After I had spent a few days relaxing in Arizona, it was time to get back to Junior Rangering! This time, Raven and I chose Tumacacori National Historical Park, which is about an hour south of the city where Raven and Summer live. We stopped on the way to get a cherry limeade at Sonic- our favorite! When we arrived at the park, we stopped to get a photo with the park sign. It's a tradition!
Tumacacori is a complex where Spanish priests set up a mission to the local American Indians. The park has a beautiful church, which you can see behind me in the photo. It looks like the bell tower is in disrepair- but the truth is that it was never actually finished. The church is very old and beautiful. It reminded my of my grandmother's church back in New Mexico. Raven and I tried to be very quiet and respectful when we explored the church.
The church isn't the only part of the park. We hiked out to an old lime kiln. This was Raven's favorite part. We passed the fiesta grounds, where people of all backgrounds can gather to celebrate. There was also a really neat ki- a traditional American Indian house. Finally, there was a museum full of information about the local Native peoples and their interaction with the Spanish missionaries.
The Junior Ranger program at Tumacacori is really unusual and fun. You get a three ring collection of laminated cards that you can reference as you explore the park. When you are finished, you can take the cards back to the ranger, who gives you a mini quiz about what you saw. Raven and I were proud to earn our badges when we had answered the quiz- the hardest question was how to pronounce "Tumacacori." (Emphasis goes on the "CA" syllable.) Ranger Vicki was awesome! She gave us a special activity book we could take home with us to color.
Tumacacori is a great park. If you are ever in Southern Arizona, you should make the time to visit it! It was fun to imagine being a Native girl living at the mission.
Have you ever visited a sacred place?