Day Six: Saguaro National Park and Old Tucson (1975)

RetroSign1-1975Saguaro National Park

Day Six (August 30, 1975) was the day we got to see cowboys in a gunfight, or at least actors portraying them.

From our motel in Tucson, my family and I headed northwest for Saguaro National Park (previously called Saguaro National Monument) to view the nation’s largest cacti in their protected desert environment. Who can ever look at a towering saguaro cactus without thinking of the American southwest and Wil E. Coyote chasing the Roadrunner (meep! meep!)

As one of the access roads was closed, we had to deviate and stop first at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum with its interactive outdoor zoo, museum and garden. The museum is nestled within Saguaro National Park. There, my small brother and I tortured played with turtles and lizards. From a respectful distance, we also viewed tarantula, snakes, vampire bats, road runners,”big ants”, skunks and other critters. In other words, childhood heaven.

We eventually found an open access road into the mammoth Saguaro National Park to look at … cactus.

Old Tucson

Next, we drove to Old Tucson (Highly Recommended) to watch a re-enactment of a  cowboy gun-fight scene, complete with loud blank bullets.  You might also enjoy a tour via train, stage coach rides, go-cart rides and other diversions.

The loud “popping” sound of the guns might be a bit alarming for kids. As I wrote back then, “Lots of children cried. Noise pollution!” If you prepare them ahead of time, they should be fine.

The humorous stunt show is also worth a look:

We didn’t have digital camcorders or iPhones in 1975, so…. enjoy:

Interactive Google Map of the places mentioned above:

Map-SaguaroNatPark-OldTucson

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