E-Biking and another Mission
We met up again with Greg and Tina Meals to explore the extensive bike trail system in Tucson on Friday, February 10. Tucson bike trails offer more than beautiful weather and epic scenery. The city’s terrific cycling infrastructure features over 150 miles of paved bike trails. The Loop, in particular, is a 56-mile bike path that encircles the city and connects the vibrant cultures of one of the oldest continually inhabited places in North America.
On our ride we chose to cycle a route of the trail from the YMCA on North Shannon Road to Sunset Park to the Santa Cruz River. We rode for about an hour and a half and covered 15.7 miles. It was warm but windy and even with an e-bike had to work to get up some of the inclines and through the headwinds. It was fun hanging out with Greg and Tina again. It looks like we might be here in Tucson longer than expected because of our backordered freshwater tank situation, so we are using this time to see everything we can in Tucson.
Saturday, February 11 we drove down to get our mail from Mary Johnson in Green Valley. I ordered some dimmer switches from Amazon to upgrade our lighting in the trailer above the recliners and the dining table. I installed them that evening and now we have some very nice lighting ambience in the rig.
On our way back from Green Valley we made a stop at Mission San Xavier del Bac. The mission was named for Francis Xavier, a Christian missionary and co-founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Order) in Europe. Located about 10 miles (16 km) south of downtown Tucson, Arizona, on the Tohono O'odham Nation San Xavier Indian Reservation. The mission was founded in 1692 by Padre Eusebio Kino, who founded a chain of Spanish missions in the Sonoran Desert. A Jesuit of Italian descent, Kino often visited and preached in the area, then the Pimería Alta colonial territory of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. The mission is in the center of a centuries-old settlement of the Sobaipuri O'odham, a branch of the Akimel or River O'odham located along the banks of the Santa Cruz River.
The mission that survives today was built between 1783 and 1797, which makes it the oldest European structure in Arizona. Labor was provided by the O'odham. An outstanding example of Spanish Colonial architecture in the United States, the Mission San Xavier del Bac hosts some 200,000 visitors each year.