Outdoors

Monday, August 28, 2017

Tumamoc's New Tech and Times

Posted By on Mon, Aug 28, 2017 at 2:30 PM

The vista seen while walking up Tumamoc Hill. - MICHELLE A. WEISS
  • Michelle A. Weiss
  • The vista seen while walking up Tumamoc Hill.

The climb up Tumamoc hill has historically been closed to the public from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in order to help preserve resources and, presumably, to prevent the trail from turning into a waterfall of sweat from people attempting the hike in the middle of the day.

Until now! Starting Sept. 5, the UA will be extending public access hours from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. for a solid 18 hours of available hiking time a day. Fencing will be installed at the top to mark the end of the trail and to continue preserving surrounding areas.

In addition, a new app, the Tumamoc Tour, will soon be available in both English and Spanish and for both iOS and Android devices. Narrators David Yetman and Alberto Burquez (English and Spanish, respectively) will tell the story of Tumamoc Hill and its place in the Sonoran Desert. Accompanied by the music of Calexico and Gabriel Naim Amor, the app’s six sections and 16 YouTube video will help listeners understand the significance of the reserve and the research, education and preservation missions it is a part of.





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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Pima County Fair is Back and You Don't Want to Miss It

Posted By on Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 5:30 PM

FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
It’s that time of year again folks: The Pima County Fair is back which, for most, is the official kickoff to summer in Tucson.

Here’s your guide on some quick information you should know before attending. 
  • The Pima County Fair will take place April 20-30. General admission is $8, ages 6 to 10 are $4, and kids who are 5-years-old and under are free.

  • The annual fair is adding activities to their list with more concerts, food, rides, and exhibits. Popular events from previous years are back such as the butterfly exhibit, John Shaw’s Freak Show, and the Wild About Monkeys exhibit.

  • Concerts during the full ten days of the fair will include performances by T-Pain with Naughty by Nature, Rockfest with Cinderella’s Tome Keifer and Winger, Josh Turner, Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild Live!, Lil Yachty, Tanya Tucker, and many more.

  • If you are still a kid at heart who now also has a kid, the carnival section is where you want to be. Two types of carnival sections will be available for everyone: The Kiddie Land Carnival is for families with younger children and The Tucson Weekly Carnival is designed for those adventure-seeking Tucsonans.

  • Guests can purchase a wristband in order to go on all the rides or you can purchase individual tickets at the ticket booth. The fair is offering a “Fun Pass” to fair goers which acts as a debit card and once the card is scanned before going on a ride, the number of “tickets” for that ride is deducted from the card.

  • For all the horse lovers out there, the fair will be having horse shows that include performances from competition horses such as hunter/jumper, Arabian, reining horse, paint horse, quarter horse, and a lot more.

  • And, as for the real reason why anyone goes to fairs, the food is going to be great. There are going to be many options to choose from, so come hungry. For annual fair goers, you’ll see new food stations too so it’s a win-win for everyone. Some popular foods to expect there are Lisa’s Sonoran Hot Dogs, Mustards Café, Candy Factory, Big Dogs, Dutchmen’s Funnel Cakes, Squeezers, Texas Steak out, and Get Pickled.

  • The newbies will include Sleek Greek, Sweet Cheeks Deep Fried Sweets, Hot Dog on a Stick, and Tommy D’s Burgers—yum.

  • The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona and Greater Vail Community Resources are partnering to collect food for their organizations and as a reward to whoever brings in three cans of food before 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 20 and Sunday, April 30, they will get free admission into the fair so be a good person and donate food to help feed the hungry.

  • An annual livestock auction will be taking place under the county fair Ramada during the second weekend. Large animals will be auctioned on Saturday, April 29 at 11:45 a.m. and small animals will be auctioned the next day at 10:30 a.m.

  • Also, during the second weekend of the fair is the Grand Canyon Pro- Rodeo Association Rodeo at 1 p.m. in Manny’s Area.
Luckily for you, we can help you get in for free. Enter here, and we'll get in touch with winners throughout the fair. These passes are good for any night.

Main gate hours will open on Monday to Friday at 1 p.m. and on weekends at 10 a.m. All the exhibits open at the same time as the main gate but each hall close at different hours of the night.

The carnival hours will be Monday to Friday at 3 p.m. and on weekends at 11 a.m.

The fair will be located at 11300 S. Houghton Rd. which is one-mile south of the I-10 and Houghton Rd. exit. Parking is $5.

Be there or be square.

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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Quick Bites: Tour de Cookie

Posted By on Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 10:00 AM

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What’s better than riding your bike through a scenic route? Eating cookies while you do it.

The second annual Tour de Cookie is coming to Tucson to support the Marana Rotary Club as they help fund international community service projects such as special needs playgrounds, access ramps, and water projects in Africa.

On Saturday, April 8 from 8 a.m. to noon, Tour de Cookie will take over the Rillito River Park bike path where 11 organizations in Tucson will hand out homemade cookies to all riders.

Dan Contorno, self coordinator at Marana Rotary Club, said the idea wasn’t original and happened about four or five years ago. The Rotary Club decided to bring it back because a lot of members participated in the original event.

“It used to be almost like a scavenger hunt where there were six or seven stops but this new Tour de Cookie is different, it’s safer and not a race,” said Contorno.

The path is about 29.5 miles and each organization will hand out a different type of cookie every two miles passed.

Contorno said some of the organizations include youth organizations, churches, breweries and insurance companies.

He said the Marana Rotary Club hopes to get 13 organizations by the time the event happens so that participants can have two more stops of cookies.

To sign up for the event, participants can visit the rotarytourdecookie.org website and fill out the waiver form to bring to the event. People riding with a group of 10 or more can get a $5 off discount on the registration fee.

All ages are allowed to participate and the entry fee is $40 but children 12 and under can ride for free. The only requirements for this event is to bring your own bike, your appetite and to leave your competition at home.

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A Safari for Sipping: Wine Party at the Zoo

Posted By on Tue, Apr 4, 2017 at 2:30 PM

Tigers, lions and booze—oh my! If you love wine, animals and live music (and who really doesn't?), head on over to the Reid Park Zoo on Friday, April 7 from 6-8:30 p.m. for its Wine Gone Wild fundraiser extravaganza. Drink samples will be provided by 3 Amigos Tequila, Breakthru Beverage, Rancho Rossa Vineyards, Sonoita Vineyards and more. Food options include POPPED Artisan Popcorn, mini Caprese bites, fruit cups, chicken and wine bake, Gruyere & white wine penne macaroni and cheese, sangria cupcakes and many other tasty treats.

The zoo is partnering with Uber so visitors can use a special promo code on the event's website to get a free ride up to $15. Designated drivers also receive a reduced admission price of $25. For extra money, visitors can even meet one of the zoo's rhinos, Yebonga or Fireball.

This is a 21+ event only. Preorder admission prices are $65 per person or $55 per member. Prices at the door are $70 per person or $60 per member. The VIP visit with a rhino admission price is $120 or $150 if you want early access at 5:30 p.m. Preorder your tickets to this jungle adventure here. This is a perfect event to support the animals at the zoo while having a fun Friday night!

click image BESTANIMATIONS.COM
  • BestAnimations.com

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Two New(ish) Businesses to Visit During the Street Fair

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 7:30 PM

The 47th Annual Street Fair is expected to attract more than 300,000 visitors this weekend. - HAILEY FREEMAN
  • Hailey Freeman
  • The 47th Annual Street Fair is expected to attract more than 300,000 visitors this weekend.


Isabella's Ice Cream (210 N. Fourth Ave.)

UA alumni Dominic and Kristel Johnson created Isabella’s in 2010, and opened their location on Fourth Avenue this past November.



“I love how many people walk in and discover it,” Kristel says of Isabella’s. “We’ve been here a few months so everyone is starting to figure out where the shop is now.”


Kristel has nothing but rave reviews for the area. It was her idea, after all, to move Isabella’s manufacturing to Fourth. 


“It’s been wonderful,” Kristel says of the neighborhood. “We love the location and the people are super friendly.”


Kristel prepares the treats in the back of the shop and tries to locally source all of her ingredients. Isabella’s uses cream and milk only from Arizona.


“Everything is fresh, natural, and pure,” Kristel says.


In addition to their ice creams and vegan sorbets, Isabella’s offers ice cream tacos, milkshakes, sundaes, popsicles and Belgian chocolate bonbons. If you’re the indecisive or overindulgent type, it is highly recommended that you try one of each. This selection will be available in-store the entire weekend.


And another menu item that’s sure to be a hit among Street Fairgoers? The ever-so-scrumptious fro-nut. Since its recent introduction, this doughnut ice cream sandwich has become a customer favorite. The Johnsons will be serving fro-nuts and cookie ice cream sandwiches from their vintage ice cream truck this weekend.


Mabel’s on 4th (419 N. Fourth Ave.)

After you’ve gotten your ice cream fix, come visit Mabel’s on 4th. This kitchen boutique opened in November 2016 and sells decor, gadgets and textiles to “make your kitchen smile.”


“We don’t have any serious kitchen stuff like pots and pans and cutlery,” owner Nicole Carrillo says. “We only carry fun stuff.”


The pair relocated from Savannah, Georgia where Nicole’s husband, Johnny, served in the Marine Corps. Nicole believes Tucson, specifically the Fourth Avenue area, is a “perfect fit” for Mabel’s and appreciates the friendliness of her customers.


“Everybody is so welcoming and kind,” Nicole says. “We decided the day we visited that we were going to move here.”


Johnny designs all of the LOL tea towels, including textiles supporting each branch of the military. Mabel’s will be offering 20 new towel patterns at Mabel’s booth this weekend only.


“Our booth will be nothing but all these fun tea towels,” Nicole says. “You’re sure to find something for everyone.”


Nicole says Mabel’s products appeal to all kinds of people, from grandparents to drinking friends.


A great gift for the latter group? A beer bottle or wine glass-shaped cookie cutter. Other quirky cookie cutter options include a bikini top, baseball glove and hippo.




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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Get Outside: Hike the Yetman Trail

Posted By on Wed, Mar 15, 2017 at 10:30 AM

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I love going hiking on Sundays, but I also like sleeping in and slowly adjusting to civilization with a cup of coffee and a copy of the New York Times and our local daily. Sometimes brunch is involved and later a nap. If that goes into the late morning, it's hard to get to Sabino Canyon or anywhere that's going to take more than a couple of hours. That's why the Yetman Trail was the perfect pick two weeks ago, even on a day that was a big windy and overcast.

We packed a quick lunch and headed west on Speedway Boulevard and parked at the Camino de Oeste trailhead. Veer left on Speedway/Gates Pass Road fork, then make an immediate left onto Camino de Oeste. A narrow dirt road goes to a small parking area at the trailhead.

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The trail is named after David Yetman, host of KUAT's "The Desert Speaks," and an environmentalist who served three ter ms on the Pima County Board of Supervisors. Our goal this hike was to visit the stone house of the Bowen Ranch built in the 1930s by a typesetter-turned-newspaper-editor. I love the family's story and what remains of the house really does look like it is part of the   ills and desert that surround it—as if it's been there all along.

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It's an easy mile that I'm told was about 5.9 miles—part of Tucson Mountain Park's 62-mile trail system. Even if it's on the easy scale, it's still the desert, so bring plenty of water and wear good shoes.

The trail goes over washes and into some beautiful   aguaro-filled scenery. The Bowen House ruins are amazing and the perfect spots to have lunch. While we were there several families had the same idea, and I'm pretty got up too late for a larger hike. We did go up one of the peaks north of the house to get a look from above and see what was on the other side. 
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Not much, but still beautiful. The climb down, however, reminded me to bring that walking stick I keep in the car for such moments (but always seem to forget).

On the walk back, someone with extra Peeps decided to share them with the desert. Hope they got devoured. Get outside.

More info here.

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Monday, March 6, 2017

Learn How To Save the Bees

Posted By on Mon, Mar 6, 2017 at 2:30 PM

No, the buzzing you hear isn't the iPhone in your pocket. It's a honey bee—and the impact it has on pollinating the crops you eat is worth its slightly obnoxious presence.

The importance of bees to our ecosystems and to the development of food we eat is no secret, but the preservation of the insects gained an increase in support recently since six species of yellow-faced bees joined the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Endangered Species List. The Southern Arizona Work Space will be hosting a class, The Basics of Beekeeping, on Saturday, March 11 from 1-3 p.m. to teach people the craft of beekeeping or what to do if they find a swarm or hive in their own backyards. Admission is $20. As a sweet incentive, there will also be a honey tasting.

click image RVC OUTDOOR DESTINATIONS
  • RVC Outdoor Destinations
Beekeeping may be becoming a lost art—and an important one too. If anyone needs more convincing of why saving honey bees is important, check out these fun facts according to RVC Outdoor Destinations:

-Their tiny wings can flap up to 200 times a second, allowing them to buzz around up to 15 mph.

- Much like a last call might look like in a downtown club, communication takes form in a frantic "dance" called a "waggle."

- Bees can recognize a human face. So yes, they can actually see your terrified expression as you run away squealing.

If you still need encouragement to push aside your fears, just look up #savethebees on Twitter and read what much funnier people have to say about the issue.


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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Here’s Your Chance to Win Thousands of Dollars

Posted By on Thu, Feb 9, 2017 at 3:30 PM

You, after this weekend. - BIGSTOCK
  • BigStock
  • You, after this weekend.
Over a million fans have attended the Wheelmobile events. Here's what it looks like, can't miss it. - PRESS RELEASE FROM WHEEL OF FORTUNE MEDIA
  • Press Release from Wheel of Fortune Media
  • Over a million fans have attended the Wheelmobile events. Here's what it looks like, can't miss it.

Have you got game show ambitions? If you think you've got what it takes to be on Wheel of Fortune. Well, this is your chance because the Wheelmobile is rolling into Tucson and looking for contestants on their next show.

The Wheelmobile is the show’s promotional bus that travels from city to city in search of the most, high energy, fun and spunky contestants in America.

The event will take place on Saturday, Feb. 11 and Sunday, Feb. 12 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Casino Del Sol’s AVA Amphitheater. Gates to AVA will open at 10 a.m.

“We usually have about 1,000 to 3,000 people a day. All attendees are welcome to fill out an application which are then chosen at random from a raffle drum,” said Rachel Hartz of Wheel of Fortune media.

Once people are selected, they will come up on stage and do a speed round of the game. Hartz said it is not possible for everyone to be selected on stage but everyone who fills out an application can still become a contestant and can be contacted at a later date for an audition.

The majority of contestants who appear on the Wheel of fortune are chosen from these events in their hometowns. Since this began in 1999, the Wheelmobile have driven over 350,000 miles which has visited more than 300 cities.

If you or a family member is chosen and want to get the DVR ready, Wheel of Fortune airs weeknights at 6:30 p.m. on KGUN 9.

So don’t miss your opportunity to potentially wins thousands of dollars by visiting the Casino del Sol this weekend.

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Staff Pick

Jurassic Park

This pulse-pounding thrill-ride that made the whole world go dino-crazy scaring the living beejeesus out of moviegoers… More

@ Loft Cinema Fri., Oct. 20, 10-11:45 p.m. and Sat., Oct. 21, 10-11:45 p.m. 3233 E. Speedway Blvd.

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