What happened this morning is typical of the way we travel. Rather than make plans and try to stick to them, we try to go with the flow.  And things always work out for the best. Elizabeth said as much herself as we were checking this evening just before sunset into our Tucson hotel.

Tucson? Indeed. If we had stuck to our plan, we would have been in Durango, Colorado – about 720 miles north of here.  When we woke up, we had tentatively intended to drive today from Santa Fe to Chaco Canyon, Aztec Memorial and overnight in Durango, Colorado, before continuing to Mesa Verde the next day). By 9:30 AM, we were heading in the opposite direction.

Santa Fe-Tucson map

Why? The first reason for such a sudden turn-about-face was that all national parks are closed as part of the federal government shutdown. That includes the three we had planned to visit.

The second reason was that Elizabeth wasn’t feeling 100%. I know from past experience that long flights or long rides can do wonders for her quick recovery. They give her a chance for some extra sleep.

IMG_2617 IMG_2618

And that’s exactly how things worked out today. While Elizabeth was zizzing (our term for sleeping), I snapped occasional pictures of interesting places. Like the above two.

How did the town of Truth or Consequences get its unusual name? From a 1950 radio show. Here’s a Wikipedia excerpt about it:

Originally named Hot Springs, the city changed its name to Truth or Consequences, the title of a popular NBC radio program. In 1950, Ralph Edwards, the host of the radio quiz show Truth or Consequences, announced that he would air the program from the first town that renamed itself after the show. Hot Springs won the honor. Edwards visited the town during the first weekend of May for the next fifty years. This event was called “Fiesta” and included a beauty contest, a parade, and a stage show. The city still celebrates Fiesta each year on the first weekend of May. The parade generally features area celebrities such as the Hatch Chile Queen. Fiesta also features a dance in Ralph Edwards Park.

By the time we made it to Wilcox, about an hour or so out of Tucson (where we bought and ate some wonderful apples and apple pies), Elizabeth was once again her perky self. By the time we let this wonderful hotel find us [we had no reservations, of course 🙂 ], she was quite bubbly.

That’s when we made another spur-of-the-moment decision. Since Tucson is always a delightful place to visit, we decided to add an extra night, and make it a weekend in this warm southern Arizona city, instead of in the cold Rockies and high Mesas.

What’s there to do in Tucson? How about a Sabino Canyon hike tomorrow?  Visit to a Tucson Yamaha dealer to try out new Clavinova models? Drive through Patagonia Mtns to Tubac? Look for some wonderful local and Mexican artifacts there? Visit the Saint Xavier del Bac Mission on the way back?

Those are just some of the possibilities of what we might do this weekend. There is much more. Except that we have already done a lot of other Tucson things. As usual, we’ll let the Spirit guide us. Because you know what happens to the “best laid plans of mice and men” Just look at today… 🙂

In the end, the Spirit rewarded our flexibility today with a magnificent sunset. It was all the more enchanting in that we were able to watch it from our room on the 6th floor.  Enjoy!

IMG_2624 IMG_2625 IMG_2623 IMG_2622 IMG_2619 View of the Catalina mountains through a six-story window of our hotel lobby


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