I won’t go into detail regarding the trip from Organ Pipe to Tucson itself, but we did hit two checkpoints, one on Rt 85N about 30 miles north of Organ Pipe National Monument, and then another on Rt 86E, about 50 miles west of Tucson.
I did have a quick conversation with the Border Patrol Agent at the second checkpoint, but you can read more about that in the blog post by clicking HERE, or, if you would like to see the video of the Border Wall, you can click HERE.
We stayed a week at a campground near Tucson called Gilbert Ray County Campground. It was very clean and fairly quiet. Why not boondock in the area here? Well, the 2020 Gem Show has come to Tucson, so everywhere seems to be full and some of the BLM land in the area looked fairly crowded as well. And, even if there wasn’t a gem show, good boon-docking here in this area (good by our definition anyway) can be difficult to find. These places are loaded with snowbirds, folks from Canada or the northern states that have come here to escape the cold and snow. And to be honest, we’re just having issues with finding off-grid places that feel right. I’ll do another post later describing and explaining our issues. For now, boondocking we’ll have to wait a bit. But it’s all good because at present the campground here (or in Phoenix) is great.
Our first point of interest to visit was The Biosphere 2. Amazing! We scored a 50% off entrance discount on Groupon and took the main tour as well as a tour of the "ocean" area. I’ll leave a link HERE so you can see more from the website. The Biosphere 2 is now owned by the University of Arizona and is purely a research facility. Because of this, it is no longer an air-sealed facility. The two massive "lungs" that were used to keep a stable pressure throughout a typical day are now simulated for exhibit purposes, but everything else is pretty much functional as it was when a group of individuals locked themselves inside to see if they could sustain themselves for an extended period of time. Read more about that story HERE.
If you would like to see the video we made while visiting the Biosphere 2, click HERE or the photo below.
The Ocean portion of the tour was very interesting. There was some discussion regarding the earth's atmosphere warming and carbon data and how it is affecting the ocean. Some of the research here is studying the effects of the atmosphere and it's influence on marine life including coral. I highly recommend this part of the tour, which is an additional charge, if you plan to visit.
A very eye opening visit indeed. Our next stop is a museum in Pima, Az. It should prove to be very interesting...especially for those aviation buffs!