Thursday, February 03, 2011

Tohono O'odham Reservation

This morning we continued our trek east. First I needed to pick up some mail at the PO in Sells. Sells is the capital city of the Tohono O'odham tribe. Tohono O'ogham means Desert People. The official Post Office web site had the wrong street address for their own facility? Suzanne mailed our stuff to the address shown on the USPS website. After stopping a police officer to get directions to the PO, I was quite pleased to find the mail was there. It did have me worried.
After getting the mail, the plan was to attend the Tribal Rodeo that started today. The temperature never got above freezing today and the overnight temperature is forecast to be 16*. There is no campground anywhere near here so the plan was to just stop alongside the road someplace. After talking about it, we just didn't feel like seeing a rodeo and freeze at the same time so we continued East. The Kitt Peak National Observatory is just a few miles west of Sells. There is a 12 mile long, 8% grade road leading to the top. Kitt Peak is the world's largest collection of research telescopes. The top of the mountain is right at 7,000'. That combined with very low humidity and virtually no ambient lighting, makes for a perfect viewing location.

The road through the reservation was just littered with broken bottles. Alcohol consumption is a big problem among the Native American tribes. There were roadside memorials seemingly everywhere you looked. Some were simple crosses, some were quite elaborate. We saw one shrine as well. Some of the Native American tribes build shrines as a special offering for some special need. The one in the picture was decorated with dolls of children. A sick child perhaps?

After a nice visit to Kitt Peak, we continued to the Gilbert Ray, Pima County Park Campground just west of Tucson. A very nice park right near the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. $20/night with electricity. Electricity sounds real good to us; it means a nice warm night. The low tonight is supposed to be 15* !!!. Starting Saturday it's supposed to warm up some.


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