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Titan Missile Museum, Green Valley, AZ

Louise Speaks:  After spending 5 days in Patagonia, it was time to head home and do laundry before our next trip.  But on the way home, of course there is an attraction to see.  It’s not on our Quirky list, but it is one of the Roadside America attractions,m so we had to stop.

The Titan Missile Museum, is an important Atomic Tour sight.  Here you will find a fully restored missile base, a relic of the Cold War.  The cold war may be over but the last symbol of that episode can be seen in a missile silo 20 miles south of Tucson along Interstate 19.   The silo is a hundred feet underground and much of it is open to the public.  The whole visit , missile silo tour, museum, and outdoor display, can be seen in about an hour.  The stairs down into the silo are steep and not suitable for small children or handicapped.  Cameras are allowed.

Although this seemed very interesting, it just wasn’t something we wanted to spend an hour seeing.  So we drove through the parking lot, took pictures of things on the grounds, got back in the RV and we were on our way.  But, if this is something you think you might enjoy, it is very easy to find and is easy off and on the freeway.

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Sonoita Creek State Natural Park, Patagonia, AZ

Louise Speaks:  At the same entrance as Patagonia State Park, is the entrance to the Sonoita Creek State Park.  Very similar to San Rafael, it is a nature area that is great for hiking and even bird watching.  The park itself is basically a parking lot where you park and then decide what you want to do.  There are hiking trails, picnic tables and cactus gardens for your enjoyment.  Horseback riding and hunting is also allowed at Sonoita Creek State park.   The Sonoita Creek runs thru the nature area but today the creek is bone dry. ..but I bet it is pretty with water running thru it.  The Patagonia State Park Visitor Center also serves as the visitor center for Sonoita Creek as well.

The Visitor Center houses a permanent exhibit that includes a large three-dimensional model of the Natural Area with topographical contours, trails and campsites.  There is also a list of recently seen birds,  several reptiles including a Gila monster and a children’s’ table with books, crayons and activities.  Also available for free are natural history brochures, articles, publications, posters, bird lists, Jr. Ranger activity booklets for children, and local tourist information.   A library with hundreds of references is available for guests to use on site.  Binoculars are loaned to guests participating in a guided activities.  A self-guided plant walk around the Visitor Center provides an introduction to local plants.

 

We were only here a few minutes to check out the area and the cactus that were in bloom.  It would be a nice area if I was interested in any of the things the area is designed for.


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Lochiel, AZ

Louise Speaks:  If you read the San Rafael  Ranch State Park post you know we took a different way home going towards Mexico.  Not sure today was the best day to do this as today is the day Trump has ordered additional border patrol and they are everywhere…sitting in their trucks, doing nothing.  The sign says Nogales is 8 miles away so how bad can it be…a question I shouldn’t  have asked.

The road is still dirt, and this reoad is not maintained.  There are pot holes, and parts of the roads have been washed away.  We had driven for more than 8 miles and we were nowhere near Nogales.  But we did end up in the town of Lochiel.  We had no idea how close we were to Nogales, but this little town was a welcome break from the bumpy windy road.

Turns out Lochiel, is home to Fray Marcos De Niza.   Marcos was a Spanish missionary and Franciscan friar.  He is credited with being the first European to enter  what is now the State of Arizona in 1539.  The town seems as if it is abandoned, but then all of a sudden a huge cross appears.  We pull over and it looks as if it is an outdoor church.  There are benches surrounding the cross and a plaque is dedicated to Marcos De Niza honoring his entrance to Arizona.

 

Not much else but abandoned buildings and livestock that roam the streets freely.  As we were taking pictures of the cross, cows were just walking around us, wondering why we were invading their space.  The closer they got, we asked ourselves the same questions.  We got back in the car and continued to Nogales….wherever it may be.

In researching, Lochiel for this posting I found out that Nogales is actual 25 miles from Nogales.  It was still closer to go this way back to the campground than the way we came in, but this was a very long 25 miles.

For some reason if you ever go to the San Rafael Ranch State Park, I do recommend going back to Patagonia this way.  The town of Lochiel was like stepping back in time and the rolling hills and mountain cliffs were very picturesque.  There is a turn off to Patagonia before you get to Nogales, so it wasn’t really 25 miles.