Tickled with a day trip to Tubac: Slide show

Be ready for some fine art, funky art, wacky art and crappy art if you ever take a trek to Tubac.

Tubac rates high as a fun, funky day trip/Ryn Gargulinski

Tubac rates high as a fun, funky day trip/Ryn Gargulinski

We have this strange feeling Tubac may be an artists’ haven.

Nestled about 50 miles south of Tucson, Tubac makes for a great day trip as long as you don’t get befuddled by the kilometer signs that line Interstate 19.

While art and a few strange hotels are the showcases of the main drag, you can also go exploring off the path.

A stop at a state historical park lets you check out its fine display of Flintstone wheels. You may even encounter gads of Boy Scouts who are probably completing a troop project yet still take time out to stare weirdly at your dog.

A trek through a forgotten, vacant lot gives you a glimpse of what it would be like to live among the Clampetts of Beverly Hillbilly fame.

A surprise find of a dog park gives you a glimpse of some very selfish people (Sawyer will be blogging on that one).

When all that gets mundane, get back to the art.

While some of the creations, like the $76,000 giant moose, may be a bit out of most people’s price range, you can find less expensive goodies in the throngs of knickknack shops. You can even find birdhouses made out of cowboy boots.

Just steer clear of the wide array of life-size bronze children statues as they tend to be very creepy. They resemble kids who were caught mid-play by a volcano and baked into place.

Check out the baked children and other tantalizing Tubac tidbits in the slide show below.


Highlight: Scouting out the vacant lots and hidden parts of town – although the art places a very close second.

Lowlight: When Sawyer got stuck on the stairway from hell, a narrow, stone stairwell that led upwards with promise only to be blocked by a tiny wooden door. He panicked for a moment, refusing to walk backwards down the stairs, until he finally figured out how to turn around. Then he sped so fast away from the stairs that he knocked me and my camera backwards off the steps.

Overall day trip rating despite the stairwell from hell (1-10): 14.4



What’s your take on Tubac?

What’s your favorite Tucson day trip?

What’s your favorite type of art?

Do you enjoy scouring vacant lots?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at ryngargulinski.com.
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23 Responses to Tickled with a day trip to Tubac: Slide show

  1. ericheithaus says:

    Thanks for the slide show – I enjoyed it.  Tubac is awesome!

    • Rynski says:

      thanks, eric – glad you enjoyed the slide show (since it DID take about 400 years to set up – hahahha).
      i agree – tubac is AWESOME!
      i’m def going back.

  2. radmax says:

    Mornin’ Rynski…my, what a fine array of pics you snapped! I love Tubac(in fact, I’m headin, that a ways in about 15 mins), though some of the folks can get a little snooty at times. Have any run-ins with the hoity-toity locals? 🙂
    PS-Did you check out any of the fine eatery’s while you were down there? I hear the mercantile serves up a fine roast beef sandwich.

    • Rynski says:

      mornin’ radmax –
      lucky YOU going to tubac on this marvelously moody monday.
      pick up a life-size $76,000 moose while you’re there will ya? hahah. i sooo enjoyed all the art.
      most of the folks i met were fine – save for the damn dog park people that sawyer is going to moan about.
      oh! the food has promise. i had a sandwich that was 1/2 OK – it LOOKED great and yes, it was roast beef – but then it had some of those ‘pulleys’ where you pull on a snarl in the sandwich and out comes a clump of fat.
      the dogs muchly enjoyed this said roast beef, thanks to the pulleys.
      don’t forget the moose!

      • radmax says:

        😉 …don’t think I can swing the moose Rynski…where would you like me to deliver the baked kids? 🙂
        PS- ugh! ‘Pulleys’ can ruin a good sandwich.

      • Rynski says:

        noooo baked kids!
        it’ll make me think i’m living next to mount st. helens or something!
        no pulleys either~ get some boar’s head turkey – i hear there’s a deli down there with all types of boar’s head stuff – awesome brand very popular in nyc.

  3. Jennatoolz says:

    Glad to see that you had a marvelous day in Tubac, Ryn! Loved all the pictures…and yes, the baked kids are pretty creepy! Not sure I’d want that around my house. I’ll have a couple non-baked kids someday in the future..and I think those will suit my household quite nicely. Also, I did think slide 52 \Study in bliss\ was super cute!  Haha. 😉

    One time, my guy and I were on our way to pay a visit to the Renaissance Festival and my silly self missed a vital turn. It was too late when I realized it…since by that time we were almost in Globe, AZ!We ate some pizza at the Pizza Hut there, since we heard it was some good eats, then drove all the way back home. D’oh!

    • Rynski says:

      hiya jenna,
      thanks for slide show compliments – glad you enjoyed!
      also glad you got to globe – hahah – i’ll have to check that out as a day trip one of these days, since you said they have a pizza hut (which don’t usually have pulleys). haha
      the creepy baked kids are kind of what i picture when you talk about that screen door girl. maybe she’s one of them come to life? hahaha.
      yes, study in bliss is a good one! a lot of the art was very compelling.

      • Jennatoolz says:

        Hmm…creepy baked screen door girl. Could be a big hit! I’d slap a hefty price tag on that one and put it up on Craigslist…then cross my fingers that 1) it gets sold and/or 2) I don’t get arrested for placing a baked child up for sale. 😉

        PS. Azmouse! My captcha here says “continue Campbell.” Keep on eatin that chicken noodle soup and you’ll be back to 100% in no time! 😀

  4. azmouse says:

    Great pictures! I love so many of them, but of course the ‘fat cat’ caught my eye. We shoulda all chipped in and got leftfield that colorful chicken…or rooster? Also love the creative disguise for the electrical boxes.

    • Rynski says:

      thanks, azmouse!
      i thought of you when i saw the cat – and that thing is on sale, too, for a fairly affordable price (i.e. less than $76,000). think it was marked down to under $90…
      yes!! agree on the leftfield chicken. that’s why the chicken is in the show, to entice him to run down to tubac and buy it. but it’s also a good idea if we bought it for him.
      pick it up when you go get the cat! hahaha.
      i wish i could do my own electrical boxes like those funky ones in the photo – but my HOA even screams if anyone tries to paint a mailbox round here…
      hey! hope you’re feeling better.

      • azmouse says:

        Thanks, still a bit weak, believe it or not, but getting back on track. It was a doozey of a flu/cold combo.

      • Rynski says:

        man, sounds like a bad one!
        chicken soup and rest!! sometimes i’ll push myself too much during illness recovery and end up worse off.

      • azmouse says:

        That is exactly what I do too!  It’s hard for me to just be sick and rest..

      • Andrew Ulanowski says:

        awesome Jenna!
        “Run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread man!”

      • Andrew Ulanowski says:

        i don’t know how my last post ended up where it did but I’m glad I didn;t get a grade on it . . .
        Hope everyone is enjoying this grey, rainy day! I am!

      • Rynski says:

        glad you’re doing swell, andrew – i’d like the grey rainy day better if i didn’t FINALLY break down and wash my car yesterday….this is after several weeks of mire, dust and some annoying streak across the windshield.

  5. Andrew Ulanowski says:

    Good morning Ryn! I LIKED the baked kids! Never been to Tubac but will go someday, I’m sure.
    My favorite Tucson day trip is still anyone of the fine canyons reachable from here.
    Hiya Jenna, Radmaxian and welcome back azmouse!

  6. leftfield says:

    Whether it’s Tubac,  Santa Fe or Sedona,  I always wonder, “Who buys this stuff”?  Are there actually people around for whom Tens of thousands of dollars for a moose sculpture seems reasonable?  And if there are, with millions of kids going to bed hungry tonight, doesn’t this seem way out of kilter; just plain wrong on the face of it? 

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