Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Things to do Out West in Arizona

Coming up is the Arizona Centennial Celebration and it has already started in some places. It is officially the Fourteenth of February Twenty-Twelve. Prescott, Arizona, is where it all began and it is still a lively place to visit and have a centennial good time.

If that doesn't appeal to you, try stomping grapes with your bare feet on the last weekend in July in Sonoita in southeastern Arizona. With all the wine-tasting and what-have-you it'll be a rip-roaring toot.

To listen to some soothing music try the Sedona Jazz on the Rocks festival, held every damn year. Next year's event will be announced sometime next May. Sedona recieved an inch of snow this week, but it will all be melted off by the next festival. Cool listening among the rocky vortexes.

And for all the old birds who have spent a lifetime wishing they lived in Arizona, its the Annual Buzzard Days, almost like the swallows returning to Capistrano, except the turkey buzzards are uglier than a 20-day drunken blackout. We all gather at the Boyce Arboretum on the road to Globe from Apache Junction to watch their arrival in March, and we do practically the same thing when they leave in September. What a hoot!

For the horse-watchers, bull-watchers, goat-riders, and calf-wrestlers there is the Payson Rodeo, one of the oldest in the West having been held for 127 years coming again the third weekend in August.  The broken-bone fiesta! Yahoo!

After that we can set out on the old Salsa Trail, eating our way through the towns of Safford, Pima, Thatcher, Solomon, Clifton, Duncan, Wilcox, and York. York?? Did the Duke of York ever visit the little town of York? Or is it named after NEW York? It might be, since I haven't heard of an OLD York. Or is that the sound you make after finishing the Salsa Trail? I sure hope not, cause I love the salsa, hot salsa, cold salsa, intermediate salsa-consuming training, you name it, it's the best covering sauce around.

If you survive that, you must visit the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show and see all the rocks for sale. These aren't the throwing kind, but if you haggle too long over the price you might get hit with one. Rates high in the rock world for something to do in the middle of winter and it's practically summer in February in Tucson.

If that isn't enough, there's always the peach-pit spitting contest in Queen Creek in May, the ostrich festival in Chandler in March, the Prescott Bluegrass Festival in June, and the exciting sport of the Blooms at Picacho Peak in the spring as they make their thunderous noise opening up in a display of a million colors and hues beginning in March and ending in May. What a cracking display!

And that's just for starters! Next post we'll have some more wonderful things to do! Maybe.

(Thanks to the AAA Travel Magazine, Highroads, Nov-Dec 2011 ed.)


  1. Lana and I certainly enjoyed our trip through Arizona this last summer

  2. Glad to hear it, Charles. There is always something going on for entertainment even in the hot weather.

  3. I'd just love be there for the broken-bone fiesta. Only as a spectator, of course. Thanks Oscar.

  4. Valance, the rodeo in Prescott is another good one. It has been in business about the same length of time.

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