The Metropolitan Cathedral in Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 5, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

An encounter with the police...

We wanted to get a fairly early start yesterday morning, but we had invited John and Jane for breakfast. Ruth makes the best gluten free pancakes! Too bad we didn't have any maple syrup left. But we did have honey, strawberry jam from Mexico, and a tart cherry jam that we had just bought the other day.

They came over at the prearranged time of 8:30am, and we one last get together.

Here's the obligatory blog photo...

Kevin, Ruth, Janie, and John.

After getting everything cleaned up and stowed for travel, we still managed to get on the road by 9:45am. Not bad. We weren't really planning on going very far, but we had lots of places to go along the way.

First need was gasoline! Sherman's tank was running low again, and gas prices have started to creep higher. Still, I planned to stop along our route to take advantage of the cheapest gas which was still at $1.859 USD per gallon (about 63 cents per litre CAD) here in Tucson. One of the last stations at that price because most of them are now around $2.059 USD per gallon (about 69 cents per litre CAD). When you're buying 50 gallons, 20 cents per gallon makes it worthwhile to plan.

With Sherman filled to the brim, we wanted to wander around downtown Tucson. The city doesn't have a busy downtown area, and we managed to find a free parking spot where Sherman would be okay for an hour or two.

Tucson Cathedral.

Tucson.

Ruth in Tucson.

We wanted to get a bit of a view of the city, so we went into downtown Tucson's tallest building. At only 22 stories, it' not a skyscraper, that's for sure! When we arrived at the 22nd floor, it was the offices of the New York Life Insurance company. I went up to the receptionist and explained that we're tourists looking for a view!

She laughed and pointed us to their conference room with windows over looking the city.

City of Tucson from the top floor of the tallest building.

The old courthouse, built in 1929.

Picture perfect!

Tucson's downtown "skyline"!

Old Tucson.

We're planning on being up in Tonto National Forest for a week or so, and so we needed to make sure groceries and wine were fully stocked up as well! We had been told about Food City as a grocery store that carries a lot of Mexican items, so we stopped in at one along the way to check it out. They had some good sales...a pineapple for $1, avocados at 4 for a dollar, and potatoes at 33 cents a pound! And, some really good chorizo (Mexican sausage).

From there, we needed to buy a couple of new inner tubes for Ruth's bicycle tires. Got them at a bike shop for $6 a piece, and there was a Whole Foods Market store right across the street, so Ruth ran in a grabbed some gluten free items there. She also bought a couple of 4% fat yogurts that looked good, and it was not bad. But with a mixture of honey, sugar, and maple syrup, I found it a little too sweet.

We had planned on going to a Trader Joe's along the way to check out their yogurt selection, but time was wasting. We were trying to get to the Biosphere, which was still quite a ways out of town. Plus, this highway 77 leading north out of Tucson is a busy stretch of road, with a lot of businesses and traffic lights and it's slow going. A lot slower than it looks like it should be on the map!

We continued out of town towards the "Biosphere". We had read mixed reviews about this attraction, and we were pretty much convinced that it wasn't worth the $19.95 that they're charging. But, we had that two for one ticket book and so at half that price it might be interesting. And, if they let us park in their lot overnight, then we would be more willing to visit.

We got there, and the lot would have been perfect to overnight at. But the girl at the desk said there's no camping allowed.

"Oh, but I wouldn't be camping", I said, as I explained the difference between camping and simply parking overnight.

"No, it's private property" she said, as if that should make a difference. (By the way, it's owned by the University of Arizona)

I argued a little more, but they wouldn't budge.

We could have done the 4:00pm tour, and then carried on, but I don't like trying to find somewhere to overnight that late in the day. And by now, I was not very impressed with their decision to not let us overnight and we decided that we really didn't want to give them any of our money.

So we drove off.

On highway 77 near Mammoth, Arizona.

Made it to the little town of Mammoth, Arizona. From the highway, I spotted their recreation park. I figured there was a baseball diamond or something there and we've sometimes taken advantage of the empty parking lots to overnight. We turned up the road, and sure enough there was a perfect quiet looking spot for the night.

Ruth made pizza for dinner, and we were having a couple of glasses of wine with it.

Around 7:30pm, we saw some vehicle lights head up our way. Sure enough, it was a cop car!

I opened the door of the motorhome to greet him. He was just a young guy. Said that he was on duty all night, and wanted to check that we were okay because he never sees anybody parked up here. Said that he would check on us a few times during the night, and that he hoped his car driving by didn't wake us up.

As he left, he said "oh, by the way, today is National Wine Day, so I'm glad to see you participating".

And here I was hoping that he wasn't going to tell us to leave because I'd already had a couple of glasses! Nice guy!

Click here to check out Amazon's deal of the day!

Yesterday's drive, 67 miles (107 kms).



35 comments:

  1. We listened to the Biosphere movie and then decided not to share our money with them either. Missed National Wine Day but since we don't drink wine that's okay. Glad he let you celebrate in peace.

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    1. You didn't miss National Wine Day, it is May 25th so mark it on your calendar. Feb. 18th was National Drink Wine Day. ;-)

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  2. Nice that you found a nice quiet spot to park for the night and enjoy your pizza and wine.

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    1. Yep, it ended up being a great spot and we never heard the cop drive by during the night.

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  3. "National Wine Day"? What? I'll have to mark that one on the perpetual calendar. It falls in the same category as "Talk Like a Pirate Day", which I try to faithfully observe.

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    1. National Wine Day is May 25th, so you never missed it, make sure you mark it on your calendar. Feb. 18th was National DRINK Wine Day! The Wine companies will come with any excuse to sell their product and we are happy to use any excuse to drink it. :-)

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  4. You missed one of the most interesting and historic places in Arizona ! You need to go back. I would go to the Biosphere again if I had the chance.

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    1. We weren't about to back track so I guess the Biosphere will have to wait until we return to this area some other winter.

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  5. The price at the Biosphere changed our mind about seeing it. We did enjoy downtown Tuscon but missed the 22 story view.

    I texted both our girls yesterday to tell them about National Wine day. Since Ohio is having so much snow and below zero weather, our daughter, Kelly, who is a teacher, had school called off today. She was thrilled and texted back that she was celebrating with a glass of wine. What will they think of next?

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    1. Yes, it is pretty pricey and with mixed reviews on it and we just decided to give it a miss, especially when we arrived so late in the day and they wouldn't let us park there overnight.

      Glad that Kelly took advantage of the National Drink Wine Day!

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  6. It's been a few years since we've been to the Biosphere but we found it very interesting. Although I can't imagine living there for a year without ever going out into the "world"..... too bad they wouldn't let you park overnight, but I guess I'm not surprised.

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    1. Well we may consider it the next time we are in the area. When something costs that much money and there are mixed reviews about it, it is hard to justify spending the money. The passport book definitely would have made the cost more reasonable.

      We weren't really surprised ourselves when they said we couldn't park overnight!

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  7. So funny - that Cop sounds like a great guy, wine drinker to boot!

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    1. He was a great guy, we were so afraid that he was going to ask us to move. We had a glass of in his honor!

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  8. Technically yesterday was National *Drink* Wine Day. National Wine Day isn't til May 25. And Pancake Day was last Tuesday (on Mardi Gras) ;)

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    1. Thanks for the differentiation between the two. Obviously the wine companies have come out with these "days" but we wouldn't object to them. As for Pancake Day, we enjoy them any day, mind you we enjoy wine any day too!

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  9. Nice guy, that police officer. There are a bunch of them out there. ;c)

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    1. We was, and yes I am sure there are lots of them out there.

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  10. National wine day!!! We missed the celebration.

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    1. No you didn't, you just missed the celebration of National Drink Wine Day! May 25th is National Wine Day so mark that down so you won't miss it. :-)

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  11. I think every day should be National Drink Wine Day, don't you?

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  12. So I guess it's not wine you are giving up for lent? LOL

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  13. Hey there! I'm not sure which building you went in to take the photo but when I first came to Tucson, I worked on the 16th floor of the tall blue building. That was pretty cool! Too bad the Biosphere didn't let you overnight. You did good finding that park. When I saw your headline I thought "Oh no!" but that was one of the better encounters with the police, I'd say! Nice guy for sure. Safe travels, Grace (in Tucson)

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    1. The building is One South Church in the photo that Kevin took of the Tucson "skyline" above it is the building with the pyramid blue top to it. So not sure if that is the one that you had worked in or the blue bricked one?

      Yep, we were bummed that they wouldn't let us park there overnight which meant that we would have come out of the tour too late to go find another spot at that time in the day. Oh, it was their loss. He was a nice guy for sure, and I thought after that I should have offered him a piece of the leftover pizza.

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    2. Or a glass of wine... Oh, yea, I guess he wouldn't have accepted that!
      The blue brick one is the building I worked in. It was the only "skyscraper" in Tucson back in 1973 when I first got here.

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    3. I had thought of that too but didn't think he would except it! ;-)

      I think I liked the other building better, there were a lot more windows in it! Loved the blue brick on that building though.

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  14. Church parking lots are a good source of free parking too as long as it is not Sat night, as well as most large grocery stores (Kroger stores) have let me park for the night in many towns after asking the manager for permission.

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    1. Yes, we have stayed in many church parking lots and yes, we don't do it on Saturday nights. We have done it on a bible study night though and got invited in to join them, unfortunately I was cooking dinner at the time so we politely declined. ;-)

      We try to avoid store parking lots if possible because most of the time we can find some place a little nicer and quieter.

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  15. Ahhh what a great day... and to finish it off with wine to boot!

    KarenInTheWoods and Steveio
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