Saturday, June 6, 2009

It Wasn't All Wargaming...

...well, for the most part is was.

Last week my friend Joe and I attended ConsimWorld's Expo wargaming convention. (For a complete brief on the convention itself, see my previous post):

The convention was held at the Tempe Mission Palms Resort in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area:

One of the nice things about this resort was the pool, pictured below. (The second thing I liked about this place was the small fitness room, which I used every morning!) Joe and I would take a break and bring his daughter to splash around in the water before we headed out for lunch.

This year the convention took place from 26-31 May. Last Friday (29 May), Joe and I took a break from the gaming tables and went on a road trip to visit Sierra Vista and Fort Huachuca.,_Arizona

Joe went through training and was at one time or anther, stationed at Ft Huachuca during his Army career. More importantly, his daughter was born there. So it was a good opportunity for her to see her place of birth.

The drive took 3 hours in a car Joe rented. He was amazed at how much development has occured along the route in what was once a barren desert. We arrived around lunchtime and ate at a Sonic drive-thru. One Sonic drive-thru recently opened in Puyallup, WA and the lines have been enourmous. So we decided to see what the fuss was about. We felt it was typical fast-food and not worth waiting in line with the engine running.

After lunch we drove around Sierra Vista, which has also grown since Joe's tour-of-duty. Joe took pictures of his daughter in and around the town's hospital where she was born along with swinging by the house they lived in.

After that we drove up to Carr's Peak in the Huachuca Mountains where Joe liked to hike.

Your's truly:

I actually had to put sunscreen on during our drive because I was getting singed even when in the car!

The Huachuca Mountains are high enough and are in the path of prevailing winds to cause the formation of rain clouds on a regular basis. As a result, at a casual glance, it doesn't look like you're in a desert because the mountains are filled with pine trees. A nearby peak as seen along our drive.

Looking southeast (I think):

The next three photos are various shots looking down on Sierra Vista:

One last picture looking down on the valley:

There's also the remains of an old mining camp on this mountain.
We came down off the peak and left Sierra Vista by mid afternoon. We tried to see the Kartchner Caverns but we missed the last tour of the day. So we consoled ourselves by touring the small museum and gift shop.
For dinner we ate at the Red Lobster Restaurant in Tucson, Joe's ex-wife liked to eat at while she was pregnant with their daughter. (Yes, there's a Red Lobster in Tucson, AZ).
The only glitch in the 3-hour return trip was that we didn't know exact location of the Tempe Mission Palms within Phoenix's urban sprawl. The rent-a-car maps were of little help in the dark and we didn't have a GPS (Global Positioning System). Finally we came across the city's light-rail tracks which happen to run by the resort. So we followed the tracks and stumbled back to our rooms just before 11 PM.
The road-trip was fun and despite the late return we were able to do a full game session the following day.

No comments: