The Tucson Mural Quest, round 3 - Winterlude 2020 - CycleBlaze

February 1, 2021

The Tucson Mural Quest, round 3

Over our morning coffee we review the forecast for the coming days and make some plans.  Fortunately our cruel winter storm is behind us and we’re back to a string of warm, sunny days extending past the right side of the 15 day projection.  This is more like it!

Tomorrow looks like a good choice for climbing Mount Lemmon, so we decide to take it easy today in preparation.  I’ve got a list of murals scattered around town that I’d like to see, so I map out a complicated route that ropes them in and looks perfect for a leisurely day: 28 miles, flat, with frequent stops.  Rachael’s not sure what she’s planning, but she promises to take it easy herself.

When we’re both home later in the afternoon, we find we’ve each fudged a bit.  Rachael headed off to the northwest somewhere and came back with 42 miles to her credit, as I secretly knew she would.  At least though she claims she didn’t push herself.

I went further than I had planned also.  When I reached the northernmost murals on my list, I decided to return south by swinging around the northwest corner of the Loop rather than returning south on city streets.  I was feeling strong (of course, since I’d been enjoying a tailwind so far), so I thought I could afford some extra distance.

I returned home and claimed 43 miles for my efforts.   That’s three straight days now where I’ve biked further than Rocky has, if memory serves.  I think it’s time to have a conversation about this.  I’m getting tired of carrying the team.  It’s about time she started pulling her weight again, don’t you think?

The plan for each of us today is to take a fairly easy ride, with the thought of resting up before climbing Mount Lemmon tomorrow. Looking up there now though, I wonder - there’s still quite a bit of snow hanging on at the top.
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An insect tea party, on Norris Avenue.
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A section of the long Barrio Centrale mural, by the Lucky Wishbone on 22nd Street.
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On Third Street.
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At The Loft Cinema. Film can evoke such a range of emotions.
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On Speedway: a surreal desert scene, by Lalo Cota.
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Tangerines.
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Some blue whales float on the wall of the old Catalina Theater.
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Not really a fitting name here, since southern Arizona is one of the few regions of the country where crows don’t reside. More appropriate would be Rain Raven, or Rain Grackle.
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Jacquie GaudetInteresting. I had to look up the range of crows and discovered that the Northwestern Crow, which we have in abundance in the Vancouver area, is distinct from the American Crow. We have ravens too, but not in town. Unlike crows, which roost every night in Burnaby. The video was shot at BCIT where I used to work--about 1 km from my home. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZDC2JKBux4
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3 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Jacquie GaudetThe NW and American crows are quite different, really. The NW is noticeably smaller. If you see them together it’s easy to distinguish.

Great video! I love the way crows congregate at nightfall. They’ve become a growing presence in downtown Portland over the last few years for some reason, but I don’t think our numbers match Burnaby’s yet. There’s quite a cacophony down at the riverfront if you’re there at the right time.

I think the grackles down here must occupy about the same ecological niche as crows do, and maybe that’s part of the reason the crows aren’t here. They also gather in large, raucous numbers at the end of the day:
https://www.cycleblaze.com/journals/tucson16/to-duncan/#1355_b77f7eb4bbb3137e855e58e2e06436bc
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3 weeks ago
Jacquie GaudetTo Scott AndersonThat photo really does look like one of the crow roosts not too far from here. It's on a bike route and the asphalt is white under all the trees.
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3 weeks ago
Good times at the No-Tel Motel.
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Another Lalo Cota creation, near the corner of Prince and Oracle.
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Amy’s Donuts! Yum.
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Jen GrumbyA balloon made out of fried dough?!
Up and away we sail .. Whoa!
An Old Fashioned in the clouds
Far above Amy's crowds
The frosting melts in the sun, though.
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3 weeks ago
First poppy of the year.
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The Hotel McCoy (a motel really, from the looks of it) is a mural extravaganza that makes you want to stay there. This creation by Jessica Gonzales covers the entrance facade on Silverlake.
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Many of the rooms have portraits by Jessica Gonzales on their outside wall, with a bench or chair beneath them. There are about a dozen of these, all on the same theme.
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At the Hotel McCoy.
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At the Desert Suds Car Wash.
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A fetching come-on, at Hem and Her Bridal.
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Take a whack at the giant piñata, at Rollie’s Mexican Patio.
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A section of the long abandoned El Paso and Southwestern, a early line that ran near the Mexican border from Tucson to El Paso until it lost out to the Southern Pacific line. If this really is a section of the original tracks, those are certainly interesting rails.
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Two mysteries here. I’m not sure, but the animal looks like he’s broken off part of his left wing.
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Bill ShaneyfeltCarpenter bee.
https://arizonadailyindependent.com/2015/05/31/carpenter-bees-black-and-gold-and-smelling-like-roses/
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3 weeks ago
This mural covering the wall of La Suprema in Barrio Viejo looks like an homage to the old neighborhood. Note the household addresses and her neck chain.
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Rusty fence, Barrio Viejo.
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Ride stats today: 43 miles, 1,200’; for the tour: 2,417 miles, 85,200’; for the year: 26 riding days, 1,154 miles, 31,200’, and 2 flat tires

Today's ride: 43 miles (69 km)
Total: 2,417 miles (3,890 km)

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marilyn swettI'm enjoying your mural pictures Scott! We'll definately have to check them out on our next trip to Tucson. Interesting fact about there being no crows in Southern AZ. I didn't know that but now that I think about it, we only saw ravens and grackles. Huh......
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3 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo marilyn swettIt’s an interesting fact about the crows, alright. It took me awhile to register that I wasn’t seeing them and then research it. Seems almost unAmerican.
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3 weeks ago