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23 May 2011

Zombies in the Desert!

Day 2: Sunday, 22 May 2011
Tucson is Arizona's second city, if you will, often overshadowed by the much larger Phoenix. However, unlike Phoenix, Tucson seems to retain a good deal of its history and has a fledgling artist/alternative community, fostered in no small part by the presence of the University of Arizona right in the center of town.

The day started with breakfast at our hosts' place, homemade breakfast burritos. Ashley and Trevor had tickets to a playoff softball game at the U of A, so as they left for that, Ueli and I headed out to explore the city ourselves. It was hot, as one might expect from the Sonora desert in late May. We drove into downtown Tucson, dropped off some postcards at the first mailbox we could find, and then drove toward the Presidio, a historic part of town that seemed worthwhile to visit. But again, it was completely deserted. There was no one else walking around.

There were a few people hanging around like hobos in the plaza near city hall. We walked around, saw some government buildings and then discovered the original pueblo settlement built by the Spanish in 1775 or whatever. The general history of Tucson is almost the same as the history of any city in California: It was settled by the Spanish, who tried to convert the natives to Christianity, then it became part of Mexico during their independence, and a couple decades later was made part of the U.S., and the city really began to grow after the railroad came into town in the late 1800s.