Arizona

Mules have transported visitors from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon down the rugged Bright Angel Trail for over a century. “There’s been no fatalities on mule-back and we’d like to keep it that way,” the tough-talking guide announces as you saddle up for the journey. You’ll be coached on how to keep your animal companion at just the right distance from other riders in the group as you bump along steep slopes, skinny rock passageways, and the suspension bridge over the Colorado River. It’s a 5.5-hour trip to Phantom Ranch (with several rest stops along the way), and once at the base you’ll be met with a series of cabins with bunkbeds and hot showers. Dinner is stew or steak served family-style ’round the picnic table, but make sure you get some rest. Tomorrow you’ll be steering your mule out of the canyon upwards.

 

Culture/Heritage

New Exhibit Honors and Synthesizes 30 Years of Archaeological Research

A new exhibit set to open on December 9 at Arizona State Museum (ASM) will honor and synthesize more than 30 years of archaeological research conducted by the Homol’ovi Research Program (HRP), and the career of the program’s director, Dr. E. Charles Adams. Life Along the River: Ancestral Hopi at Homol’ovi will tell the story of the people who lived in seven villages along the Little Colorado River near Winslow, Arizona in the 1300s, and, through artifacts, maps, and the voices of present-day Hopi, share how collaborative, multidisciplinary research with descendant communities can increase our understanding of the past and enhance the interpretation of archaeological resources.  HRP’s director, Dr. E. Charles Adams, will be retiring at the end of the year—wrapping up 32 years at ASM and 48 years as a professional archaeologist. The research he has directed has revealed a timeline for life at Homol’ovi, the relationships among the area’s inhabitants, and the importance of the river in their lifeways. The public opening on December 9 includes many festivities: gallery tours, pottery and piiki demonstrations, musical performances, talks and hands-on activities.

Adventure

A roaring good time opens in Scottsdale

Pangaea Land of the Dinosaurs opens in December 2017 as part of the $200 million OdySea in the Desert complex in the Talking Stick Entertainment District. The new $3 million exhibit combines the thrills of a dinosaur era-themed concept with educational elements to allow families to learn more about these mysterious creatures. The attraction offers more than 50 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs that roam through the facility as well as interactive activities such as fossil excavations, sluicing – which allows to children to pan for dinosaur fossils to bring the prehistoric world to life. Guests can come face-to-face with some of the most terrifying and fascinating creatures to ever walk the Earth with virtual reality experiences, and take a ride through lifelike habitats with stationary and walking dinosaur rides.

Accolades

Bisbee named in Frommer’s Best Places to Go in 2018

The tiny town tucked away in Cochise County’s Mule Mountains and just a handful of miles away from the border of Mexico has been recognized by the editors of Frommer’s as one of the “Best Places to Go in 2018.” Each year, Frommer’s confers with its writers and editors from around the world to ask which places should be named as a top destination of the year. This year Bisbee is featured with only 18 other destinations throughout the world. “We chose Bisbee because it’s one of the most interesting small towns in the American West. It has a rich mining history that epitomizes the Old West, and in some ways it can feel like time stopped there, yet that comes with a creative community that’s vibrant and modern. Its location in the Mule Mountains means its temperatures are usually comfortable year-round, and the ecosystems in the surrounding canyons are surprisingly diverse. We think Bisbee is unique enough to deserve recognition from a worldwide audience.”–Pauline Frommer, President of FrommerMedia