Monthly Archives: April 2009

Mother’s Day with your unique Mom

What kind of mom do you have? If she’s not traditional (or even if she is), consider a trip to Cochise County. There are three events that will help you celebrate your unique Mom during Mother’s Day weekend, May 8-10.

Motorcycle Mama

Photo by Rainer Ebert

Photo by Rainer Ebert

If she’s a biker babe, you and she can motor down to the Border to Border Cinco de Mayo Run, May 8 & 9 in Douglas. A lot of activities are in store.

A bike and car show, raffles and drawings, plus a poker crawl will make this a rousing weekend. Street dancing on Friday evening will feature Déjà vu, and Elvis will appear on Saturday.

Details: Border to Border run: 9 a.m.; Street Dancing: Friday, 8-Midnight. Activities start at the Gadsden Hotel in Douglas.

Admission is free, and there is a small fee for specific events. For more info, call 520-364-4481 or 520-234-3901.

Mother Nature

Does Mom yearn for the outdoors? Is she an early riser who loves nature and wildlife? Consider taking part in the International Migratory Bird Day Spring Festival on May 9.

With talks, walks, exhibitions and children’s events, you and Mom can learn about birds, beavers, wildlife and native plantings. The Gray Hawk Nature Center will showcase a variety of snakes and lizards. This event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the San Pedro River, the Sonoran Joint Venture, Coronado National Forest, Cochise County Master Gardeners and the Bureau of Land Management.

Details: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., May 9 at the San Pedro House, 9800 Hwy 90 (at the San Pedro River). Admission is free. For more info, call 520-459-2555.

Arts & Crafts Mom

Does Mom appreciate the finer things in life? If she loves arts and crafts (she knitted sweaters for you, made quilts or simply loves artistic creations), you might want to swing down to the Holy Trinity Monastery’s Fiesta de la Primavera in St. David, just south of Benson.

Details: Sat., May 9: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun., May 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Holy Trinity Monastery, St. David. Admission is free. For more info, call 520 720-4642 ext 22 or visit their website.

If you’d like to visit any of these events, call the visitors centers in each city. The staff can help you decide where to stay and give you tips on where to eat.

Benson Visitor Center: 520-586-4293

Douglas Visitor Center: 520-417-7344

Sierra Vista Visitor Center: 1-800-288-3861

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Bisbee’s Warren on Arizona’s state seal

Ever look at Arizona’s state seal? There’s a miner depicted there who is connected to Cochise County’s history.

Arizona's state seal

Arizona's state seal

The mining prospector is George Warren, a man who held a claim to Bisbee‘s copper wealth.

Clay Thompson wrote a column in Friday’s Arizona Republic that talked a little bit about the man and why he is on the seal.

He says he got most of his info from Marshall Trimble, Arizona’s official state historian. Thompson writes:

“He [Warren] had quite a life, including being raised by Apaches until they traded him for some sugar.

The Apaches seem to have gotten the better end of that deal because Warren turned out to be kind of a bum.

He had many various misadventures, mostly fueled by alcohol.

However, Warren’s crowning moment came at a Fourth of July celebration in Bisbee where, with a snoot full, he bet that he could outrun a man on a horse through Brewery Gulch.

He lost, of course, and, in doing so, lost his share in what became Bisbee’s fabulously wealthy Copper Queen mine. He died a pauper.”

So how did this guy get on Arizona’s state seal? According to the Arizona Secretary of State’s office, Warren’s picture was taken by famed photographer, C.S. Fly. The post says:

“A print of this photo hung in the office of William Brophy, founder of the Bank of Bisbee and general manager of the Phelps Dodge Mercantile Company. During the Constitutional Convention in 1910, Delegate Ellinwood, a former director of the Bisbee bank, borrowed the picture of Warren from Brophy to use as a model for the seal. Warren’s signature pose, with right arm and leg propped up, became part of the first state seal.”

Arizona (and Bisbee in particular) had a wealth of copper that was mined in the 1800s through the late 1900s. The copper helped “electrify” the country when power lines were installed across rural America. Today, you can go underground with former miners who will tell you about mining life. It’s at Bisbee’s Queen Mine Tour.

One of Bisbee’s neighborhoods is the “Warren district,” where the beautiful arts and crafts-era Greenway House is and farmers markets are held every Saturday from May to October.

The Warren district is also home to the Warren Ballpark, the oldest continually run ballpark in the U.S. The ballpark is celebrating its 100th birthday this year during the July Fourth weekend. See the Bisbee events calendar. Download the 2009 Annual Bisbee events document for a full schedule.

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Bluegrass in Benson this weekend

If you’re a fan, you will want to come to the Bluegrass in the Park, a festival in Benson. I went last year and had a great time. The music was fantastic. It was so relaxing sitting under the canopy in Lion’s Park. The weather was perfect.

This year, the festival is Friday through Sunday. You’ll hear mandolins, fiddles, guitars and more at this great music festival.The bands play from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

If you come to Benson and have some extra time, you might want to stop by Kartchner Caverns State Park, the Singing Wind Bookshop or A Gallery of Dreams. East of Benson is the Amerind Foundation Museum in Dragoon.

You can visit the Visitors Center at 249 E. 4th Street in Benson for more info on attractions in the area.

Enjoy the beautiful sounds of bluegrass!

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Golf in Cochise County=great deals

Benson's Turquoise Hills Golf Course. Photo courtesy of the Cochise County Tourism Council.

Benson's Turquoise Hills Golf Course. Photo courtesy of the Cochise County Tourism Council.

Cochise County is known for its Old West, Native American and Military history. But did you know there are seven public golf courses in Cochise County?

With greens fee starting at $20 per person for 18 holes, they’re a great value too! Prices are current as of 4/20/2009. Check with each club for deals including midweek and twilight fees.

So, bring your clubs next time you visit southern Arizona!

Douglas Golf and Social Club, Douglas, AZ, 520-364-1588
Built in 1932 by the WPA, this is one of Arizona’s oldest courses.  The front nine offers a traditional golf layout.  The back nine features desert golf.

18 holes
Par 71
6,246 yards
Rating 68.8
Slope 117

Mountain View Golf Course, Fort Huachuca, 520-533-7088
A links-style course designed by the Army Corps of Engineers, the facility is open to civilians.

18 holes
Par 72
6,600 yards
Rating 71
Slope 126

San Pedro Golf Course, Benson, AZ, 520-586-7888
Benson’s only championship golf course is a links-style course that blends with the surrounding desert.

18 holes
Par 72
7,313 yards
Rating 73
Slope 130

Shadow Mountain Golf Club, Sunsites, AZ, 520-826-3412
Designed by Horizon, the course offers a traditional golf layout in a beautiful setting with bentgrass, lakes and trees.

Deal alert: Daily fees are two people for $40. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, you and a friend can golf for only $25.

18 holes
Par 72
6,632 yards
Rating 71.1
Slope 124

Turquoise Hills Family Golf Center, Benson, AZ, 520-586-2585
Formerly Mesquite Valley Golf and RV.  The desert-style course has recently been upgraded with new vegetation and improved fairways and greens.

18 holes
Par 58
3,004 yards
Rating 56.1
Slope 86

Turquoise Valley Golf and RV Park, Naco, AZ, 520-432-3091
Turquoise Valley, Arizona’s oldest continuously run golf course and home to Arizona’s longest hole—the 747 yard par-6 Rattler.  The front nine has a links style design, while the back nine offers desert golf.

18 holes
Par 72
6,778 yards
Rating 71.5
Slope 129

Twin Lakes Golf Club, Willcox, AZ, 520-384-2720
A traditional layout with speedy greens—the USGA rated them a 10 on a scale of 1-12.  Play 18 holes by teeing off from a different box on each of the course’s nine holes.

9 holes (dual tee boxes)
Par 72
6,384 yards
Rating 69.1
Slope 107

Is mini golf more your style? Helldorado Town in Tombstone recently opened a new mini-golf course!

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Kartchner Caverns’ discounts begin June 1, 2009

Want a deal on an amazing attraction?

Kartchner Caverns State Park announced it will lower admission fees this summer. Tickets for adults (age 14 and up) will be $12 each (regularly $18.95), and tickets for kids (age 7-13) will be $5 (regularly $9.95). Children age 6 and under are free. I’d say that’s a deal!

The park is offering this price through Sept. 4, 2009.  Plan ahead to get a reservation. this cave is one of the top 10 living caves in the world.

For tickets, call 520-586-2283.

The Rotunda/Throne Room Tour is offered in summer. The Big Room Tour is closed in summer because bats use the cave as a nursery. Browse the Arizona State Parks website for Kartchner Caverns cave tour information.

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Down by the River B & B at sunset

Photo by Luanne Mattson

Photo by Luanne Mattson

Down by the River Bed & Breakfast inn. Phone: 520-720-9441

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Events in Cochise County aren’t ‘taxing’!

OK, it’s tax season. Ugh! I owe this year (I am NOT happy).

But that day shouldn’t ruin your whole month. Most of Cochise County‘s events for April are FREE! And the ones that aren’t are still a bargain! So take a drive to southeastern Arizona, and have some fun!

La Vuelta de Bisbee is just one of Cochise County's upcoming events. Photo courtesy of Cochise County Tourism Council.

La Vuelta de Bisbee is just one of Cochise County's upcoming events. Photo courtesy of Cochise County Tourism Council.

April 18, 4th Annual West End Block Party & Earth Day, Sierra Vista

Join Sierra Vista’s West End for a day-long block party. Enjoy entertainment, food, music, kiddie-land games, the Tombstone Vigilantes and a street dance. Sierra Vista will also celebrate Earth Day in conjunction with the farmer’s market.

Details: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., at Sierra Vista’s West End. Admission is free. Call 520-515-0674 for more info.

April 18, Sierra Vista Car Club 25th Annual Spring Show

Chrome fenders, shiny mirror-like paint jobs. Check out these rides!

Details: 8 a.m.-2 p.m.; Awards given at 2 p.m. at the Sierra Vista Diner, 3500 Canyon De Flores. For more info, call 520-227-9458 or visit http://www.sierravistacarclub.org/.

April 18, Guided Tour of Buffalo Soldier Historic Sites, Sierra Vista

Learn about the accomplishments and history of Fort Huachuca’s Buffalo Soldiers from members of the Southwest Association of Buffalo Soldiers. Reservations are required. Call 520-417-6960 for details.

Note: The post is an active military installation. U.S. citizens may take the tour and must provide valid photo identification if over age 13.

April 24-26, Bluegrass in the Park, Benson

Sandoval Productions is lining up the bands, and this year brings some of the best in bluegrass to Benson. For information, call the Benson Chamber of Commerce at 520-586-2842 or visit www.bensonchamberaz.com.

April 24-26, La Vuelta De Bisbee

The 29th year of the three-day staged bicycling event includes time trials, a circuit race and a road race covering Bisbee, Hereford and Tombstone.

Info: 520-432-5795 or www.lvdb.info

April 24-26, Southeastern Arizona Fine Art Show, Willcox

This event showcases artwork from all over southeast Arizona. An artists’ reception will be held from 2-5 p.m. on Saturday. The event is sponsored by the Art League of Willcox.

Details: Fri., 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sun. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Willcox Community Center. Admission is free. Call 520-384-2658 for more info.

April 25, 2nd Annual “Men Who Cook,” Sierra Vista

Cheer for your favorite local chef at the Sierra Vista Symphony League’s unique fundraiser.

Details: 6-9 p.m. at the Windemere Hotel, 2047 S. Hwy. 92, Sierra Vista. Admission is $35. Tickets are available at Dillard’s and Safeway. For more info, call 520-459-0093 or 520-378-1318.

April 25, 18th Annual Earth Day Festival, Bisbee

Celebrate Bisbee’s Earth Day with educational and environmental booths, arts and crafts for sale, live entertainment, natural foods booths, mini massages, a circus parade, traditional May pole and children’s activities at Vista Park in the Warren district.

Details: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.at Vista Park in Bisbee’s Warren District.Admission is free. Call 520-227-5060 or 520-432-3554 or 1-866-2BISBEE for details.

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Recurring events in Cochise County

Want the chance to learn about Arizona’s history or experience some of southern Arizona’s greatest outdoor activities? You can with some of the events in Cochise County that happen on a regular basis.

Tours of Historic Faraway Ranch, Chiricahua National Monument

The Faraway Ranch was one of the earliest cattle and guest ranches in southeast Arizona. You’ll get to step back in time and see how life was lived in the early days of the West.

Details: 2 p.m. & 3 p.m. Fridays-Sundays at Chiricahua National Monument, 12856 E. Rhyolite Creek Road. Admission is free with park admission of $5 a person. Info at 520-824-3560, ext. 303 or kathrine_neilsen@nps.gov.

Arizona Folklore Preserve, Sierra Vista

Arizona’s Official State Balladeer Dolan Ellis and musical guests perform Saturday and Sunday afternoons in the Arizona Folklore Preserve’s intimate setting in forested Ramsey Canyon. Many of the songs are inspired by aspects of Arizona life and culture. Reservations are required. Go to the Arizona Folklore Preserve’s website to see a list of upcoming shows.

Details: 2 p.m., Saturdays & Sundays at the Arizona Folklore Preserve, 44 E. Ramsey Canyon Road, Hereford. Admission is $15 for adults and $6 for students 17 and under. Info at 520-378-6165 or on the Arizona Folklore Preserve’s website.

Guided Walks, Ramsey Canyon Preserve, Sierra Vista

On these walks, you have a chance to see 170 species of birds found in the preserve and the surrounding national forest. Southwestern specialties such as painted redstarts and magnificent hummingbirds are here, as are other animals, including mountain lions, canyon treefrogs, rattlesnakes and dozens butterfly species. Guided nature walks are conducted March through October. Admission to the Preserve is $5; $3 for Cochise County residents. 27 E. Ramsey Canyon Road, Hereford.

Details:  9 a.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at Ramsey Canyon Preserve. Admission is $5 for non-residents and $3 for Cochise County residents and Nature Conservancy members. Children under 16 are free. Call 520-378-2785 for more info.

Hummingbird Banding

Up to 10 species of hummingbirds use the San Pedro River corridor and surrounding areas as a migratory path. The public is invited to get an up-close look as scientists catch, band, weigh, measure and then release the birds.

Details: Check the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory’s calendar of events or the Hummingbird Monitoring  Network’s calendar page to find out when banding sessions are held. Viewing the banding is free San Pedro House, 9800 Highway 90.  4-6 p.m. Donations are gratefully accepted. For more information call the Southeastern Arizona Bird at 520-432-1388.

Farmer’s Markets

Local farmers and growers offer fresh produce and products. You’ll find a luscious assortment of garden fresh fruits and vegetables for sale, plus many other unique items.

Sierra Vista Farmers Market: noon to 4 p.m., Thursdays on the northwest corner of Willcox Drive & Carmichael Ave. in Sierra Vista. Info:  520-378-2973

Bisbee Farmers Market: 8 a.m. – noon, Saturdays, May through October in Vista Park, Bisbee. Info: 520-432-5421 or 1-866-2BISBEE

Events like the hummingbird banding are seasonal, as the birds migrate from about March to October, so call ahead for more details.

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Filed under Birding, Events, Hiking, History, Things to do, Travel

Stunning photo of Tombstone

I came across Mark Harmel’s blog post of travel through Cochise County. He took this shot of Tombstone, and I think it is stunning!

It’s a great use of light at sunrise. The Old West never looked so rich. It almost as if the buildings are covered in precious metals, which is how Tombstone was founded… as a result of prospectors looking for gold and silver.

What do you think? Do you have any photos to share? If so, pass on the link, and I’ll share it!

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Arizona Trail–start it in Cochise County!

Have you hiked any of the Arizona Trail’s 817 miles? If you have, you know that it’s got some gorgeous scenery along the way. Part of that trail starts right here in Cochise County.

Last week, an Arizona Daily Star article announced that the Arizona Trail has been designated a National Scenic Trail. President Barack Obama signed it into law on Monday, March 30.

The trail spans the length of Arizona starting at the Coronado National Memorial, where Francisco Vásquez de Coronado led an expedition to find the “Seven Cities of Cibola.” Read its legend and lore.

Cochise County’s portion of the Arizona Trail lies in the Huachuca Mountains.

The Huachuca Mountains near Sierra Vista

The Huachuca Mountains, Sierra Vista, AZ

It is the first 21 miles of the Arizona Trail on the southern border. Most of the trail lies in the Miller Peak Wilderness, a moderate-to-difficult section of the trail, with segments along the Crest Trail and on to Miller Peak (the tallest mountain in Cochise County at 9,466 feet).

For more information on the trail, contact the Sierra Vista Ranger district of the Coronado National Forest.

Happy Hiking!

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