Goals for Tucson – Year 2

Palo Verde Leaves with Rocks

Palo Verde Yellows with Rocks © 2012 Bo Mackison

Now that I have been in Wisconsin a week, it is time for me to pull out my list I wrote in January that outlined some of the things I wanted to accomplish during my hundred day stay. This list is a good way for me to keep track of the new things I accomplish from year to year, and what better place than on the blog that records so many of my Arizona adventures.

Some goals I achieved, some I did but still need more practice, some goals I didn’t even attempt – but it is good to know how much got done.

And there’s always next year.

The list is rather long and detailed. So feel free to ignore the list and instead enjoy the “yellow snow” that Tucson had when I was packing to leave. (Not yellow snow at all, but the tiny yellow blossoms that had fallen from the Palo Verde trees!)

  • All the Basics “Solo” Redux
  1. Plan menus, cook all meals except occasional (1-2 x’s a week) eat out. — This year go more nutritious, and explore the world of the vegetarian eater/low carbs.
  2. Take care of my living space. — Living in a small condo makes keeping order a necessity, not an option.
  3. Drive wherever I need to go — Last year I managed to tool around the Tucson area, but Phoenix threw me in a driving tizzy, and I admit to Interstate Avoidance as often as practical. I hope to drive to Phoenix this year, and use direct routes more often.
  4. Money – not only banking, but keep a balanced checking account and following a budget. I groan about it now, but I think I will appreciate the discipline of money management, especially if I save money.
  5. Grocery shopping.  I did grocery shopping my first winter in Tucson, but when I returned home I let Sherpa the Chef take over. His preference. So while this is a goal I accomplished last year, food shopping is a necessity. Maybe I could learn to like it?
  6. Car. Last year I did the basics, now oil changes and a major scheduled car maintenance are on the calendar.
  7. Shop as needed–hardware, clothing, food, art, department store, recreational. Again I managed last year, more practice needed.
  8. Find a tai chi, fitness, or yoga class. Find a meditation group or other spiritually oriented meeting place.
  • Travel and “Explores” Around the State
  1. National Parks and Monuments — National Parks are one of my passions. Re-visit as many National Parks as I can. Can I reach the magic number of twelve parks  — six repeats and six new? (I got to four repeats and three new parks.)
  2. Sky Islands. Learn about the different sky islands, visit a few. Include an overnight. (Went to five different sky islands.)
  3. Historic Missions — Explore the nearby missions again. Find new perspectives to photograph.
  4. Kartchner Cave — Combination of dark and claustrophobia worries. Even though I really wanted to see this cave, I never visited under the earth. Maybe this time? Yes, wonderful tour.
  5. Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum —Visit minimum of once a week to document the gradual changes, winter to spring. Love this place!
  6. Kitt Peak Observatory — Last year I visited the observatory during the day, but didn’t stay for a night sky show.
  7. Center for Photography at the University of Arizona.
  8. Learn the major crossroads in the city of Tucson. Learn the major highways in southern Arizona and how to get to major attractions and towns.
  9. Architecture and galleries in Bisbee.
  10. Drive to Phoenix, see the major museums in Phoenix. Saw a minor league baseball game in Phoenix, but didn;t drive.
  11. Go on several overnight car camping trips. Mt Lemmon? Chiricahua National Monument? Organ Pipe National Monument? Tucson Mountain Park?
  12. Extreme car camping sites? Death Valley? Joshua Tree National Park? Salton Sea? Anzo Borrega State Park in California?
  13. Visit CCC or PWA sites in Arizona. Document with photographs. (Did three sites.)
  14. Research Wright’s presence in Arizona and visit sites if possible.
  • Art and Photography
  1. Visit Center for Photography at the University. See #7 in Explores.
  2. Visit at least two exhibits at Tucson Art Museum. (Got to one.)
  3. Visit the art fairs and festivals in the area. Good to see other shows, artists, and their set-ups and art. (Saw two new ones.)
  4. Take photos at gardens, make card sets, and consider garden gift shops re: selling.
  5. Take a photo or art-related workshop from Desert Botanical Gardens.
  6. Apply to at least two, multiple artist, gallery or museum exhibits. (Applied to 3, got in one.)
  • Business of Art
  1. Talk to 3 gallery owners or shops about photographs/cards.
  2. Participate in 3-4 art festivals. (I did 2 art festivals – one big outside, one smaller inside.)
  3. Talk to artists wherever I meet them, find out what they do, where they work, what inspires them.
  4. Go to several meet-ups with photographers.
  5. Stay current with summer art fair applications.
  6. Continue doing architectural photo shoots on freelance assignment.
  • Sonoran Desert and other Habitats
  1. Continue to learn the desert– the history, geology, botanicals, weather, animals, birds.
  2. Hike the desert two-three times a week. (Got up to 5 mile hikes every week. And two  7-8 mile hikes every month.)
  3. Expand my skills in desert photography. Learn new techniques for desert photography and practice some new perspective shots.
  4. Take a birding class, learn to identify fifteen birds, and meet people at same time.
  • Learn about Tucson.
  1. Learn the downtown grid, and locations of the major shopping centers and entertainment venues.
  2. Go to downtown Tucson – day and evening, weekend and during week.
  3. Walk the University of Arizona campus. Visit the cactus gardens.
  4. Hike Sabino Canyon.
  5. Hike trails on Mount Lemmon.
  6. Hike Catalina Mountains.
  7. Visit art galleries.
  8. Explore neighborhoods, barrios, the Presidio and the Turquoise Walking Trail.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. What a wonderful 100 days she spent in Arizona, but Bo is glad to be home in Wisconsin.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. You are inspiring. Love the way you have written your goals and crossed off so many of them.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      I wasn;t inspiring all of the time, Sue. I had my days of slogging through to do lists and days of loneliness, but I overall had a great visit and I saw a lot, photographed a lot. I do love the desert.

  2. Gandalf says:

    I love the Tucson snow. Looks like you accomplished a lot of goals. What’s next?

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Well, Gandalf. I was just thinking about writing a list of “explores” to do in and around Madison.

  3. That is some list! And look how well you did. Very inspiring. I want to be like you when I grow up. 🙂

    • Bo Mackison says:

      I am pleased with all I accomplished, Robin. I am also impressed with all that you accomplish. I want to be like you when I grow up, too! 🙂

Leave a Reply