Sunday, April 27, 2014

Phoenix Urban Fishing Program

     The Arizona Game & Fish Urban Fishing Program is a fun and “yummy way” to spend a spring day fishing without having to make that long drive to the beautiful lakes and streams of northern Arizona.  Sixteen Valley of the Sun urban lakes, stocked with plenty of fish every two weeks, make for a family-friendly fishing adventure. And since you can keep what fish you catch, a frying pan full of fresh fish at the end of the day is always a definite possibility. 
    Four species of fish are stocked into the urban lakes – Channel Catfish, Rainbow Trout, Sunfish and Largemouthed Bass.  Skilled and/or lucky anglers can catch and keep 2 bass, 4 catfish, 4 trout and 10 sunfish each day.  Largemouth Bass must be at least 13 inches in length. Each time the lakes are stocked, they receive about 50 catfish and 75 trout per surface acre. 
    Anglers 14 years and older must purchase a Class U Urban Fishing License.  The cost of this license is $18.50 for both resident and non-resident.  Anglers under 14 do not need a license. A regular Arizona fishing license is NOT VALID at the designated Urban Fishing Program waters.  The Class U license can be purchased from any sporting store or from the Arizona Game & Fish offices on the Carefree Highway.
    Arizona Game & Fish also offers fishing clinics to help fishermen of all ages learn how to fish.  Information about their fishing clinics can be found at
    There are many beautiful parks that surround the lakes of the Urban Fishing Program.  Encanto Park near downtown Phoenix offers a public golf course, picnic grounds and paddleboats for all to enjoy.  Chaparral Lake in Scottsdale and Surprise Lake in Surprise are also great places to spend the day fishing.  Other Arizona communities like Tucson, Lakeside and Sahuarita all have community lakes that are a part of this urban fishing program.
    Fishermen have known for a long time that “goin’ fishing” is just a wonderful way to spend any day.  So why not get out and get involved in the Arizona Game & Fish Urban Fishing Program?  The lakes are well stocked, the parks are well maintained and safe, fishing is for all ages, and you can eat the fish you catch!  It does sound like a good way to spend a spring day!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Phoenix Urban Mural Program

    Bicycle tours have become a popular family activity as well as big business since enthusiasts can now find bike trails to follow that not only take them across America but literally around the world.  A fun, local 10-mile bike tour can actually help riders discover the downtown Phoenix area while appreciating local artists and enjoying their artwork on the Phoenix Urban Mural Trail.
    Within the past five years, a group of local artists have set out on a mission to define their neighborhoods through public art.  Three Central Phoenix neighborhoods serve as the outdoor art galleries for these large-scale wall murals – 16th Street, Grand Avenue and Roosevelt Row.  Here the walls of local strip-malls and once neglected alleys have become the concrete canvases for such artist as Lalo Cota, Joerael Elliot, Rose Johnson, Luster Kaboom and more.
    The intent of this public art program is to create murals that are educational, cultural and positive.  No negative or hateful murals are allowed!  It is also a program to replace damaging graffiti with quality public art.
    The many murals along 16 Street are a part of the Calle 16 Project. The stated goal of the Calle 15 Project is “to build community one wall at a time.”  The Barrio Café is the epicenter of this project with some 20 murals found in the walls of the nearby alley and stores.  This is the perfect place to begin a bike tour as well as for fine, Mexican food dining.
    Just a few blocks further south on 16th Street another cluster of murals are found on the walls of
The Hive, a street art gallery with a delicious new coffee shop called the Mud Dauber. 
    Roosevelt Row is further down 16th Street with a right turn onto Roosevelt.  Between 16th Street and 7th Avenue is found the Roosevelt Row Art District.  Here award-wining restaurants, galleries and boutiques are found along with the many additional large-scale wall murals. 
    A route map for your entire 10-mile bike tour can be obtained at the Phoenix Taco website - .  And, if biking is not your style, you can always get out in the family car and travel to these wonderful outdoor exhibitions of Phoenix artists.  April weather is great, the restaurants and coffee shops are plentiful and vibrant part of city living in Phoenix is just waiting for you to discover.;

Monday, April 21, 2014

Favorite Pictures...

      We have always wanted a place to post some of our favorite pictures of our exploring Arizona as well as the world.  So under the Finding Arizona's Pages section to the right, check out a series of our favorite pictures over time as we not only sought to Find Arizona but the whole world.  Here are a couple samples...

On the Bright Angel Trail Fall 1983

On the trail to Havasupai - November 1984

Baja Sur, Mexico March 1985

Washington D. C. Honors September 1988

Enjoying Hawaii Summer 1985

Australia June 1997

Lands End, Cabo San Lucus June 1989
Cabo San Lucas June 1990

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Pet Friendly Arizona

Driving Ms. Gypsy

    There are not too many roads of Arizona that we have not traveled down over the past 40 years.  But our way of traveling changed drastically in late January 2012 when a loveable, 1.5 pound Yorkie puppy, named Gypsy, began riding along in the concocted center seat of our trustworthy SUV. This small, furry bundle of love and licks has made us look at traveling around Arizona in a whole new way, and we have been pleased with the pet-welcoming environment that we have found across the state.
    Not every hotel and/or restaurant welcome pets with open arms, but many do.  Some hotels charge an extra fee for your the pet to spend the night; others do not.
    Pets are welcome in hotels in every major town and city across Arizona.  Want to go to Sedona? The “whole” family is welcome at the Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa.  So too can all the family stay at the El Portal Sedona, winner of the 2011 Conde’ Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Award. 
    In our first months of traveling with Ms. Gypsy we have learned that there are many restaurants across Arizona who would welcome her for some fine, patio dining.  Scottsdale has a predominance of such eateries, but so too does Seligman, Sedona, Superior and Surprise.
    Tucson is a dog lover’s paradise for both hotels and restaurants.  From one of our personal favorite place to stay, the Lodge on the Desert, to the famous Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, the Old Pueblo loves dogs! 
    In this time of instant information, we have found that most everything we wanted to know as to where Gypsy was or was not welcome could be found over our iPad or iPhone.  The Arizona Dog Travel Guide can be found at  We think DogFriendly is one of the best sites with an enormous amount of pet traveling information. 
    Many of America’s hotel chains are also dog friendly.  Those include such common chains as Motel 6, Comfort Suites, Best Western, Econo Lodge, Hilton, La Quinta, etc.  We have also discovered that many resort and hotels only have a few rooms that are pet friendly, so be sure to make reservations well in advance.
    As summer arrives once again, get out and discover the Arizona you have yet to see and this time, take your best, four-legged friend along.  Ms. Gypsy is just beginning her Arizona grand adventure and we are so looking forward to traveling with her.

Some suggestions when traveling with your pet.

1.    Be sure to make your reservations in advance.  Not all rooms of a “pet-friendly” hotel are available for pets.
2.    Please, clean up after your pet.  Take the necessary wipes and bags and leave your room and grounds clean, sanitized and spotless.
3.    Stop every 2-3 hours to give everyone riding in the car an opportunity to stretch their legs (all 4 of them)
4.     Never, never leave your pet alone in your car while you are out exploring.  It is against Arizona law to do so (14 states have such laws) and you will have put your furry friend in great jeopardy due to our Arizona climate.
5.      Just like us humans, pets need fresh water and some snacks while they travel to hold them over between meals. 

Some great places to eat with your pet while traveling Arizona.

1.    Old Town Tavern, Scottsdale -
2.     Duck and Decanter, Phoenix -
3.     Dakota Café, Tucson -
4.    Ken’s Creekside Café, Sedona -
5.     NiMarcos Pizza, Flagstaff -

Some great places to stay with your best friend…

1.    La Posada, Winslow -
2.     Hilton Sedona Resort -
3.     El Portal Sedona -
4.     Lodge on the Desert, Tucson -
5.    Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, Tucson -
6.    Kohl’s Ranch, Mogollon Rim -

Our Ms Gypsy

Cute - huh?

Lodge on the Desert, Tucson

La Posada, Winslow


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pet Friendly Sedona

    Sedona is known worldwide for its beautiful red rock scenery, its New Age vortexes and a whole array of fine lodging and dining.  What is less well known is that Sedona is also a pet-friendly town as well.  Yep, your four-legged friend can join the family in havlng a really good time in this Arizona high country paradise.
    In the 2013-2014 Official Sedona Visitor Guide ( ), 47 hotels are listed in the Sedona, West Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon and Village of Oak Creek communities.  Twenty of those 47 hotels are pet friendly and there are some pretty impressive places on that welcoming list.  How about L’Auberge de Sedona, the Hilton Sedona Resort & Spa and the Hyatt Pinion Pointe and Enchantment – where ol’ Fido is welcomed to spend the night at all of these amazing places.  So too are pets welcome at Sky Ranch, the Best Western Inn of Sedona and the Orchards Inn.  Many choices with varied price ranges can make your pet truly feel like he too is on vacation in this beautiful red rock land. Remember, a well-mannered 4-legged hotel guest is always kept secure on a secure leash for everyone’s enjoyment and safety.  
    Anybody hungry?  Well of the 45-dining establishments listed in the Official Visitor Guide, 26 welcome your pet.  Want to go to Tlaquepaque for a bite?  The “whole family” can sit on the patio of The Secret Garden Cafe and enjoy eating together.  And, if everyone goes to eat at Ken’s Creekside, the whole family can sit on the patio enjoying the views of Oak Creek and red mountains while our pampered pooch selects a meal from “Ken’s Doggie Deck Favorites” menu and receives a complimentary drinking bowl of “cold filtered ice water.”  
    But what can we do with our dog along?  How about a hike on many of the pet friendly trails that are found in Sedona’s city parks and that meander through the surrounding red rock landscape.  Our well-bedded and well-fed friend must always be on a leash while on the trails and we, his humans, must always clean up after nature calls. 
    So if you want to spend a day or even a few days in the beauty of nature, make plans to get out and take your pet along to Sedona.  This town is so pet friendly that all of you can go and enjoy being together in one of Arizona’s great places to visit. 

Bridge to Oak Creek Canyon