Old Tucson Studios
April, 2000

We spent a fun day at a place we've seen over and over again in western movies and TV shows.

Does anyone know what western TV series was filmed from this Old Tucson location?

(Sorry, Cheryl thinks you should get the answer now, but Ed says you have to wait until the next update.)
(e-mail him if he forgets to put it in)


There was plenty of action on the streets of Old Tucson the day we were there.  Fist fights, gun fights and bad guys shot off of their perches high on the town's rooftops.  The actors here did a really great job making the scenes seem real; (well, at least as good as in the movies).

 

But even the bad guys were good enough to pose for a picture. 
 
 
 
 

 


The boys really liked the fight scenes.
Here they are acting out episode #1 while Cheryl operates the camera.  They had choreographed each movement, each swing and each fall, (which turned into somersaults on the ground).  It was hard to select a few frames that showed the action.  For beginners their punches were pretty good.  The second picture is from their "rooftop" (picnic table) scene.


On weekends TV-Land has marathons.  One weekend it was Gomer Pyle.  Max saw one episode and GAL...AHA..LLIE he was glued to the tube for three hours, (we can't figure out why).
This weekend there was a Superman Marathon, (the old one from the 50's).  We kept the VCR recording on slow mode and altogether captured twenty hours of Superman.  By the end of the next two weeks Mitch and Max knew the opening theme by heart.  They agreed with us that the older original black and whites were better than the later color ones.
Here, the boys are engaged in their current favorite pastime, playing their Poke'mon Gameboys.  When their playing it they'll go for hours, (thankfully, they'll also put them away for months at a time too).  Their games are interconnected, they have their headphones on and the reference books open.  It's amazing how much is packed into these little cartridges.  I think they played regularly for two months before they finally completed the game for the first time.


Remember the picture of the city of Tucson?  This is just five miles southwest and over the mountain.  An state park with RV's is seen below, Old Tucson Studios is just to the left and a large dust devil kicks up in the back.  In the foreground you can see the tall saguaro cactus.  The Desert Museum is just behind the mound on the right and out about 3 1/2 miles is the Saguaro National Monument.  The valley floor is a forest of saguaros.

The Desert Museum was great, but it was hard to get any good panoramic pictures.  We saw all types of desert animals including lizards, birds, prairie dogs, otters, beavers and even bears.

In this picture, Mitch and Max are listening to a presentation on the different structures of mammal skulls.  We learned how to recognize which ones had forward facing eyes, which had a keen smell or hearing and how the bone structure looked, which had guides on their jaw to hold the jaw in place under extreme pressure and which had a sliding jaw for mashing grasses and small twigs.

I would not have guessed that there would be a cave in the middle of the desert, but there was.

We went through this cave rather quickly because we wanted to see the presentation on skulls.  By time we saw the rest of the park it was getting late, it was hot, and we were tired so we didn't make it back.  It was a large cave and they had many very small passage ways that worked around like a maze.  There were many displays of gems and information on how each type of rock is formed. 

Many of the small passages were dark and we almost had to crawl to get through.  I kept wondering if snakes would like this spots to hide from the mid-day sun.  This was a truly spectacular museum/zoo; unfortunately it takes more than a day to see it all.
 
While at the Desert Museum we met another full-time traveler.  He has a show on the Travel Channel, (part of the Discovery channel), called "The Tourist", his name is Rick Bronson.  You may have seen his show, it's usually on in the mornings.
 
 
He was roaming around the Desert Museum with his crew filming a segment on Tucson.  He stopped to chat and we compared travel notes.  He's just as friendly and funny as he is on his show.  We're looking forward to seeing his Tucson episode, but we're usually still asleep at 7:00 a.m. when it's on.
 
Our final picture is from a place called Don's Restaurant.  This is a strictly a breakfast and lunch place.  It's always fun to follow chance and see what becomes of it.  This turned out to be a good breakfast at a low price.  Most impressive was the speed at which everything was cooked and served.  Don had a sign on the wall documenting how many eggs he has flipped and it was in the hundreds of thousands or more.
So how did we end up at Don's???  Ed was looking for paper plates at Costco and asked a fellow that had a large cart of napkins, oil and such where he found the paper products.  He replied, "#$@%, I forgot paper plates, follow me"  Ed learned he had a restaurant near our RV park on the main road going north out of Tucson so we thought we give it a try one morning.

Don is in the kitchen cooking in the red shirt.  Worth a stop for a quick breakfast.
 
 
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