Tucson is ringed by mountains. In the Catalinas, Mt. Lemmon is 9,157 feet with snow in winter and even skiing now and again. We had no time for it this time; but when you drive up there you travel through every climate zone from the desert to Canada with the appropriate trees. One time we drove down the backside (not the typical route down) and it was quite an experience on a winding, gravel road where we passed nobody on the whole drive down-- fortunately as it was narrow with steep sides.
Tucson is an incredibly creative area with tempting landscapes everywhere you look, the rich browns, olive greens, ochres, reds, purples, oranges, and golds. In the winter, the low lighting shadows everything richly, making it a photographer's dream. It has been interpreted by many artists through brushes, canvas, cloth, paint, clay, and even etched into rock.
Arizona Historical Museum had a quilt show of totally gorgeous works depicting the desert and it's environs to tell Tucson's story.
With my visit to Old Tucson for photos of today's attempt to recreate the Old West for tourists and movie sets, then the Arizona Historical Museum full of old photos, stories, and information, I left the state happy with the photos and information I had gleaned for the book I am working on-- an 1886-87 historical romance sharing some characters with an earlier historical romance (not yet out).
I had a thought also on the drive back from Tucson that what I like better, as a description of what I write, would be to call them emotional adventures. On all levels they are about the adventure of life that centers around the emotional and sexual connection between two people. More on that at a future time.
For now, I created a video that attempts to capture a little of the Tucson mood and of what I experienced three weeks in December.