Sunday, September 08, 2013

Travels With Frank #7: Wandering the Desert

Saturday is my day to take my Dad out for "lunch and adventures." I had an idea today that I might try again to take Dad down to Bisbee, Arizona, but it was raining and the check engine light is on on the Prius, We started out east on I-10, but I pulled off at the exit for Vail and Colossal Cave. We drove down to Colossal Cave at the very end of Old Spanish Trail. At the entrance I asked whether there is anything to do there on a rainy afternoon with a man of limited mobility. Not really, was the answer, because "it's mostly all stairs in there." In the cave, I presume. Stairs. Go figure.

So I drove up Old Spanish Trail, and we took the loop road in Saguaro National Park East. Dad kept asking how long the loop was. It's only 8 miles, but with a speed limit of 15 mph on a one way road with steep hills and hairpin turns, it takes a while. Dad was bored. He's not very interested in nature. He'd rather have lots of signs to read, and traffic to keep an eye on. "How much did this cost?" He asked, with the implication that it wasn't worth it. But it was free today. The first time we went there, I got a lifetime Golden Age pass for a pittance. It gets us into National Parks, Forests and Monuments for the rest of Dad's life.

Saguaro National Park East.

After that we stopped by St. Matthew's Church briefly, where I work on Thursday afternoons, and then went on to Amber Restaurant on Tanque Verde. Tucson apparently doesn't have a German restaurant but it has two Polish ones. Amber's pierogies, red cabbage, sauerkraut and sausage are all quite good.

Ice cream at Amber Restaurant.

To finish up the afternoon we followed Tanque Verde until it turned into Redington Rd, and that until it became the rough dirt road of Redington Pass. On the way back I drove around the parking lot of Agua Caliente Park. Again, Dad wasn't interested, except in the people in the parking lot. He thought I should ask a woman in the parking lot, but I don't know what the question would have been.

Oh, and Dad asked again today about his wife. Once I realized that he really did mean Ruth, my stepmother, I told him again that she died of cancer last year. I said that Ruth told me before she died that she always thought she'd be there to  care for Dad, which is true. Then I said Ruth passed on that responsibility to Jan and me, which is something she didn't actually say out loud to me. But it's true anyway. Dad smiled and laughed, and asked no more questions.

Redington Pass.

Twists and turns.


1 comment:

Wil said...

At least for the time being, it might behoove you to put a copy of Ruth´s obituary up on the board as a reminder for Frank. It´s got to be hell having so many holes in your memory where important data used to be readily accessible.

You are a good daughter in a hard situation, Karen.