South of Tucson
After three delightful, restful nights at Tubac Golf Resort it’s time to head north to Tucson. The trip up the Interstate is only about 45 miles but we make a couple of interesting stops along the route.
One activity that came highly recommended was the ASARCO Mission Mine Tour. A museum, visitor center, gift shop is located a short distance from Exit 80. We had not made reservations and the next tour was already filled.
Tours last about one hour with a bus taking the group out to a viewpoint of the active open-pit copper mine. Then the tour stops at the mill where the ore is ground into a fine powder so that the copper minerals can be separated by flotation. Instead of waiting for the next available tour we spend time in the museum and watched a couple of videos explaining the mining/smelting process.
A cactus garden studded with retired mining equipment surrounds the Mineral Discovery Center. Bob stood in one of the large scoops and beside a giant economy sized dump truck to give some perspective of just how big the equipment is.
Our other destination was a return visit to the San Xavier del Bac Mission. Recognized as one of the finest examples of Mission architecture in the United State the church glistens in the desert setting. Ongoing preservation and renovation protects the artistry of the historic gem.
The interior is breathtakingly ornate, a combination of baroque and art reflecting the colors and cultures of the Tohono O’odham people. Respectfully we sit silently in admiration and inspiration.
Outside we can’t leave without a plate of traditional fry bread dusted with cinnamon sugar and photos of the blooming cacti before saying farewell to The White Dove of the Desert.