Candace and I took a trip to Arizona starting on February 5. We flew to Phoenix, rented a car, and stayed Wednesday evening at an airport hotel. That evening we drove around my old neighborhood in Paradise Valley, visited my elementary school (my high school was in downtown Scottsdale and torn down long ago) and drove through Scottsdale. The only things I recognized were the Sugar Bowl and Pink Pony Restaurants. The Sugar Bowl seemed to be in business, but the Pink Pony was all boarded up. Lynne (neighbor when I was growing up) later told us that Los Olivos was still there.

On Thursday, we moved to the Camby Hotel at 24th Street and Camelback where Candace attended the Western Society of Criminology Conference. After checking in, she went to the conference and I took the car and drove around. I knew that Scottsdale had expanded to the north, so I drove north on Scottsdale and Pima Roads looking for the end. Never found it. There were gated communities and malls all the way out! I decided a good target would be the Pinnacle Peak Patio Restaurant where we used to eat occasionally and we thought of it as way out. Never found that either. Eventually I stopped for lunch at a pub in a mall at the corner of Pima and Pinnacle Peak Roads and the bartender told me that the Patio had closed long ago. I also found that the Racquet Club (where I learned to play tennis) is long gone, but the Paradise Valley Country Club is still there.

On Friday, I hung out at the conference with Candace. She accepted a posthumous award for her husband at the lunchtime banquet and later participated in a panel discussion.

Saturday, we drove to Tucson and visited Lynne (my childhood friend) and Glen. They kept us very busy. Saturday evening they took us to the Kitt Peak National Observatory night tour which includes lessons on astronomy(!) and a change to look through a 20 inch telescope. I had observed with several of the telescopes there, including the 4 meter,  back in the 70s. Back then it was tied for the second largest telescope in the world and used for general purpose observing. Today, it’s way down on the list of large telescopes and dedicated to a particular project: the Dark Energy Survey. The public outreach that’s going on now is much more extensive than it was back then.

On Sunday we drove through Saguaro National Monument to visit the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. Jane and I had first visited it back in the 70s and then again in 2014. It’s grown spectacularly over the years and is a really great museum to visit.

On Monday, we visited Roger Angel’s Mirror Lab under the University of Arizona Football Stadium. They are in the process of making 7 + 1 spare 8.4 meter diameter mirrors for the Giant Magellan Telescope. These are the largest mirrors in any telescope and together are equivalent to a telescope with a 22 meter diameter mirror. Until the Thirty Meter Telescope (made of hundreds of smaller mirror) is in operation, the GMT will be the largest telescope in the world. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any photos at the mirror lab. We finished Monday with a nice dinner at Vivace’s.

Tuesday was a somewhat rainy day and a “down day” for all. We did, however, take a hike and also had a Mexican dinner at Guadalajara’s. We also changed out return flight to leave from Tucson rather than Phoenix, so we had a shorter trip home on Wednesday.

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Arizona Trip, February 5-12, 2020