Monday, July 23, 2012

In The Belly of an Arizona Rattlesnake

     Ever want to walk in the belly of a rattlesnake?  Just one of the amazing feats you can do in Arizona– well sort of!  Tucson, Arizona has over 530 miles of urban hiking and biking routes.  In addition, it is famous for its public arts program.  One of its most unique artistic offerings is the Tucson Diamondback Rattlesnake Bridge.
    The bridge crosses busy Broadway Boulevard near the east side of downtown Tucson.  It is 280 feet long, 11 feet high and 14 feet wide. Hikers and bike riders can enter the bridge through the 28-foot head (with 11-foot fangs) or through the 20-foot high tail with its 300-pound fiberglass rattle.
    Simon Donovan is the Tucson artist who designed the rattlesnake bridge. He proudly points out the details found on his bridge.  The painted diamonds, found on the skin of the big snake, are exact replica of those found on the Sonoran Desert snake,  “Alternating from brown to beige in six repeating patterns”, Donovan excitedly proclaims!  And the snake’s underbelly, he continues, “ is divided into life-like segments every 2 1/2 feet.”
     The Tucson Snake Bridge was officially dedicated on May 23, 2002.  Representatives from the business community, baseball teams, school children and neighborhood groups were all present for the “slithering opening”.  Members of the Tohono O’odham tribe performed a traditional blessing of the bridge to signify its’ “linking of art, culture and transportation.” 
     At night the snake’s eyes light up, and interior lighting allows this snake to be seen all night long.  Day or night when someone exits through the tail, motion detectors set off a realistic “rattle” to the delight or fright of the bridge crosser.
     If you want to visit and experience the Tucson Snake Bridge, it is located in the Iron Horse Park Neighborhood. 
Entrance to the bridge is near the intersection of Euclid Avenue and Hughes Street.

     To get to the Tucson Diamondback Rattlesnake Bridge take I-10 south to Tucson.  Exit I-10 at Congress Street.  Go east of Congress Street, which quickly turns into Broadway, until you reach Euclid.  Turn left onto Euclid and look for street parking.  You will have passed under the Diamondback Rattlesnake Bridge just before you come to Euclid.

     The GPS coordinates for the Tucson Diamondback Rattlesnake Bridge is:  N 32, 13.295’ by W 110, 57.696’.  The official web site for the Tucson Visitors Center is:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Apple Annie's

     We love Apple Annie's!  Yep!  It is true!  This wonderful family farm just outside of Willcox, Arizona is one very special place and such an enjoyable experience for all ages who love to be on a working farm.  It is peach season at Apple Annie's and from now till Thanksgiving, this Arizona farm will be having one special celebration after another.  So, why not plan a trip to southeastern Arizona and visit for yourself Apple Annie's.  Here is their link -

    Here is our story we wrote in October 2007 for the Apple Annie's Pumpkin Festival.  The picture of the apple sign is our; the other pictures belong to Apple Annie's!

     Even in Arizona there are places where the autumn harvest still magically plays out.  And right before ol’ Jack Frost returns to paint his frosty designs on harvested pumpkin fields and apple trees, Apple Annie’s Orchard in Willcox, Arizona will again host its annual Fall Pumpkin Celebration.  An October weekend visit to this Arizona farm, where the sights, smells and sounds of the annual fall harvest still occur, is well worth the effort and guaranteed to put smiles on the faces of the young and the old alike. 
    Willcox, Arizona is located in the Sulphur Spring Valley of southeastern Arizona some 240 miles from Anthem.  Founded as a railroad town in 1880, Willcox soon became the agricultural and cattle center for this part of Arizona.  At an elevation of 4167 feet, the local climate makes Willcox an ideal fruit and vegetable-growing region of Arizona.
    Apple Annie’s Orchard has made their farming business into an old-fashion family-fun adventure for the people of Arizona who choose to visit.  Since 1986 Apple Annie’s Orchards has specialized in growing tree-ripened apples, pears, Asian pears and peaches.  In 2003 their farm expanded and now grows farm-fresh sweet corn, chilies, tomatoes, squash and pumpkins.
    The Fall Pumpkin Celebration allows families to enjoy the old autumn tradition of picking ones own pumpkins, fall vegetables and apples.  A $3.00 fee gets you a hay-wagon ride to the pumpkin patch where children of all ages can pick their very own, unique and special pumpkin.  Of course, pumpkins, apples and vegetables are also available at the friendly farm pumpkin stand.
    Apple Annie’s Orchard is open to the public from late June – October.  Four months of family-friendly activities are made available including the Sweet Corn Extravaganza, the Peach Mania, Farmer John’s Birthday Party and the Apple Harvest Celebration.  Without a doubt Apple Annie’s Orchard is a place for the entire family to visit and enjoy! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Arizona Inn - Tucson

    The Arizona Inn is not only historic but just a world-class place to stay.  During the summer months, the Inn is on sale at very affordable rates.  So, if you are looking for a special part of Arizona's history, a great historic hotel and a great place to stay in Tucson during the summer months, you just cannot beat the Arizona Inn.
     Please note that the first 4 pictures are ours; the rest belong to the Arizona Inn.  Here is our story...

        Historic, romantic hotels are found throughout Arizona and many go on summer sale as the winter tourists flee and Arizonans “hunker-down” for another blazing summer.  But that extreme heat brings ‘fire sale” rates to these historic places and from now until September 30th the 4-Diamond Arizona Inn of Tucson can become the perfect summertime escape. 
    It was 1926 and Isabella Ferguson Greenway was living with her Rough Rider husband, John Greenway at their Ajo, Arizona mansion.  John Greenway had become a major player in the copper mining industry of Arizona and a true political mover and shaker.  He was sent by his doctors to New York City for some minor surgery, but minor became major when unexpected complications set in and John Greenway died.  Isabella was now a widow with 4 children in a house that overlooked the Ajo open pit copper mine.
    She soon decided to take her children to Tucson and turn the energy of her grief into business endeavors.  She became the owner of the Double X Ranch near Williams, and of the Gilpin Airline of Los Angeles.  But her greatest love and energy was spent helping the Tucson veterans of World War I. 
    She started a furniture factory, called the Arizona Hut, which employed many World War I veterans.  When the Crash of 1929 came, Isabella refused to fire her veterans and decided to build a fashionable inn that would create a need for their furniture and thus keep her veterans employed. 
    Isabella Greenway’s Arizona Inn opened it doors to its first guest in December 18, 1930 and by this time Isabella was known around the state as “Arizona’s Sweetheart”.   That nickname came about because of her amazing philanthropic spirit and her many civic activities in the Tucson area. In 1933 she became the first woman of Arizona ever to be elected to the United States House of Representatives.  No other Arizona women matched her accomplishment until 1992.
    But it was the Arizona Inn that was the passion of her life.  Built on 14 hidden acres near the University of Arizona, the Inn served guests from around the world.  The 95 rooms were all furnished with beautifully crafted furniture made by Isabella’s veterans and the grounds became a botanical gardens of ever-blooming flowers. Isabella lived at her inn so that she would know exactly what her guests were experiencing, she strove to bring to life her original mission statement:  “to provide a sophisticated desert retreat offering privacy, quiet and sunshine to every guest.”
    The Arizona Inn is made up of multiple buildings set among beautiful gardens and large trees enclosed within adobe walls.   Most guest rooms have a private balcony or an enclosed patio that provides adequate privacy.  Since the Inn was built in the time when travelers came with steamer trunks, the closets are more than spacious by modern standards.
    Over the years many rich and famous guests escaped to this Tucson oasis but the Inn never released its guest list.  The privacy of all is highly guarded.
    The Arizona Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Inn guests today can request to tour the on-site furniture shop started by Isabella for her beloved veterans.  And if not rented, guests can even tour the casita that “Arizona’s Sweetheart”, Isabella Greenway, lived in when she too stayed in Tucson at her beloved Arizona Inn.

    Here is a link to the Arizona Inn website -

The amazing Isabella Ferguson Greenway.