Feb 18, 2017 Saturday – Tucson train station to Garry Sedun’s home at Dragoon Mountain Ranch, near Benson and St. David, Arizona
After my arrival this morning in Tucson aboard the Amtrak Sunset Limited train from Los Angeles, I call Enterprise Car Rentals asking them to pick me up. They state I am out of their pickup area, so I go outside the train station and catch a taxi to the car rental office. After checking in at the desk, the young woman takes me out to their lot to show me the Toyota Corolla I had previously selected online (Intermediate car). After she got into the driver’s side to check the odometer, she quickly closes the door and tells me she can’t rent me that particular car because it has a strong smell of marijuana! Eventually, she manages to send me on my way in a VW Jetta, which is a good fit for my needs over the next two weeks.
I drive to my friend Garry’s place, which involves driving east on the I-10 freeway. I stop in Benson to pick up a few groceries before driving the rest of the way to Garry’s place. It takes me about a half hour driving south of the Interstate on dirt & gravel roads through the Dragoon Mountain Ranch development, which is 8,400 acres (13 sqmi) in total. It is overcast and lightly raining in spots, but I hope it will clear off for the coming week when my astronomy buddies will be here. Garry and I go over to his neighbour Cody’s place, which is where I am staying along with my friends the McDonalds, who are already settled in.
As it turns out, I have a bedroom in the adjacent garage, which is massive, with an apartment attached consisting of a kitchen, great room, bedroom and bathroom. I am quite comfortable once I turn the heat on and get the place warmed up. The temperatures in this part of the high range land plateau can get close to freezing at night, and daytime temperatures are not hot, although the Sun can be intense. The reason I’m here? The very dark skies, of course!