Southern arizona leisure travel van tour – day seven

On day six of our Southern Arizona Tour we explored Nogales, Rio Rico, Tumacacori, Tubac, Amado, and part of Green Valley. This area of the Santa Cruz River valley is where our home is located. We even took some of our Leisure Travel Van friends to see our home nestled in the foothills of the San Cayetano Mountains here in Rio Rico.

Some of the attractions we visited in this area of southern Arizona: The border wall in Nogales, the Santa Cruz Chili factory, Tumacacori National Historic Park, Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, and the Titan Missile Museum in Green Valley.

Most of the photos shared in this post were donated from the people of our tour group.

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Spanish Colonial Jesuit Mission established in 1691, Tumacacori National Historic Park.
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Interstate 19 connects Nogales with Rio Rico, Tumacacori, Tubac, Amado, Green Valley, and Tucson. This interstate is the only interstate highway in America that uses kilometers instead of miles.

There are two stories that explain how Interstate 19 became the only interstate highway in America that uses kilometers instead of miles:

Story number one – In the early1980’s congress was considering changing the U.S. to the metric system. It seemed like a done deal at the time, so in preparation for the change, congress chose Interstate 19 in southern Arizona to be the first to change over to the metric system. However, when it was all said and done, the plan to switch to the metric system was abandoned and Interstate 19 was left as it currently is today, measured in kilometers instead of miles.

Story number two – President Carter wanted to make the visitors from Mexico feel welcome so he ordered Interstate 19 to be changed to kilometers.

I will neither confirm or deny either of these stories. You will have to decide which one to believe. However, apparently the second story is actually the “official” story. Personally, I prefer the first story and I’m sticking to it…

Leisure Travel Van tour parking at the Tumacacori National Historic Park.
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We visited the Chili factory in Tumacacori and got samples.
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LTV owner – Ed Doyle at the Tumacacori National Historic Park.
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The Spanish Colonial Jesuit mission was first established in 1691. The building you see here is the third mission established in 1756. The first two Missions built (One built in 1750 and the other built in 1691) were located directly across the Santa Cruz River on the eastern side.
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This national historic site is currently under-going restoration. You would require a face lift too if you were over 265 years old!
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The rear courtyard of this mission contains 265 year old cemetery.
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A close up of the 265 year old mission at Tumacacori.
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Another angle of the rear courtyard at the mission.
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Inside the mission, the restoration process continues.
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LTV owner – Kerry Johnson, exploring the Tumacacori mission.
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Tubac is just down the road from Tumacacori. Tubac is known for its art and history.
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Kerry & Maureen Johnson’s three week old Leisure Travel Van, Murphy Bed model in Tubac. Notice the hands sticking up above the wall? Those are the hands of LTV owners – Suzi & Gordon Dupries.
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Located in Tubac is another historic site, the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park.
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Established to protect the area from Apache raiders.
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A replica of the original Spanish Catholic Church at the Tubac Presidio Historic site. The original building was destroyed by fire.
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A schoolhouse at Tubac Presidio.
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LTV owners – Gordon & Suzi Dupries and Maureen & Kerry Johnson visiting the Titan Missile Museum in Green Valley.
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LTV owners – Maureen Johnson with Cynthia & Ed Doyle at the Titan Missile Museum in Green Valley.
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Titan Missile Museum in Green Valley.
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Our campsite at De Anza Trail RV Resort, Amado, Arizona. Just down the road from Tubac.
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Our campsite.
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While at De Anza Trail RV Resort the LTV group enjoyed a delicious chicken meal put on by the kitchen staff at the resort.
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Some of the LTV tour group went on a bike tour of the area. This LTV owner – Jane Taitano.
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LTV owner Cynthia Doyle took these pictures from inside her rig while passing our bike riders. This is LTV owner – Jon Williams, his trailer passenger is their dog Jackson.
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LTV owner – Rolland (Tai) Taitano.
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LTV owner – MaryAnn Barber.
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From left: Tai & Jane Taitano, MaryAnn Barber, Mary & Jon Williams and their dog Jackson in the trailer.
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The mountain views from De Anza Trail RV Resort in the Santa Cruz River Valley. This is Elephant Head Rock.

We have lived in this area since 2002. We bought our Leisure Travel Van in 2018 and have traveled in it over 67,000 miles, seen 44 U.S. states including Alaska, 8 Canadian Provinces including Newfoundland, and still love coming home to southern Arizona to witness the beauty of our own backyard… Next post – Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge.

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