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Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson

Sponsored Tours

UUCT sponsors occasional trips for UUs and like-minded people in a structured tour setting.  The cost is kept low and a portion of the fees are donated to UUCT (which are tax deductible).

TEXnewMex TUUR Itinerary

CULTURE, ART, HISTORY, AND THE PARANORMAL

TUE, OCTOBER 11:
7:30 AM be at UUCT for loading and boarding. Departure no later than at 8AM. Lunch will be in the Las Cruces area
Visit to White Sands National Monument after lunch
Please bring your National Parks Pass to avoid charges

4PM St Joseph’s Apache Mission Church in Mescalero, NM Dinner in Ruidoso Downs at Jorge’s and lodging in
La Quinta Inn by Wyndham-Ruidoso Downs

WED, OCT 12:

A little free time in Ruidoso Downs. The Billy The Kid Visitors Center may be open and the shops will be open too.
Depart at 11:00 for Roswell
1:30 PM International UFO Museum and Research Center

some free time before gathering at the bus for a drive through Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge Dinner at Peppers Reservation for 6:30 PM
Best Western El Rancho Palacios hotel

THURS,OCT 13:

8:45 board bus for 9AM Spaceport Roswell reservation
free time in Roswell to visit galleries and museums
12:30 reservation for lunch at Pecos Flavors Winery and Bistro free time for more visits to galleries
Dinner Restaurant TBA
Best Western El Rancho Palacios Hotel

FRIDAY, OCT 14:
8:00 AM board the bus for the 4 hour drive to Hueco Tanks Visit and picnic at Hueco Tanks https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/hueco-tanks
Drive to Mesilla, NM
La Quinta Inn, Mesilla Valley

SAT,Oct 15:
9AM board the bus for a short hop to visit the weekly Las Cruces Market,
comparable to the Fourth Avenue Street Fair, but MUCH less crowded and all items are locally made 11:30 board bus for reservation at Santorini Mediterranean Restaurant
12:30 visit to Weaving for Justice shop where you will see hand-made items from the women of Guatemala and Chiapas, Mexico They have participated in the UUCT Indigenous Marketplace. https://weaving-for-justice.org

3:00PM Visit to the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Museum https://www.nmfarmandranchmuseum.org
Back to hotel to relax

6:30 Farewell Dinner at Lescombes Restaurant.

https://lescombeswinery.com/locations/las-cruces/

SUN, Oct 16:
Arise at leisure, put bags on the bus and walk (1.5 miles) or take our bus at 9:30AM to the Mesilla Plaza free time until 11:45 Lunch reservation at La Posta on the plaza in Mesilla
About 1PM, board the bus to drive back to Tucson.
Anticipated arrival in Tucson between 5:30 and 6PM

Did You Know ... TEXnewMEX TUUR October 8-16, 2022

DID YOU KNOW…

The Butterfield Overland Mail began operation in1858? Hueco Tanks, one of the stops on the TEXnewMEX TUUR, was also a relay station along the Butterfield Stage route.

Hueco Tanks has been a refuge for plants, animals and people for over 10,000 years!

DID YOU KNOW…

The rare Montezuma quail has been spotted at Davis Mountains State Park? This is another stop on our TUUR, one which offers superb birdwatching.

DID YOU KNOW…

The McDonald Observatory is a research facility of the University of Texas at Austin? We will go to a star party there. Now showing: The Universe!

DID YOU KNOW…

The movie “Giant” was filmed in Marfa, TX? Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean, all stars of the picture, stayed at the Hotel Paisano. We’ll have dinner there in Jett’s Grill.

DID YOU KNOW…

In the summer of 1947, something mysterious crashed near the town of Roswell, New Mexico? This will be our first evening’s stop. While there we will investigate the question—alien space craft or just a research balloon?

DID YOU KNOW…

Historic Mesilla, New Mexico, was the major stop for those traveling between San Antonio and San Diego 150 years ago? Mesilla hasn’t changed much over the years, allowing visitors to see what an 1800’s border town looked like. Western Legend Billy the Kid once stood trial for murder in a Mesilla courtroom, and the Mesilla Plaza, once a major stop for the Butterfield Stagecoach, will be our final stop on the TUUR. 

This is a not to be missed TUUR with a small group of 24 travelers and only 9 places are left. Registration closes June 1. I will be at church this Sunday with more information and would love to talk to you about the trip. You may also contact Julia Mehrer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for registration information. See the full itinerary at https://uuctucson.org/images/documents/Brochures/TEXnewMEX.pdf

Carolyn Saunders

Highlights of the TEXnewMEX TUUR October 8-16, 2022

Alpine, Texas, where we will spend two nights, was long an encampment for Native Americans, a campsite for cattlemen, and then a tent city for railroad workers and their families which they named Murphyville. Five years later, when there were already a dozen houses, a livery stable, a butcher shop and a drugstore which housed the post office, townspeople changed the name to Alpine, probably because of its geographical location nestled between three mountain ranges.

Alpine grew slowly until Sul Ross Normal College (now Sul Ross State University) was opened in 1920. The opening of Big Bend National Park in the 1940s further spurred the growth of the town. Now it is also known for its thriving art scene.

The most exciting aspect of this town, for me, was its growing collection of colorful murals celebrating regional themes. One artist I met on my visit last fall, as he was painting colorful southwestern designs on a light post outside a residence off an alleyway in downtown, told me that during the pandemic, artists took to the streets painting amazing murals on every surface they could. It was their way to cope with the lockdown. Go to https://visitalpinetx.com/attractions/#alpine-murals to see pictures and details of the walking tour of the murals we’ll enjoy.         Carolyn Saunders

Registration is open until June 1.Only 10 places are still available. Contact Julia Mehrer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a registration form. To view the complete itinerary, go to https://uuctucson.org/images/documents/Brochures/TEXnewMEX.pdf

Sacred Desert Sanctuary - TEXnewMEX TUUR

For thousands of years, people have trekked to these rock hills in far west Texas. In earlier times, they came for the rainwater pooled in natural rock basins, or “huecos”.  “Tanks” probably derived from the Spanish word for water storage places- “tanques”. There are no armored vehicles here, in spite of the proximity to Ft. Bliss.

Outlaws hid here, knowing that they could find water and that the law seldom came this far from civilization. Later the Butterfield Stage line had a stopping point at Hueco Tanks.

At this remote spot, you can hike, rock climb, bird watch, study nature and history, picnic and stargaze. We expect to be taking individual self-guided tours to view rock imagery, and if we are lucky, some wildlife.

We can stop by the interpretive center, in a historic ranch house, to learn about the park and its history. The park store at headquarters sells gifts and other items. This is now a Texas State Park.

I was first made aware of this interesting place when my mother told me her Girl Scout troop had visited from Fort Bliss, where my grandfather was stationed. In 2004, I searched in trepidation that I would find graffiti with her name. To my relief, there was none! Nevertheless, there is plenty of prehistoric graffiti to witness! Visitors today marvel at the imagery left by the ancient people.

https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/hueco-tanks/nature

https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/hueco-tanks/park_history

Sharing a double room the price for the tour is $1625 each. Participants must be fully vaccinated for the health and safety of all. Contact Julia Mehrer for Registration and any questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The full itinerary follows:

https://uuctucson.org/images/documents/Brochures/TEXnewMEX.pdf

THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE! To pay your deposit before April 1st and gain free admission to Spaceport Roswell, where you have a choice between two “virtual adventures”! Headsets are used for you to see and hear the experience of the “Roswell incident” or experience what it was like on the Apollo 11 mission!

In addition, for all early registrants, the second payment is not due until May 1st. Those registering after April 1st will have two payments due as soon as they register, with the last payment due for all on June 1st, when we plan to close registration. At this time, we have 12 places left. When they’re gone, they’re gone!

Highlights of the TEXnewMEX TUUR October 8-16,2022

 
TEXnewMEX TUUR
 
Highlights of the TEXnewMEX TUUR October 8-16, 2022
 
 
You are close to missing out on a great offer!
 
As an added bonus for our travelers who pay their initial deposit for this trip before April 1st, we will pay your entrance fee into Spaceport Roswell, a virtual reality based experience that explores the "Roswell Incident" from the perspective of the aliens who caused it. In addition, all early registrants may postpone their second payment, originally due on April 1st, until May 1st. Those registering after April 1st will have two payments due as soon as they register, with the last payment due for all on June 1st, when we plan to close registration. 
 
It’s hard to explain the magic of Marfa, but when you get there, you get it!
The journey is half the adventure and so much of the allure of Marfa stems from its remote location. This is a place where the pace of life slows down. In the 1970s, New York minimalist Donald Judd moved to Marfa, drawn by the enchanting terrain beneath a huge blue sky. He purchased several buildings for art installations, forever solidifying Marfa as a global art community. While there you may want to see some of his work at the Chinati Foundation.
Another historic and artistic highlight is found in Building 98, built in 1920 as the Bachelor Officers Quarters and Officers Club at Marfa’s Ft. Russell. During WWII, the fort was used as a German POW camp. Two of the prisoners painted hauntingly beautiful fresco styled murals of idealized Western life in the Gala Dining Room and Library of Building 98. These were saved from being lost to deterioration by the International Woman’s Foundation founded in 2002.
And of course, there are the mysterious Marfa lights… Accounts of the strange phenomena in the Marfa night skies began during the 19th century and continue to this day. https://visitmarfa.com/marfa-lights/
Contact Julia Mehrer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a registration form. To view the complete itinerary, go to https://uuctucson.org/images/documents/Brochures/TEXnewMEX.pdf
 

Visit an Observatory on the TEXnewMex TUUR

Highlights of the TEXnewMEX TUUR October 8-16, 2022

Ready for more exploration of outer space? How about a night sky constellation tour at the McDonald Observatory? This research unit of The University of Texas at Austin is one of the world’s leading centers for astronomical research, teaching, and public education and outreach. Observatory facilities are located atop Mount Locke and Mount Fowlkes in the Davis Mountains of West Texas, which offer some of the darkest night skies in the continental United States. We’ll also view celestial objects through a number of telescopes.

The Visitor’s Center’s design responds to the rolling and scrubby terrain of its site and references West Texas building traditions, as well as early Native American astronomical beliefs and practices. The site plan consists of a series of three spirals — the entrance plaza, the outdoor eating area and the amphitheater — with the building sited in the center. Spirals and circles refer to ancient ruins which are found in the Southwest of the United States and are thought to have been used by early civilizations to measure and record astronomical events. This gesture embraces the anthropological history of astronomy as a human endeavor and connects to the science’s past.

To see the complete itinerary and registration information, go to https://uuctucson.org/images/documents/Brochures/TEXnewMEX.pdf

As an added bonus for our travelers who pay their initial deposit before April 1st, we will pay your entrance fee into Spaceport Roswell, a virtual reality-based experience that explores the "Roswell Incident" from the perspective of the aliens who caused it. In addition, all early registrants may postpone their second payment, originally due on April 1st, until May 1st. Those registering after April 1st will have two payments due as soon as they register, with the last payment due for all on June 1st, when we plan to close registration. At this time, we have 13 places left. When they’re gone, they’re gone!

Highlights of the TEXnewMEX TUUR October 8-16,2022

 
TEXnewMEX TUUR
 
Highlights of the TEXnewMEX TUUR October 8-16, 2022
 
 
You are close to missing out on a great offer!
 
As an added bonus for our travelers who pay their initial deposit for this trip before April 1st, we will pay your entrance fee into Spaceport Roswell, a virtual reality based experience that explores the "Roswell Incident" from the perspective of the aliens who caused it. In addition, all early registrants may postpone their second payment, originally due on April 1st, until May 1st. Those registering after April 1st will have two payments due as soon as they register, with the last payment due for all on June 1st, when we plan to close registration. 
 
It’s hard to explain the magic of Marfa, but when you get there, you get it!
The journey is half the adventure and so much of the allure of Marfa stems from its remote location. This is a place where the pace of life slows down. In the 1970s, New York minimalist Donald Judd moved to Marfa, drawn by the enchanting terrain beneath a huge blue sky. He purchased several buildings for art installations, forever solidifying Marfa as a global art community. While there you may want to see some of his work at the Chinati Foundation.
Another historic and artistic highlight is found in Building 98, built in 1920 as the Bachelor Officers Quarters and Officers Club at Marfa’s Ft. Russell. During WWII, the fort was used as a German POW camp. Two of the prisoners painted hauntingly beautiful fresco styled murals of idealized Western life in the Gala Dining Room and Library of Building 98. These were saved from being lost to deterioration by the International Woman’s Foundation founded in 2002.
And of course, there are the mysterious Marfa lights… Accounts of the strange phenomena in the Marfa night skies began during the 19th century and continue to this day. https://visitmarfa.com/marfa-lights/
Contact Julia Mehrer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a registration form. To view the complete itinerary, go to https://uuctucson.org/images/documents/Brochures/TEXnewMEX.pdf
 

Oct 8-15: TEXnewMEX TUUR

Culture, Art, History and the Paranormal

We are taking a trip to West Texas where Judge Roy Bean was “the only law west of the Pecos”; and to southern New Mexico to visit an old-style Mexican Plaza, and the research center for the spaceship landing in Roswell! The highlight will be Big Bend National Park, where we will stay in the only lodging within the park. On the way we will be looking for the mysterious “Marfa Lights” which have appeared to many since 1883, and see the mural art and the galleries of the tri- county area near Fort Davis.

TEXnewMEX TUUR Itinerary (PDF)

TUE, OCTOBER 11:
7:30 AM be at UUCT for loading and boarding. Departure no later than at 8AM. Lunch will be in the Las Cruces area
Visit to White Sands National Monument after lunch
Please bring your National Parks Pass to avoid charges

4PM St Joseph’s Apache Mission Church in Mescalero, NM Dinner in Ruidoso Downs at Jorge’s and lodging in
La Quinta Inn by Wyndham-Ruidoso Downs

WED, OCT 12:

A little free time in Ruidoso Downs. The Billy The Kid Visitors Center may be open and the shops will be open too.
Depart at 11:00 for Roswell
1:30 PM International UFO Museum and Research Center

some free time before gathering at the bus for a drive through Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge Dinner at Peppers Reservation for 6:30 PM
Best Western El Rancho Palacios hotel

THURS,OCT 13:

8:45 board bus for 9AM Spaceport Roswell reservation
free time in Roswell to visit galleries and museums
12:30 reservation for lunch at Pecos Flavors Winery and Bistro free time for more visits to galleries
Dinner Restaurant TBA
Best Western El Rancho Palacios Hotel

FRIDAY, OCT 14:
8:00 AM board the bus for the 4 hour drive to Hueco Tanks Visit and picnic at Hueco Tanks https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/hueco-tanks
Drive to Mesilla, NM
La Quinta Inn, Mesilla Valley

SAT,Oct 15:
9AM board the bus for a short hop to visit the weekly Las Cruces Market,
comparable to the Fourth Avenue Street Fair, but MUCH less crowded and all items are locally made 11:30 board bus for reservation at Santorini Mediterranean Restaurant
12:30 visit to Weaving for Justice shop where you will see hand-made items from the women of Guatemala and Chiapas, Mexico They have participated in the UUCT Indigenous Marketplace. https://weaving-for-justice.org

3:00PM Visit to the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Museum https://www.nmfarmandranchmuseum.org
Back to hotel to relax

6:30 Farewell Dinner at Lescombes Restaurant.

https://lescombeswinery.com/locations/las-cruces/

SUN, Oct 16:
Arise at leisure, put bags on the bus and walk (1.5 miles) or take our bus at 9:30AM to the Mesilla Plaza free time until 11:45 Lunch reservation at La Posta on the plaza in Mesilla
About 1PM, board the bus to drive back to Tucson.
Anticipated arrival in Tucson between 5:30 and 6PM

 

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