Hello dear readers! I’m pleased to report my ankle swelling is down, and so is my pain. I’m walking better thanks to the cold-laser therapy. Now, if I would just stop getting the zoomies, I might have a shot at it healing 100 percent.
We celebrate by heading down south for a change to explore a park in Tucson called Agua Caliente located at 12325 East Roger Road, Tucson, AZ 85749. NOTE: Check road closures before going. We did, and we still struggled finding the best route. Phoenix gets low marks for road maintenance these days. They either do nothing and allow pot holes to grow to the point of swallowing up your car, or they close all the roads down at once. Anyway, the drive took us almost three hours from North Phoenix.
Mom packed us a picnic, and as soon as we pulled into the free parking lot, I knew this was going to be a great spot. Besides being free, dogs are most welcome. We were hungry and had our picnic first. Dad moved a table under the shade of a tree, and we were water side watching birds, ducks, and small turtles.
The temperature was just perfect with a slight, cool breeze blowing. I don’t mind gentle breezes, but I am sick of wind! While we ate, Mom and Dad looked into the history of this park and learned the name Agua Caliente means hot water. How fitting since the park has two hot springs. We learned this land changed hands quite a few times before being purchased by the city of Tucson to create a park.
In 1873, the land was used as a health resort and ranch. Later on, a family planted 3,000 fruit trees, turning it into quite the orchard. Somewhere along the line, they sold with the intent of keeping it an active orchard. However, the new owners didn’t even live in Arizona, and they tried to sell it to a home developer.
The short story is with the help of the previous owner and donations, they stopped the development and obtain 101 acres of land to be preserved. By then, the multiple buildings (house, guest house, and ranch quarters) were in disarray. Tucson spent money to fix everything back up, and today, they make a nice museum.
As we walked around the property, we could see the evolution from ranch to spa to orchard to park. The walkways are either paved sidewalks or crushed dirt, all of which are flat. Most are wheelchair accessible.
Take a picture of the map posted in the picnic area before walking because you will have several options. We chose the outer loop around all the ponds. Originally only two, one of the owners bumped that up to seven!
All the rain filled the ponds full. The ducks and turtles were happy about that. I don’t know if I was allowed or not, but I had to cool off. I walked right into the cleanest pond we could find. Ah. It felt good! In Mom’s defense, she tried to stop me, but I went in anyway. I don’t hear so good anymore, and well, I’m a Shiba Inu! Woof!
The further away from the picnic area you get, you realize you are in the desert. You see, the main part of the park is where the house/spa was located, and it is hidden in palm trees…lots of them! Kinda cool.
I’m not sure you would want to do the outer loop on an extremely hot day, but we did okay. We saw quite a few “birders” with binoculars. Apparently, Agua Caliente is known for a wide-variety of species of birds and brings people in. We lived in Houston, and I’m pretty sure they have it all over this place. However, we did see a road runner in a tree. Say what? That was strange indeed! The museum attendant said road runners will often climb up trees to scope out snakes to eat. I’m not a snake fan whatsoever, so they can have them all!
We made our way back to the picnic area, and Mom and Dad took turns going into the museum. Dogs weren’t allowed inside. While Mom and I waited, a nice lady came over to say hi to me. She knew right away I am a Shiba Inu because she just lost hers. RIP buddy. I let her give me extra pets.
This park is quiet, beautiful, and unique! We thoroughly enjoyed our time here and recommend it, should you ever be in Tucson or want to go for a drive.
Since we drove almost three hours, Dad wanted to add on to our adventure. We did, but you’ll have to wait until next week to read about it! Until then, have a great week.
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith, is kind enough to help me share my Great Adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, executive recruiter, business consultant, coach, fitness expert, and author of nine published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever!
Enjoy my blog at https://www.lorrainebosse-smith.com/category/kuma/kumas-great-adventures/
and be sure to follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kumathedog/ and Instagram: kumaitothedog
Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!
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