Last December, when four wranglers at the White Stallion Ranch were sitting down to dinner, they came up with the idea of spending the summer riding the Arizona Trail--which stretches from the Arizona-Mexico border to the Arizona-Utah--on horseback.
"We said, 'Shoot, we should do it,'" said Heather Blakeney, one of the riders. "We tossed the idea around and then just started planning."
Blakeney and her brother Jason, along with J.C. Hobbs and Steven True, are preparing to set out on the ride by the first week of July.
"The biggest obstacle right now is water," Jason Blakeney said. The riders plan on having 3 gallons per day for each horse, and 1 gallon each day per person. That's a lot of water over a six- to seven-week trip, so the riders will have a support team drop water off at designated spots every 20 to 25 miles along the trail.
The riders plan to take two days out of each week to rest the horses and pick up extra supplies before spending another five days on the trail.
The riders are having a dinner at the ranch to raise the rest of the money they need for the 800-mile trip. They need money for things like gas (for the support team to drive to the drop-off points), food and other supplies.
The dinner--roast beef and vegetables cooked in an outdoor oven--will be served at 7 p.m. for $25 per person. Hors d'oeuvres will be served at 6 p.m., and if you get there early enough, you can catch the ranch's weekly rodeo at 4 p.m. --T.M.
If your dad wants a little more than a day relaxing around the house for Father's Day, then take him to check out the planes at the Pima Air and Space Museum.
Admission for Dad is free on Father's Day, and two fighter jets--the F-14 Tomcat and the F-105 Wild Weasel--will have open cockpits all day. In other words, anyone can climb inside and look around from the pilot's perspective.
Both the F-14--the kind of plane seen in the movie Top Gun--and the F-105 were flown in Vietnam.
"Even the big kids, the adults, get excited when they get to sit in the cockpit," said Brian Ewenson, educational director for the Pima Air and Space Museum.
Arizona Street Machines will also have a car show, with more than 40 souped-up street rods and classic cars from various decades in the museum's Hangar 4.
Earlier this month, the museum opened the Spirit of Freedom hangar to house some of the museum's biggest and rarest planes. The new hangar is home to the SR-71 Blackbird, a spy plane designed to take photos while flying over enemy territory; the "tank-killer" A-10 Thunderbolt; and the last PBM-5A--a "flying boat" used in World War II--in existence.
Admission to the museum is $11.75 for adults, $9.75 for seniors and military members, $8 for kids 7-12, and free for kids younger than 6--and dads are let in for free on Father's Day. The last tickets are sold at 4 p.m. --T.M.
This Saturday, Wild Oats Natural Market is celebrating Father's Day a day early by hosting the store's first Men's Health Fair, which promises to be replete with good, holistic fun for all those special dads out there.
An assortment of natural health-care practitioners will be on site dispensing health-care literature, answering questions and offering free minor medical examinations.
The lofty list of practitioners includes a naturopathic doctor, two nutritionists, members of the Falun Dafa organization and a masseur who will be giving free cranial sacral massages.
The Rising Sun Life Center will also have a biofeedback machine on scene to conduct emotional and physical health analyses, and Allarah Lavelle, president of the Hypnodyne Foundation, will offer hypnotherapy sessions.
"The hypnotherapy sessions will not only show people how to relieve mental and physical imbalances they have, but can also help them with issues such as quitting smoking," said Gail Sutton, Wild Oats marketing and demo coordinator.
In addition to these services, there will be abundant food samples along with two wine tastings. The first tasting will showcase a variety of organic wines and will be held between noon and 2 p.m.; the second tasting will be from 3 to 6 p.m. and will feature an array of South African wines. Both wine tastings will be accompanied with organic cheese and fruits.
There will also be a drawing for a surprise gift bag containing men's health products valued at $75. All Men's Health Fair services will be free of charge. --S.S.
In a world where so much energy is spent dividing us, it's nice to see the occasional counterforce. This week, Tucson will play host to one such event, as the International Hispanic Games roll into town.
The games will feature 14 sporting events held at various venues across Tucson and will feature athletes of all ages and abilities from both Arizona and Sonora, Mexico.
The games are the only international amateur sporting event of their kind in the United States and are a collaboration between the Grand Canyon State Games and the Arizona/Mexico Commission--a binational nonprofit organization that advocates for the well-being of Arizonans though developing cooperative relationships with Mexico.
Erik Widmark, executive director of the GCSG, said the newly developed program functions as an athletic exchange program between Sonora, Mexico, and Arizona.
"We have a firm belief that sports can help bridge the gap between cultures," Widmark said.
The top three finishers in each of the sporting events will advance to a national competition being held in Colorado Springs, Colo., this August. The national competition is part of the National Congress of State Games and will pit the IHG winners against athletes from 37 other states.
Although the name would indicate it is a Hispanic event, Widmark said anyone can participate, and the name simply references the internationalism of the games.
Last year, the games had more than 1,000 participants, and Widmark said he expects similar numbers this year.
The 14 sports included are basketball, baseball, BMX bike racing, boxing, cycling, golf, dodgeball, football, handball, youth soccer, adult soccer, swimming, tennis and weightlifting.
All events are free of charge; the locations and times of each event can be found at www.gcsg.org. --S.S.