Thursday, June 8, 2023


Mickey Mouse watches, hot spices within easy walk of Tumacácori Mission

Tumacacori Outpost (Julianne G. Crane)

As mentioned on a recent entry on RV Short Stops about the Tumacácori National Historical Park, there are at least two other shinny spots of interest near the mission that might encourage you to pull your RV off exit 29 on I-19 south of Tucson for an afternoon of sight-seeing, browsing and sampling hot spices.

– Tumacacori Outpost

Jammed with treasures. (Julianne G. Crane

Located in the heart of the historic Santa Cruz Valley and directly across the road from the mission is the Tumacacori Outpost, with its hodge-podge of antiques and collectibles.

It is one of those places where you can kill lots of time just moseying from one display case to the next. One glass enclosed case that caught my eye was the offering of Mickey Mouse watches. I happen to own an original Minnie Mouse watch, direct from Disneyland in Anaheim, given to me decades ago by my sister. I treasure it and keep replacing the batteries.

All Mickeys, no Minnies


Tumacacori Outpost Antiques & Collectibles
1892 E Frontage Rd.
Tumacacori, AZ

 (520) 398-9626

Julianne G. Crane

Santa Cruz Chili & Spice Company

This destination retail store, tasting room, museum, is only 100-yards-or-so south of the Tumacácori Mission. 

Santa Cruz Chili is both “a manufacturer and retailer of fine chili products.” It sells, “a wide variety of gourmet Southwestern foods, cookbooks and a large selection of spices and herbs.” Inside the retail store is also “a quaint Western Museum documenting the rich history of the area.”

Jimmy Smith in tasting room and museum. (Julianne G. Crane)

The company is a small, family-owned business.  Their chili products reflect “the unique mixture of Mexican and Western cultures that are so much a part of the Santa Cruz Valley.  “The flavors are pure and authentic,” states the Web site.  “They represent the valley’s rich heritage.” 

Drop by to see the museum artifacts, sample the chili pastes and sauces, and “find that spice you have been looking for or just soak up the rich history and heritage of this special land.”

Santa Cruz Chili Paste

Jean England Neubauer
Owner, Santa Cruz Chili & Spice Co.
Just north of exit 29 off of I-19
1868 E. Frontage Rd.
Tumacacori, Ariz.
Store Hours
Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday:10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
(Summer hours: 10 a.m – 3 p.m.)
Sunday: Closed
Call for Holiday schedule: (520) 398-2591


Photos: (Julianne G. Crane)

Read more about the RV lifestyle by Julianne G. Crane by going to RV Wheel Life.

Julianne G. Crane
Julianne G. Crane
Julianne G. Crane writes about the RVing and camping lifestyles for print and online sites. She was been hooked on RVing from her first rig in the mid-1980s. Between 2000-2008, she was a writer for The Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, Wash. One of her popular columns was Wheel Life about RVing in the Pacific Northwest. In 2008, Crane started publishing RV Wheel She and her husband, Jimmy Smith, keep a homebase in southern Oregon, while they continue to explore North America in their 21-foot 2021 Escape travel trailer. Over the years they have owned every type of RV except a big class A. “Our needs change and thankfully, there’s an RV out there that fits every lifestyle.”


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