Friday, March 7, 2014

The Biosphere 2

     Its been another fun week here in Mesa, Arizona as we relax, explore and spend time together.  One sunny afternoon we went to a county park, called Usery Mountain Park, to take a hike and check out their nature center.  Since we bothed worked at MetroParks in Ohio for quite a few years, we really enjoy checking out other park systems.  Of course then we spend the drive home either critiquing what they did wrong, or speculating about what we would do with our new ideas if we were still working!  LOL

This is Usery Mountain Park:

Don't worry, this was in the nature center!  I didn't get this
 close to a snake in the wild!

One afternoon we went shopping at a new destination, called Tempe Marketplace.  It was basically an outdoor mall - but it was fun to window shop, I bought a new small purse and some new sandals.   On the way home, we saw an antique store that said it was going out of business, so we went back the next day.  Oh, how I love a good bargain, and having had my Lemon Tree Vintage site for a few years, I was salivating over all the lovely items and bargains!  I couldn't help myself and bought a few small things, but since we have limited space in the trailer, I had to really reign myself in.

One morning we drove down toward Tucson to tour the Biosphere 2.  The Biosphere 2 (planet Earth is Biosphere 1) was built in the 1980s as a completely sealed environment, complete with 5 unique ecosystems, including an ocean with a coral reef, a grassland, a desert, a rainforest and a marsh.  Originally, a handful of scientists were sealed in it for 2 years.  Now it is owned by the University of Arizona and a variety of studies on air, soils, plants, etc are researched there.  We were able to tour the entire facility, including the "lungs" that controls the air pressure, the basement where all the water, cooling and heating systems are, the 5 ecosystems, even the kitchen and rooms where the original scientists lived.  It was very interesting and educational.

They even have some birds and insects in there that help pollinate
and break down the dead leaves, etc., back into soil

     On our way home, we took a longer route in order to check out some of new areas, and we stopped in a town called "Globe", where we stopped into some art galleries and antique stores.  Here are some pictures of the drive home:

A good reminder to drive carefully - this was waaaay down at
the bottom of a steep, rocky ravine.

Here's a good geology lesson of how the mountains
were formed, pushed up from the earth eons ago!

The Gila River

A tunnel right through the mountain

See the hummingbird?

this pretty purple finch was singing so beautifully

And here is a few of the adorable things at the antique store:

This was a bank, you put your coins right in the baby's butt crack!  LOL
I should have bought it!

This is the old courthouse, now turned into an art gallery

There was a quilt show going on - isn't this lovely?

While in Globe, an old man offered to give us and another couple a tour of the old jail built in 1910.  Built of solid cement, this jail house prisoners from 1910 until the early 1980s.  It is said to be haunted, but the names and scratch marks in the walls to count the days and nights were haunting in and of themselves.  I hope I'm never arrested, I wouldn't last long in jail!  

He showed us the sheriff's old offices - we saw these blasts from the past:

For you youngsters, they used to sell cigarettes
from vending machines!

And "text" on these old typewriters!

A rotary phone, anchored to the wall?  How did we
live without cell phones?

On the 3rd of March, the RV resort celebrated Mardi Gras with a parade and party.  We didn't go to the party, but did watch the parade.  Some of these folks really got into the spirit of New Orleans!

Keep in touch!  Would love to hear your comments or to hear how you all are doing!  Till next time, another beautiful Arizona sunset!


Onfiretimes3 said...

Alayna said um whywhy are theyyou in jail? Layla said my nana

Onfiretimes3 said...

Alayna said um whywhy are theyyou in jail? Layla said my nana

Robert Makley said...

Love the photos Anna, You guys look like you are enjoying the trip. Have you been able to go through any old ghost towns? Enjoy and stay safe.

b and bb cole said...

Love it, thanks for writing this. I just love reading about your adventures!! AWESOME pictures too!!