Little Thoughts About Tucson

Gems

Last week I was recovered enough from sciatica to meet up with my cousin Judy and her husband Mike. They come into Tucson almost every year for the Gem and Mineral Show. When I heard about this show a few years ago I thought there would be a big lay out at the Convention Center or the Expo Center out near the airport. Not even close. There are 38 venues all over Tucson with everywhere from 6 to 600 vendors at each site. Several of the venues are exclusively beads and several of the venues are only open to dealers. Luckily Mike is a dealer so we could get in anywhere. The show brings in 55,000 visitors for the two week period and they drop $100,000,000 on the local economy.

I could only manage two venues but what I saw was overwhelming and beyond my limited understanding of this world of earthly wonders. It is hard to imagine that nature is so diverse and alien. There were minerals from around the world of all sizes. Of course, the prices ranged from pennies to thousands.  While Judy and Mike send days and days shopping, I was pretty wiped out after one day but I was so glad I had the experience and hope to return in the future with better appreciation.

Mineral found in Canade

Mineral found in Canade

Old Tucson Studio

When we arrived in Tucson one of our first stops was to the visitor center where you can purchase a passport to regional attractions like museums, missions, and heritage sites. It has already saved us close to $80.

One of the places we visited was over the mountain to the west of us and out in the desert. Old Tucson Studio has been the set for many movies since it was built in 1939. If you come to Tucson, save your money. The most worthwhile building was a little museum inside the entrance that served as  place for movie memorabilia. There were posters and photographs of the movies being filmed. The displays had the costumes worn. Behind the glass were the clothing worn by actors in Little House in the Prairie as well dusty dresses , boots and hats worn in other movies.

We walked past a mission façade, a big old locomotive, a really fake graveyard, and then we came to the Old Iron Mine entrance. The cowboy/guide lured us in for a 6 minute “tour.” It turned out to be a very cheesy haunted house.   When we went into the courthouse there was a mannequin with his toupee drooped over his nose! Pretty funny, actually.Old Tuscon Studio

Near the end there was a little train that navigated the circumference of the place. It was really built for kids which I discovered when I nearly dropped to the floor as I sat down. Anyway, I wanted to get my $17.98 worth of attractions before we left.

All that glitters is not gold as we found as we found out in this dusty worn out tourist attraction which really was more like iron pilings.


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  1. Carolyn says:

    I delighted in hearing how you were awed by those incredible gems! There is one explantion of many explanations for the majesty, diversity and creativity of nature and that is the majestiy, diversity and creativity of the Creator! The tourist trap trapped a tourist. Nothing unusual about that!

    How teenagers climb mountains in flip flops? There is no explanation for that.

    Your descriptions of the pain you felt as you suffered with sciatica were so real, Karen. I am vastly relieved you are getting better. I can only imagine your own relief and gratitude!