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Summer getaway: Murder, immigrants and a grouchy old man beckon to Arivaca

Forget Paris or Milan, you can take a summer trek that is much cheaper, closer and perhaps even more thrilling for the whole family if you drive about 60 miles southwest of Tucson down to Arivaca.

Loyal TC.com reader RadMax recently embarked upon such a trip, bringing back photos he had to stealthily snap from his cell phone. It seems Arivaca has secrets some folks don’t want you to know.

Digging up secrets - and bones/PCSD photo
Digging up secrets and bones/PCSD photo

With some research and rumors, I may not have unearthed these secrets, but I did come up with a host of entertaining activities you and your clan can enjoy.

The site City-Data.com says Arivaca is stocked with about 57,000 residents. Too many people told me that is incredibly incorrect, so I found another source, Zip-Codes.com, which puts the people count at about 900.

Arivaca also has a pocket of really talented artists and other fun stuff. “It has a general store, gas station, a great coffee house that has the best coffee in Arizona, an art gallery the size of a large outhouse, two bars and that is it,” one source reported.

You can also find some other treasures if you dig around long enough.

Old man hangout/RadMax photo
Old man hangout/RadMax photo

Arivaca fun activities:

Anger the old man. RadMax reported there is a grouchy old man in the town’s feed store who likes to get even grouchier when approached by those pesky outsiders (i.e. most of us). Since pissing him off may not be such a challenge, you can instead keep count of how many times he uses the Lord’s name in vain. If you cannot find this particular grouchy old man, you may run across several others on which you can try the same games.

Search for the MoonDance Saloon.* This saloon, which was featured in a Snappy or Crappy, is rumored to be in or near Arivaca but no one can seem to find it. RadMax even asked the grouchy old man, who vehemently denied its existence while using the Lord’s name in vain at least twice. This quest could turn into a summer-long funfest.

The mysterious MoonDance/submitted photo
The mysterious MoonDance/submitted photo

Visit the fire pit of bones.* Arivaca couple Kenneth Alliman, 49, and Rebecca Lou Loften, 52, were reported missing in early June. Soon after, human remains were found in a fire pit on their property in the 3700 block of North Trico Road. They had opened their home to a Texas man who has since been arrested for allegedly killing his sister in 2003.

Pay homage to the dead dad and his daughter. In another recent crime, 29-year-old Raul Flores and his 9-year-old daughter, Brisenia Flores, were both shot to death during a home invasion in the 36000 block of Mesquite Road. Three folks, associated with the group Minutemen American Defense, were arrested for the slaying.

Photo RadMax took for Lefty
Photo RadMax took for Lefty

Leave water for the illegals. The group No More Deaths constantly scatters a bunch of water jugs in the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge along paths illegals are known to take. Five of the members have already been arrested for littering, but a recent press release from the group promised they’d be at it again the morning of July 9 (that’s today!).

If you’re unable to make the July 9 littering event, you can always look for the paths on your own to refill the jugs. Better yet, hang around to get autographs from the immigrants who engage in the daring and death-defying feat of attempting to cross the barren desert in 107-degree heat.

I’ve not been to Arivaca, but with all these activities beckoning, I’ll put in on my list. Right after Paris and Milan.

RadMax Arivaca photo
RadMax Arivaca photo
RadMax Arivaca photo
RadMax Arivaca photo


What other fun stuff can you do in Arivaca?

What secrets do you know about the place?

wb-logolil6

Word just in! PLEASE NOTE: Just like people mix up Michigan and Minnesota, much to my annoyance, it seems I did the same with Arivaca and Avra Valley. The pit of bones is northwest of town, not southwest. This also explains the mysterious MoonDance Saloon. It’s by the bone pit, not the grouchy old man.

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Odd Pueblo: Snappy or crappy?

This fun Odd Pueblo feature asks the audience to rate a trend, topic or sighting of something around town: is it snappy or crappy?

I was gladded when the last snappy or crappy, a bugged-out VW bug, got at least one non-crappy (although it may have been sarcastic).

The latest snappy or crappy should be something you all adore:

The MoonDance Saloon (aka The C Dance Saloon)

The MoonDance Saloon/Submitted photo
The MoonDance Saloon/Submitted photo

This chipper yet cozy venue is actually someone’s home sweet home where the chickens and ducks get harassed by the skunk unless the big dogs chase the skunk away.

While it’s not technically in Tucson – it’s down the road a bit in Arivaca – the MoonDance Saloon is cool enough to make an Odd Pueblo exception.

The snappy saloon’s most recent claim to fame is also fascinating: the place is neighbors with the North Trico Road property where a couple went missing and charred human remains were found in a fire pit.

So, what do you think? Please respond:
a. Snappy. That place looks more fun than a barrel of drunk monkeys.
b. Crappy. That place looks less fun than a barrel of cow pies.
c. I’m scared the couple who went missing may be haunting the place.
d. I’m too snobbish and close-minded to appreciate anything other than a cookie-cutter condo.

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