Monday, July 5, 2010

Bowden Lab Reunion/Retirement Celebration

Brunch at Tim and Diane's home

In early June, Cayne and I flew out to Tucson for my graduate school mentor's retirement party and a lab reunion. Although everyone was a little apprehensive about Tucson heat in June, I was completely looking forward to it. It turned out that things cooled off in AZ to the 80s while we were there so everything was just gorgeous! The saguaros were still in bloom, the food was delicious, and as always, it was wonderful to see old friends.

We had some free time before the reunion officially kicked-off so Cayne and I spent one day driving up Mt. Lemon to Summerhaven -- he enjoyed the windy roads and the nice drop in temperature. It really is a summer haven.

The next day we drove south of Wilcox to the Chiricahua Mountains to see the hoodoos, one of my favorite places. Cayne had absolutely no idea what to expect and I think he was pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the rock formations. We did a short walk through some of the hoodoos and got some fun pictures. Now it should be pretty easy to get him excited about a trip to Bryce Canyon, where there are more hoodoos to walk through. Of course, no trip to Wilcox is complete without a stop at "The Thing" so we did a little detour on the way to see what all the hype was about. Signs for "The Thing" appear as soon as you cross the Arizona state lane.

Dr. Bowden's retirement party started with a scientific symposium...highlighting the current research of his former (and current) graduate students and postdocs. It was amazing to see all the lives he has touched throughout his career. That evening there was a roasting of Tim by one of the local editorial cartoonists, Dave Fitzsimmons, which was very funny. The reunion ended with a brunch at Tim's house with out-of-town Bowdenlab members. I had a good time catching up with lots of the people I had worked with over the years...from the first summer I joined the Bowdenlab until I left Arizona to come to DC (about 10 years). Many of them I hadn't seen since they left the lab...we all commented on how nice it was to have worked in such a close-knit group -- we were very lucky!
It wasn't easy to leave Tucson, with the beautiful weather and the student and snowbird-less traffic to come back to Kensington but it was a wonderful trip!

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