The Southwest

Carlsbad Caverns

Posted by Bob Hoelscher in The Southwest on February 01, 2012

 
 

In January, I decided to visit some of the lesser-known, but truly outstanding national parks in the Southwest. One of these is the world-famous Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, via a scenic seven-mile spur road from U.S. 62/180 at White’s City. By far, the most popular tour here for group visitors is the self-guided route…

 

Sedona and beyond

Posted by Bob Hoelscher in The Southwest on April 12, 2011

 
 

Sedona itself is famous for its incredible red rock monoliths, buttes, luxurious resorts and New Age enthusiasts. However, it also has much more to offer visiting groups, including four-wheel drive (Jeep) trips into the awe-inspiring high country, and exploring the town aboard the Sedona Trolley. The latter includes a stop at the inspiring Chapel of…

 

It’s a grand old canyon

Posted by Bob Hoelscher in The Southwest on April 08, 2011

 
 

Grand Canyon at Mather Point Although not convenient for “hub & spoke” touring, I’d be remiss if I did not also mention that group accommodations during the springtime are also easy to come by in Grand Canyon Village, within walking distance of the canyon’s magnificent South Rim. Both the Yavapai and Maswik Lodges offer clean,…

 

Arizona adventures

Posted by Bob Hoelscher in The Southwest on April 07, 2011

 
 

Recently on this site I have been touting some of the benefits of planning a trip to Phoenix and the “Valley of the Sun,” including last month’s coverage of the Cactus League spring training baseball season. However, I surely wouldn’t want to suggest visiting Arizona in the springtime without also including some time in the…

 
 

Reds at Indians, Goodyear A beautiful day for a baseball game If you haven’t already done so, group leaders who live within the marketing area of each of the teams represented in the Cactus League should definitely consider planning a spring trip here during the next few years. Please keep in mind that you’ll not…

 
 

My parents first took me to a St. Louis Cardinals game at old Sportsman’s Park way back in 1957, and I’ve been hooked on the sport ever since. So as a longtime, devoted fan, I’ll be staying for the first two weeks of the Cactus League season before heading on down the road. During that…

 
 

As reported last month, I’m spending most of the winter enjoying the glorious winter Arizona weather of Phoenix and the “Valley of the Sun.” In addition to the many other things that attract countless “snowbirds” and other vacationers to the area, Cactus League Spring Training Baseball is a major draw for fans of America’s pastime….

 

Desert architecture

Posted by Bob Hoelscher in The Southwest on February 04, 2011

 
 

Taliesin West, acclaimed as one of the finest works of Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the 20th century’s greatest architects, is a National Historic Landmark situated on 550 acres of Sonoran desert.  Begun in 1937, the sprawling complex began life as Wright’s “desert camp,” eventually becoming his winter home, studio, and the international headquarters of…

 

A must-hear museum

Posted by Bob Hoelscher in The Southwest on February 02, 2011

 
 

Having already had more than enough snow to last me a lifetime, I decided to take advantage of my newly acquired condition of being (semi-) retired and spend the winter in Phoenix and the surrounding “Valley of the Sun.”  Considering the wrath which Mother Nature directed at most of the rest of the country in…

 

Pecos National Historic Park

Posted by Bob Hoelscher in The Southwest on January 13, 2011

 
 

My final park visit on this trip was at Pecos National Historical Park, east of Santa Fe. Pecos was the site of one of the Southwest’s largest ancestral Puebloan civilizations, with a dramatic five-story pueblo and some 2,000 inhabitants at its peak around 1450.  Originally settled around 1100 A.D. and finally abandoned in 1838, the…