Tucson claims to host the world’s largest gem & mineral show and I can believe it.  There are enormous tents and convention halls all over the city filled with dazzling displays of rocks, gems, and fossils.  We spent and hour strolling through the 22d Street show and were duly impressed.  After admiring 2-ton geodes and entire dinosaur fossils costing tens of thousands of dollars, I settled for the five dollar pyrite chunk in the photo above.

Our current pastime is biting off 20-mile sections of the 130-mile paved loop trail that surrounds the city.  We did a section yesterday and another today.  Yesterday we nearly bit off more than we could chew.  We rode a mere 26 miles but the temperature hit 90 degrees (a Tucson record for this date).  Mary’s face was beet red from overheating near the end.

The temperature was a more tolerable 80 degrees today.  We rode past the Pima Air and Space Museum but the best attraction was a thrilling aerobatic display over Davis-Monthan AFB that we witnessed from the trail.  The ground beneath our feet shook as the F-22 Raptor poured it on and climbed from just above the airfield, straight up and out of sight.

My View

In more down-to-earth matters, Rudy has a front-row seat from his perch on the front of my bike.  His bat ears, like radar antennae, never stop rotating, sometimes independently, scanning the surrounding countryside for vermin of all sorts.  The ground squirrels and roadrunners that scurry through the trail-side brush present an almost too tempting lure to him.  He wants to leap out of his bin and give chase so I have had to tether him for his own good.