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Showing posts from 2012

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Winter Wanderland: Arizona Snowbowl

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If you don't think of the words "Arizona" and "skiing" go in the same sentence in any scenario than a typo, you're probably not alone.  But, for being a desert state, Arizona has pretty decent skiing (it's no Colorado, but far better than the West Virginia slopes I grew up with). 
Snowbowl in Flagstaff has the best combination of accessibility from Phoenix and good skiing.  It is abour 2.5 hours from Phoenix and there are signs to follow through Flagstaff to ensure you follow the right turns.  It is close enough that a day, or even afternoon, ski trip is not at all unreasonable.  In fact, I recently took a day off, left my apartment around 9:00, stopped for an early lunch, and started skiing at around 12:30 at the discounted half-day rate.  Afterward, I grabbed a quick bite to eat in Flag and made it back down to Phoenix in time to meet my friends for a late happy hour. Navigate here - 9300 N. Snowbowl Rd, Flagstaff AZ 86001  
When you venture off the beg…

Biking Papago Park

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Papago is a convenient spot for an after-work ride and an easy spot for a beginner ride. It's trails are neither technical nor overly strenuous, though it is possible to seek out some areas of greater difficulty if you want to test your newly acquired skill and confidence. If you are in South Scottsdale, the Mill Ave area, or southeast Phoenix, the park is quickly accessible by car, or simply by biking the canal running down 64th Street. Park off Galvin Parkway on either the west side, or on the east side at the entrance to the Phoenix Zoo. There is also parking on McDowell road as it crests the hill, but this area is limited and is only accessible to eastbound traffic.
The park extends on both sides of Galvin Parkway and is filled with a web of trails. There is no shortage of places to ride, however the ride can become boring as a significant amount of time is spent making arbitrary turns down different trails that run through the same general area. What the area lacks in size and…

Sedona hike: Little Horse Trail

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Little Horse Trail is a convenient hike with its trail head just past the Village of Oak Creek (the first town you pass if you are coming from the I-17).  The hike is fairly easy, with gradual elevation change and solid footing throughout.  For such an obviously located hike, the parking lot was almost empty and the trail was desolate when I hiked on a Wednesday; weekends will probably see a significant increase in traffic, though people may bypass this hike opting for the Chapel of the Holy Cross just up the street or the impression that they need to be more remote for a rewarding hike.

 Contrary to any notion that you have to go out of your way for a rewarding experience, this hike culminates with of the more beautiful views I have seen in Sedona, but has only a few enjoyable views and photo opportunities on the way due to the trail being flat and shrouded by trees.  The hike is easy enough for even novices and would be a great choice for a family or romantic picnic, or even just …

Day Trips: Jerome and Sedona

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My friends and I have always said that the best part of living in Phoenix is that it is a great place to leave.  There are so many diverse destinations within a few hours drive that Phoenix is an ideal jumping-off point.  Jerome and Sedona are two unique stops within two hours if you take the interstate or about three and a half if you take the scenic route.  If you are unfamiliar with either town, they are each emblematic of the southwest.

A weekend in the city, of Denver

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Denver is a great weekend getaway from Phoenix.  Flights are cheap and direct on Southwest and Frontier, and short enough that leaving early on Saturday and returning late on Sunday gives you most of the weekend to enjoy Denver and the surrounding areas.  This time of year is great for a weekend ski trip, and if you follow Groupon, LivingSocial, and any of the variety of other deal sites ski weekends including lodging and lift tickets are frequently posted making the trip that much more affordable.  Also, ahead of time start checking the Groupon and LivingSocial deals within Denver for additional excursion ideas, or just cheaper meals when you arrive.
I cannot stress enough how much you must visit one of the several Lucile's locations for literally the best breakfast of sausage gravy I have ever had - the "Carlin County."  Lucile's alone is worth a trip to Denver, and that's why I am mentioning it alone in this disjointed paragraph. The Denver location has a pati…

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