Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Perfect Place On a Perfect Day

The Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

Pretty much every year my daughter suggests we make a road trip to Tucson to see the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. It takes very little cajoling as it is one of my favorite places in our beautiful state.

Most years we wait and go in summer (as it it the only time of the year when it is open evenings to see the nocturnal animals).

Our earlier than usual April visit rewarded us with perfect temperatures, sunny blue skies, and a clear view all the way to Kitt Peak.

Founded in 1952 the ASDM is a 26 acre desert paradise. It is one of the first "living museums" anywhere. It is part botanical garden, part zoological garden, and part research center.

I also like the drive to get there. Once you get to Tucson you travel west on Speedway Avenue until it dissolves into a narrow two lane highway over Gates Pass. Along the way it meanders through an incrediby dense forest of saguaro's. The road hearkens to an earlier day and reminds me of all those old desert highways my dad used to find that were mile after mile of little roller coster hills. Along the way there are campgrounds an archery range, and picnic grounds. This is also the road you use to go see the Old Tucson movie studios.

When we arrived we went counter to the normal trail direction. This allowed me to go get something to eat at the Ironwood Terrace for lunch. It also allowed us to start (where we normally finish) at the hummingbird aviary. The hummers and their tiny babies were everywhere.

We skipped the Javelinas this year and watched the mountain goats, owls, wolves, beavers and cats. The nice thing about visiting before the temperatures soar is that so many of the animals are out enjoying the weather too.

New this year is the "Life on the Rocks" display which highlights a variety of animals and insects both in their above and below ground habitats.                                                                        

The Old Museum "Ark" Was on Display This Year

The museum is privately owned and (aside from their annual memberships and their military discounts) there are limited discounts on the entrance fee. But at $13 / Adult it is actually a screaming deal. This is a place that the whole family will enjoy and remember for years  to come.

The Desert Scene 
(Along the 2 Miles of Trails)

The Sonora Desert in Full Bloom!

If you visit our magnificent state, this is one of our "Don't Miss" places to visit (especially if you are traveling with children).

Roadboy's Travels © 2010

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