Hot Town Hikes: Tom's Thumb

Each edition of Hot Town Hikes will highlight one of the great trails in the city that is a convenient location and distance to get in a quick workout or nature walk along your commute.

A year or so ago one of Backpacker Magazine's local correspondents wrote about how Tom's Thumb is one of the best after work hikes in the valley.  It's not a very conveniently located hike so for that reason I don't think of it as a great after work hike for anyone who doesn't live in or commute past North Scottsdale.  But what it lacks in actual convenience it makes up for in its strategic advantage of being out of direct sunlight by evening.

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Separation Anxiety: What to Do When You Must Travel Without Your Pet

Do you fret when you need to leave your pet overnight with someone else? We often talk about our pets having separation anxiety when it comes to us leaving them home alone, but when a furry companion is part of the family, it can be just as stressful for owners to travel without their pets. Here is sound advice for selecting someone to care for your pet responsibly and lovingly. 
Selecting a Sitter
There are numerous high-quality pet sitters and boarding services available these days, but securing the right person to tend to your beloved animal isn’t always easy. If you don’t have an appropriate friend or family member to leave your pet with, there are other good options. You can go through online services that connect you with people, and there are even pet sitters who have specialized credentials such as the training in companion animal first-aid. There are some people who think pet sitting is easy, but experienced sitters are worth securing and will often offer a written contract fo…

Havasupai Falls Update: 2019 fees and procedure

Reservations for the 2019 Havasupai Falls hiking seasons open on February 1 at 8:00AM Arizona time.  At some time in the past few days the Tribe posted fee information for the 2019 season and there are some MAJOR changes.

GTFO's Best of 2018 in Photos

When I recall 2018 it feels like it was a slow year for excitement.  But when I reviewed my photos from the year I recalled how much was actually packed in:  everything from a return to Havasupai Falls, to another Grand Canyon hike, to a trip to Zion, to a week-long elk hunt in Flagstaff.  Here are the photos that showcase some my favorite adventures, excursions, meals and views from the year

The Best of Christmas in Arizona

It's hard to imagine the desert being Cbristmasy, but Arizona knows how to enjoy the season.  Whether you're in Phoenix enjoying Zoolights in 60 degree temperatures, or in Flagstaff enjoying a true winter wonderland, there's a little something for everyone. 

A Guide to Budget Traveling for Seniors

A GTFO guest post by Sharon Wagner on budget traveling for Seniors.
One of the best things about retirement is the freedom it provides. Now that you are free of a regular work schedule, you have more time to do the things you have always wanted to do.  One of the most popular activities for newly retired seniors is to travel the world. However, travel can be expensive if you do not plan in advance. The expenses of hotels, meals, and transportation gradually stack up, particularly when combined with things such as an operational cell phone. Here are some ways seniors can travel the world without spending too much money.
Before You Leave
Believe it or not, there are ways you can cut costs before you set foot outside your home. Although you won’t reap the rewards right away, you can save money on utility bills by unplugging appliances, turning off video game consoles and computers, and turning down your thermostat. It’s also a good idea to avoid buying a lot of groceries before you leave; c…

2018 GTFO Gift Gear Guide

The 2018 GTFO gift gear guide!  The best items I can think of for you to buy for the traveler, hiker, biker, backpacker, hunter, fisher, camper, or person who likes things that I list!  (sorry that this list tends towards guy's items...I don't have a female gear editor to contribute).  Will be regularly updated as I think of more awesome gifts.


Kindle Paperwhite.  You might think this an odd choice, but having the ability to read any of thousands of stored books in a waterproof, 6oz container, is a real treat for backpacking and camping.  While many speak of "backpacker's midnight" to denote the fact that you tend to sleep earlier in the backcountry, chances are solid that you'll still spend hours at camp awake, even on a backpacking trip.  Having something to read is a great way to enjoy your time.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - the latest in the incredible Garmin Fenix series has a rare discount, currently $150 off any model, including the 5x plus that in…

7E Chronicles: Looking back on the hunt

Last month I went on my first elk hunt, looking for bull elk in the Kachina Peaks Wilderness Area outside of Flagstaff, Arizona.  It was an amazing experience that didn't go as anticipated from the day I got drawn.  And even though I didn't punch my tag it was still one of the best hunts I've ever been on.

After living in Arizona for 13 years I finally put in for elk this year, expecting nothing more than earning a preference point.  Two weeks after the draw a coworker asked if I was pulled, but I was so resigned to the notion that it was a preference point year that I hadn't even checked.  Sure enough...I drew a tag! For bull elk!!  I was happier than a kid on Christmas morning and immediately shifted into planning and preparation mode.

I put in for the Peaks Hunt Area because I've hiked there and knew that I could manage a solo hunt if I defied odds and was drawn.  But I'd never hiked it with the intent to hunt, so my first plan was to spend 1-2 weekends a m…

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