We took a trip to Oracle, Arizona and toured the Biosphere. It was absolutely incredible. I was bowled over by the infrastructure. Part of the tour took us through all the guts in the basement. The planning, engineering and details that went into the construction was even more astounding to me than the actual building. I can't even imagine what it took to figure out how to build a dome covering three acres, seal it up and have it sustain seven different ecosystems, as well as provide food for the crew. What a testament to human ingenuity.
Inside we found a desert, rainforest, ocean with coral reef, savannah, grasslands, mangrove swamp and fog desert. I highly recommend this tour to anyone passing through Arizona.
Here is our intrepid group of explorers.
We also visited the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. Another huge WOW! We were there for five hours and maybe got through a third of it. The building was gorgeous. Two floors were divided into rooms labeled by continent. Inside each room were instruments from 200 continents. Over 6800 instruments were on display. Each display had a monitor. Wearing a headset, as you got close to the monitor you could watch clips of how the different instruments were played. For example, here is a nyckelharpa with the video where you hear and see it in action.
Another exhibit showed how they made piano player rolls. Fascinating.
These examples don't come close to the amazing scope of this museum.
One of the artist exhibits had a clip of Dolly Parton singing Apple Jack, a favorite of our dear friend Charlie Gilbert. Carolyn and Kathy (pictured here with Dolly) still perform that song.
We were able to help Joe celebrate his 70th birthday while we were in town. That was great fun, and the cake was not only pretty, but delicious!
We had a gorgeous day to walk several miles through the Boyce Thompson Arboretum--one of my favorite places.
Look at the size of this tree trunk!
Just a lovely week with friends in gorgeous surroundings.