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Tumacacori National Historical Park

October 28, 2015 , , , , , ,


Padre Kino

Padre Kino

Padre Kino

Padre Kino

I initiated my new fabulous senior pass for the national parks yesterday at Tumacacori.  It was a full moon night and a special program was presented. The park reopens a few times a year to let the public experience the place after dark.  The ranger was a wonderfully knowledgeable presenter who showed a lot of pride in her position.  This is a unique park because it preserves history of a mission that was abandoned.  The original mission was founded by Padre Kino, who visited a couple of times before he died, but had little contact with the locals.  He became popular by gifting the natives with seeds, animals and trees.  Mission land was granted for the natives to use, but not trade or sell.  Success through new agriculture was the main selling point used by the missionaries.  By farming within the mission walls the crops were protected from wildlife and livestock grazing in the area. Crops and animals were introduced that provided food in seasons when native plant harvests were scarce.

Kino was a member of the Jesuit order, which would eventually be banished from New Spain by the king.  The Franciscans took over the place, but when Mexico won independence the funds no longer flowed from Spain.  The missionaries moved north to Mission San Javier del Bac, which is still in use today as a Catholic church.  The abandoned site sat empty until the National Park Service took over.

The full moon tour was an exciting and authentic way to honor this historic place by learning about the past.  I learned many new facts that make me curious to learn more and return in the future to take in this very special atmosphere.  I plan to make the most of my senior pass by checking out all the national parks in Arizona.  I will have many happy travels in the future by tuning into programs and events such as the one we enjoyed yesterday as a day trip .  If you know a senior (62 or over) who does not yet have a pass, this would make the very best of holiday gifts. It works for a whole car load of visitors.  You only need one senior pass per car for free entry for all passengers.  Maybe it is time to start traveling with a senior on board.

Arizona is full of scenic places with ancient civilizations.  We are privileged to have  such a rich cultural and natural tradition surrounding us.  Now that I am loaded with my lifetime park pass I will be taking full advantage of it.

candle lanterns

candle lanterns

altar in the church

altar in the church

park ranger and Padre Kino

park ranger and Padre Kino

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How lucky you were to get to attend/see this event after dark– especially a full moon one. It’s sounds perfect for you

The site of an old mission would have a lot of history and it looks to be in decent shape considering the age of the buildings based on your photos. (particularly the door detail)


Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

October 29, 2015

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