Although the main purpose of AmeriCorps is to really devote yourself to helping others and serving your country, there is still some down time now and then. We are lucky enough to be placed in Tucson, Arizona; a city with near perfect weather during the winter (a shock to all of us from the Northeast), a very cool college town (The University of Arizona), and endless spectacular hikes in every direction. With a half day on Friday and Saturday and Sunday free, Water 4 took full advantage of all of these local opportunities.
Most of Friday was spent doing tax outreach in two different neighborhoods in Tucson. Most everyone we spoke with was excited to hear about the tax assistance we were offering and asked further questions. Another thing we noticed about the neighborhoods was that every house owned 2-3 dogs… lots of barking as we passed by each house.
After finishing our outreach, the entire team hopped in the van and we drove to Pusch Ridge for a hike. The mountains were stunning as we quickly ascended the steep trail towards the peak. As we got higher, the views of surrounding Tucson became huge and sprawling. After a pretty ridiculous photo shoot, we headed back down to the van. Everyone was in a giddy mood. The hike got the entire team very excited about looking for more hikes.
After doing some tax outreach in the Flowing Wells neighborhood on Saturday morning and watching the Syracuse Orange beat the DePaul Blue Demons and extend their record to 21 - 1 (Go ORANGE!!!), 5 of us embarked on a hike in the Sonora Desert. We took the Gould Mine Trail to Wasson Peak. It was an incredible hike overlooking Saguaro National Park (where another NCCC team from Denver, Sun 1, is working) and 360 degree views of the surrounding Sonoran Mountains. We hiked just under seven miles round trip and got to watch a breathtaking sunset as we descended from the peak. We rewarded ourselves afterwards with Blizzards from DQ… days don’t get much better than that.
On Sunday, about half the team went shopping on 4th Avenue and the other half went to the McKale Center to see a basketball game between the top 2 teams in the Pac-10, the University of Arizona Wildcats and the California Golden Bears. It was an awesome atmosphere and a great game. Arizona won the game in the closing minute and the student section was going crazy.
As you can see… Tucson livin’ is good livin’. I think we are definitely refreshed and ready to get back to serving our country.