to the park for a long loop drive and mile hike to commune with the beautiful saguaro and quiet before the drive back in congested Phoenix area traffic.