Ghosts of Tumacacori
We recently visited the historic National park at Tumacacori. I don't know why, but I didn't have high expectations - probably the reason why I hadn't visited it in the 30+ years I'd lived in southern Arizona. I had no idea what I was missing. This place is wonderful. It has history, beauty and mystery.
We were fortunate enough to tag along with a free guided tour with one of the park rangers. I usually don't like these. In my opinion, the rangers are either way too wordy and take forever to explain anything or just spout a boring bunch of information in a monotone voice. Our ranger was neither. He provided an extremely interesting historical view, with bits of funny anecdotes, quickly and efficiently. One of the best guides I've ever had.
The history of this mission goes back to the 1700s and is too complex for me to attempt to list here. The best thing for you to do if you're interested is visit the place itself.
In addition to the walk around the mission, you can take a short hike through the orchard (which was used by the people at the mission) down the Anza Trail to the Santa Cruz River. I really enjoyed this too. There were big, shady trees and the water flowing down the river was beautiful.
I attempted to capture the essence of the place through the following photographs, but as usual, they don't do it justice. With all the history, I felt as though some of the people who had lived here in the past were there watching us. Who knows maybe they were.
Click here to go to the National Park Service website. The park is located just south of Tubac, Arizona (about an hour south of Tucson). Hours of operation are 9 am to 5 pm daily (except Thanksgiving and Christmas). Park passes cost $5 per person and are good for seven days (well worth the money).