Monday, January 25, 2010

Friends near Tubac, Az.

Sat - Jan. 23rd

We stayed an extra day in Why and waited for the rain and wind to subside. When we left Friday morning, we ran into this about a half hour down the road on Hwy. 86 to Tucson.

He made it. We should be okay. The highway was like this for at least a third of a mile. Kind of scary, but it wasn't very deep and we made it okay.

Did I mention we had excessive rain this week? At least as much more rain after I sent the last pictures as we had before I sent them.
This is where we camped on the east edge of Tucson on BLM land, Bureau of Land Management. You can camp for free 14 days anywhere on their land in the desert.

On Saturday we headed down to the Tubac area in the Santa Cruz Valley south of Tucson to visit an old friend of mine from grade school. We stopped in the charming little artist village of Tubac to do a little window shopping. You can see how excited John is to get started. He just loves shopping!

This town is a shopper's delight. They have all kinds of artwork and handmade things, pottery, rugs, metal work, paintings, etc. They have dress shops, homemade candies & jellies and lots of quaint little restaurants.

They also have Arizona's first StateHistoric Park and they were having an antique car show at the golf course today.

This is a metal work showing man's evolution. Notice that the most recent man has a beer belly and is carrying a can of beer, or maybe it's pop?

Well this is the whole 1967 DeLamere Lutheran confirmation class reunited! We have arrived at last to visit my friend, Judy, and her husband, Charles. Also known as Nicieen (Nee-ci-een) and Ahnuit (On-weet).

Nicieen and Ahnuit live with a small community of about 100 people at Avalon Gardens. It is a farm of about 160 acres along the Santa Cruz River. They invited us to join them for lunch in the main dining hall with everyone.

They all share the work load and try to raise everything they need and build their homes and buildings all out of natural or recycled materials. These little homes are made out of papercrete. It is a mixture of ground up paper and concrete.

The nearby community bath house has solar panels that heat the building and the hot water is circulated under the floors of nearby buildings to create radiant floor heat. They are very resourceful. We could all learn a lot from them.

The building they live in is made of ground tires and concrete. It looks just like any other adobe house we might see in the southwest.

Here is Nicieen watching the goats. They use the goats milk for drinking and cooking and they make cheese and yogurt. They also have horses, cows, chickens, ducks, geese, a mule and a couple of parrots.

The teepee is used for a chapel for individual meditation and the structure on the left is a sweat lodge like the native Americans use.

This is a stage they use for teaching the kids and putting on plays and skits and also for concerts that they invite the public to. They get big crowds for their concerts.

The house behind the pond is where they have their main business office, a small library and a large common room that they use to show videos and for worship services. Ahnuit is the business manager and is involved in hospice activities in Tubac. They also have a law office and real estate office there and a store where they sell their craft products and garden produce. Nicieen teaches middle school sciences part time and works in the library and takes her turn working in the kitchen.

This is just an example of the beautiful scenery that surrounds their community farm. You can read more about them at


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