Desert valleys and mountains
After visit to Tubac I was going to visit legendary Tombstone. So, I had to drive I-19 back southwards to Nogales and then Route 82 northeast to Patagonia. For someone living far from deserts and sunny rocky formations like me, this was a very scenic 20 miles drive to Patagonia.
This is so called the Basin and Range Province that covers much of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. It's an area of elongate north-south trending arid valleys bounded by mountain ranges which also bound adjacent valleys. Route 82 from Nogales to Patagonie crosses some mountain ranges and valleys. Look at my pictures.
I could easily find some sort of very interesting silver jewelry and very beautiful pottery in numerous Indian shops of Tubac including Old Presidio Traders shop of probably the best choice. They were usually signed as Hopi jewelry and Hopi pottery. I had to ask a shop keeper who Hopi were, a tribe of artists?
I got to know that Hopi tribe lived in northeastern Arizona and I thought to see them later during my trip. It seems that in times of cars and electricity (that costs) Hopi tribe, unlike many other American Natives, has switched to cash economy earning money from traditional crafts, particularly the carving and sale of Kachina dolls, highly crafted low fire pottery, and other traditional crafts such as silversmithing. Well, Hopi artists are very expensive :-(. Details in my shopping tips.
This car changed rural America
I've found this red, old automobile among Mexican pottery put on the ground. It was part of the outdoor display of the Country Shop. This light pickup truck - Chevrolet 3100 - was number one in sales among all pickups in the USA during every year from 1950 till 1955. I liked a lot its old, aerodynamic and smooth body as well as its windshield cut into two pieces. In the front, the grille features a horizontal design and the car has funny recessed headlamps. I asked at the shop about this automobile but its owner was off. I surely wanted to ask how much the Chevy was :-).
3100-series Chevy pickups were equipped with 6-cylinder 90 horse power engine and 3 gear, surely automatic (it's the USA), transmission. Standard equipment included a heater and a defroster, a luxury in those days. The cab was enough large to seat three adult people.
Wooden fetishes of Native Americans
In some stores of Tubac I could see quite interesting, various items which were used by Native Americans as fetishes. I liked especially some wooden fetishes decorated with birds' feathers and skulls of small animals or deer antlers - see my pictures. They really looked exotic and mysterious for me.
Pueblo peoples crafted impressive items associated with their religious ceremonies. Generally I didn't like Kachina dancers but I liked some carved stone and wood fetishes which were made for religious use. let me explain that the Pueblo People are a diverse group of Native American inhabitants of New Mexico and Arizona who traditionally subsisted on agriculture. When first encountered by the Spanish in the 1500s, they were living in villages that the Spanish called Pueblos, meaning "towns". Later on during my trip I visited a few pueblos in New Mexico.
Javelina, hawks and armadillo
Frankly speaking the only alive animals I met in Tubac in April 2003 were human beings, not many, and mainly young male and female species getting off a school bus. But strolling around I have seen a few rare species made of iron and put on the ground. There are:
1. Javelina (Collared Peccary), the only wild, native, pig-like animal found in the United States. They live from Argentina through Central America to just southwestern USA including Arizona. I met javelina's family in front of Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Saguaro National Park a day before. I have been told that in some areas of the southwestern United States they have become habituated to human beings and live in relative harmony with them despite they are sometimes called the "musk hog" because of their strong odor. Well, I have seen Americans travelling with dogs (hundreds times), cats (a few times), a squirrel (once), a rat (once) but I haven't seen anyone travelling with a javelina. Have you? :-)
2. Birds of prey (picture 2-3) including red-tailed hawk which lives around Tubac. It may be seen along with other birds and animals in Bog Hole Wildlife Area, east of Tubac and Patagonia. It's the area for watching mule deer, white-tailed deer, black-tailed jack rabbit, bobcat, and javelina. It's a pity I didn't get there.
3. Nine-banded Armadillo (picture 4-5) which doesn't live in Arizona but eastwards, mainly in Texas but armadillo has been rapidly expanding its range both north and east within the United States. They go towards Chicago and New York City. Good luck :-). Armadillos are small placental mammals, known for having a bony armor shell. I unsuccesfully tried to spot them in Texas in 2004. Well, they are nocturnal animals (like me :-).