Before pulling out of Patagonia State Park, I checked one more time to see if there had been any cancellations, thus allowing us to extend our stay.  No such luck.  So we stuck with the original plan and hit the road with Tucson, Arizona, as our destination.Tucson MissionsTucson AZA few days earlier, I made notes on a couple of places to stop and explore along our route, but after indulging in a little too much of my “special” lemonade the night before, I was fighting a mild hangover headache and wasn’t in the mood to do anything but find our next home site.

Gosh, I’m such a lightweight.  I guess that can be viewed as a good thing.

The mission in Tumacácori and the cute town of Tubac will just need to wait until next years excursion.

Two hours after leaving Patagonia, Arizona, we  pulled into a boondocking area known as Snyder Hill near the far southwest side of Tucson.  We quickly found a level spot and proceeded to set up home.  While nursing my headache the rest of the day, Al and I discussed the things we wanted to see and do during this stay in Tucson.Tucson Arizona

It turns out, we had only two things on our want to do list.  This was our third visit to Tucson and on both previous visits, Mission San Xavier del Bac was a place I wanted to see yet eluded our schedule.  Not this trip!  I visited not once, but twice.historical sites in Tucsonhistorical missionsI shared a few of my morning photos of Mission San Xavier del Bac via a previous post and today I’m sharing my evening shots.

During this late afternoon visit, I entered the mission as it was being readied for the evenings service.  I hadn’t realized the mission held a Saturday evening mass.

I took a couple of quick interior photos but didn’t linger as I didn’t want to seem disrespectful.  I’m sure it was fine as there were plenty of other folks snapping away, but for me, I felt a little uncomfortable doing so.

About a half hour later folks started arriving for Mass and by 5:30 the mission was packed allowing for standing room only.

Spanish architectureSpanish Colonial architectureSpanish Colonial architectureWith my desire to visit and photograph Mission San Xavier satisfied, our next ‘must do’ on our list was seeing our friends.  Mike and Linda originally planned to boondock with us at Snyder Hill but a heat wave had rolled in requiring them to use the air conditioner for pooch, Lucy, while they were out and about all day exploring.  Thus, they were staying at the Gilbert Ray Campground just up the road with electric hook-up.

Al, Ingrid, Linda, Mike, and Lucy

We invited Mike and Linda over to our place instead of going out to eat so Lucy could join us.  We had a great visit and realized our travels will be overlapping a few more times in the next couple of months just as they did last year.boondocking with friends

I’m assuming there could be a few more happy hours accompanied by more amazing sunsets in our future.  And by the way, I stuck with water the entire evening.  This lightweight couldn’t handle even the thought of an alcoholic beverage 😉boondocking dry campingWith both items checked off our list, we bid farewell to Tucson. Until next time!Spanish Colonial ArchitectureFYI…. This visit took place during the 3rd week in February and I know all you folks to the north are dealing with severe snowstorms and record low temperatures.  I feel for you and although all the photos of snow are beautiful, I don’t miss the shoveling or bad road conditions.  Yet another reason why we love our RV –  we follow the weather.Spanish architecture

Boondocking at Snyder Hill southwest side of Tucson

Collapsible Silicone Party Platter and Serving Tray with Lid by Cood Cooking
Folding Chat Set

Mission San Xavier

Today’s WordPress photo challenge is the “Rule of Thirds”. Arizona Missions

We arrived in Tucson, Arizona, a couple of days ago and my first ‘must see’ stop was Mission San Xavier del Bac.  The stunning Spanish architecture and beautifully landscaped grounds made for a fun and interesting photographic opportunity.Mission San Xavier del BacMission San Xavier del Bac is a historic Spanish Catholic mission located about 10 miles south of downtown Tucson.  The church was built between 1783 and 1797 and is the oldest European structure in Arizona.Mission San Xavier del Bac

The mission was originally founded by an Italian Jesuit, Padre Eusebio Kino.  San Xavier is still actively run by Franciscans and continues to serve the local community.Mission San Xavier del BacOver 200,000 visitors come here each year from around the world to view what is considered some of the finest Spanish Colonial architecture in the United States.Mission San XavierThere was so much to explore and take in at the mission…. more than I expected. So if you do visit, plan on spending at least an hour versus the 20 minutes we scheduled.  I guess that means, I’ll just have to revisit.RoadrunnerAnd since Jen over at WordPress challenged us to experiment with the Rule of Thirds with a little bokeh (blur), I thought I’d end the post with this photo of an unusual cactus bloom located near the entrance to San Xavier.Spanish missions

The Spanish Missions of Arizona (True Books)
Moon Arizona & the Grand Canyon (Moon Handbooks)