Travel

One’s destination is never a place, but always a new way of seeing things.

— Henry Miller

Travel with like-minded, lifelong explorers and spend just a day or an entire week discovering amazing things about the world around us. Whether it is a “behind-the-scenes” visit to an artist’s studio, a hike through a southern Arizona riparian habitat in search of elusive warblers, a journey through history following the trail of Spanish missionaries or an in-depth cultural immersion in lands beyond our own, join us and engage the world, you never know what you will find!


Sandhill Snowbirds #1 | SOLD OUT | call 742-6455 x 228 to be wait listed

Thursday | January 23 | 7:30am-5pm

No one ever forgets their first sight, nor sound, of quite literally thousands of Sandhill Cranes filling the wide-open skies above Sulphur Springs Valley. These majestic birds fly with their long necks and legs fully extended, chorusing a wild-sounding guttural bugle in flight. The Cranes are winter visitors to the area, “snowbirds” if you will, and gather to feed on corn stubble and other grain waste. On this daylong birding trip with guide Lynn Hassler, we visit Whitewater Draw to meet Cranes coming back from early morning feeding forays, and to check out the local waterfowl. Sulphur Springs is also a good spot for wintering raptors. Cost of the trip includes transportation, guide services and boxed lunch.


Sandhill Snowbirds #2 | SOLD OUT | call 742-6455 x 228 to be wait listed

Thursday | January 30 | 7:30am-5pm | $99 members | $120 general public

No one ever forgets their first sight, nor sound, of quite literally thousands of Sandhill Cranes filling the wide-open skies above Sulphur Springs Valley. These majestic birds fly with their long necks and legs fully extended, chorusing a wild-sounding guttural bugle in flight. The Cranes are winter visitors to the area, “snowbirds” if you will, and gather to feed on corn stubble and other grain waste. On this daylong birding trip with guide Lynn Hassler, we visit Whitewater Draw to meet Cranes coming back from early morning feeding forays, and to check out the local waterfowl. Sulphur Springs is also a good spot for wintering raptors. Cost of the trip includes transportation, guide services and boxed lunch.


Annual Heard Guild Indian Fair and Market | SOLD OUT | call 742-6455 x 228 to be wait listed

Sunday | March 8 | 8am-5pm | $75 members | $85 general public

Known as the world’s preeminent museum for the presentation, interpretation and advancement of American Indian art, the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market is a world-acclaimed cultural event that draws 15,000 visitors and nearly 600 of the nation’s most outstanding and successful American Indian artists. In booths throughout the grounds of the Museum, you will have the opportunity to meet both established traditional and contemporary artists, as well as cutting-edge younger artists selling their works alongside their relatives. Curator of Exhibitions James Schaub and Director of Education Jo Falls will be along to help navigate the array of vendors, explain things like technique, design and materials and answer your questions. Cost includes transportation and Market admission. Lunch can be enjoyed on your own at any number of food booths or in the restaurants on the Museum grounds. If you have always wanted to attend but the drive to Phoenix and the parking challenge seemed just too daunting, park the car at Tohono Chul and leave the driving AND the parking to us!


North to the Wildflowers #1

Tuesday | March 10 | 7:30am-6pm | $115 members | $135 general public

The winter rains have been generous this year and that means we can expect a generous wildflower bloom in turn! Lately, when flowering looked promising, we’ve headed south and west; this year, we’re going north and east along the Pinal Pioneer Highway to Lost Dutchman State Park at the edge of the Superstition Mountains, returning through Superior, Globe and Oracle. Best bets are for Mexican gold poppies, brittlebush, globe mallow (in pink, lavender and white), lupine and a variety of less showy blooms like blue dicks, desert chicory and pygmy daisy. We’ll have expert assistance in flower identification from our resident wildflower guru, Lynn Hassler and, hopefully, a surprise guest! Cost includes transportation, picnic lunch, admission fees and guide services.


North to the Wildflowers #2

Tuesday | March 17 | 7:30am-6pm | $115 members | $135 general public

The winter rains have been generous this year and that means we can expect a generous wildflower bloom in turn! Lately, when flowering looked promising, we’ve headed south and west; this year, we’re going north and east along the Pinal Pioneer Highway to Lost Dutchman State Park at the edge of the Superstition Mountains, returning through Superior, Globe and Oracle. Best bets are for Mexican gold poppies, brittlebush, globe mallow (in pink, lavender and white), lupine and a variety of less showy blooms like blue dicks, desert chicory and pygmy daisy. We’ll have expert assistance in flower identification from our resident wildflower guru, Lynn Hassler and, hopefully, a surprise guest! Cost includes transportation, picnic lunch, admission fees and guide services.


Mt. Lemmon SkyNights | SOLD OUT | call 742-6455 x 228 to be wait listed

Thursday | April 2 | 3pm-11pm | $130 members | $145 general public

Star-gazing is a popular pastime among Tucsonans because of our clear and open skies. Our night sky programs have been popular with members since the early 1990s and we are pleased to once again offer a truly cosmic experience at over 9,000 feet at the Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, home of the state’s largest public access telescopes! Celestial wonders like star clusters and distant galaxies that have fascinated humanity since the dawn of time are waiting to be explored. Learn about sunset points and star charts and view the heavens through the SkyCenter’s 32-inch Schulman telescope. Cost includes transportation, guide services and a boxed supper.


Verde Valley in the Spring | SOLD OUT | call 742-6455 x 228 to be wait listed

April 7-9, 2020 | $785 members per person/double occupancy | $145 single supplement

It’s spring in the Verde Valley of central Arizona and our thoughts turn to the scenic beauty of lush landscapes fed by the Verde River, the flashing colors of migrating song birds, the company of the ancient Sinagua people who once lived here, and, of course, the lure of the valley’s wine trail. Join Lynn Hassler, birder extraordinaire, and Jo Falls, Director of Education and come exploring. We’ve packed a lot into this three-day trip and think we have something for everyone – from birding Tavasci Marsh for waterbirds as well as river otter and beaver, to wine tastings at some of Arizona’s finest vineyards. We will be staying at the Cliff Castle Casino Hotel and dining in up and coming farm-to-table restaurants. The highlight? A first-class afternoon on the vintage Verde Canyon Railroad, a wilderness excursion that follows the curves of the Verde River through a rock canyon of lush greenery, abundant wildlife and ancient ruins. Nesting Common Black-hawks are a specialty here. Cost includes motorcoach transportation, hotel accommodations, all meals, admission fees, tastings, train ride and guide services.


The Sheep in the Rug: Following the Navajo Weaving Trail

April 29-May 3 | $1625 members per person/double occupancy ($325 single supplement) | $500 deposit

In the long ago, Spider Boy gave the first loom to the Diné (Navajo) — its frame came from the sun, the rain provided the vertical warp, and the horizontal weft was made of lightning — and Spider Woman taught the people to weave.

Anthropologically speaking, the Diné likely learned weaving from Puebloan peoples they encountered when they moved into the Four Corners region more than a millennia ago. Prior to the arrival of the Spanish, weaving was of cotton and produced for utilitarian purposes. From the late 17th century onwards, the Diné began raising sheep and weaving with wool. Textile designs were simple and were produced using the natural color of the wool or with dyes derived from native plants. With the arrival of the railroads in the late 1800s, weaving took on a commercial aspect and rugs rather than blankets were produced often using aniline dyes.

Come and explore the fascinating story of Diné weaving as we follow the trail of trading post merchants like Cotton, Moore and Hubbell who brought the influence of the orient to the Southwest and introduced the world to these amazing textiles. Our guide is second-generation Indian art dealer, scholar and author, Mark Bahti. His knowledge and expertise is unsurpassed and provides unique insights into the lives and work of native craftspeople. His thoughtful collections are showcased in his Tucson and Santa Fe galleries. Our host is Stephen Bernier of South of the Border Tours, a leader in travel to the Southwest and Mexico.

Travelling from Shonto to Teec Nos Pos to Ganado we’ll visit with weavers from throughout the Navajo Nation, experiencing their process, sharing their knowledge and learning their stories. We’ve planned a special day with master weaver Roy Kady, time to discover the actual “sheep in the rug” – the Spanish Churro. From shearing to spinning to dyeing with native plants, we’ll get our hands into everything. There’s a stop at Diné College to get a peek at their weaving programs designed to teach younger generations the process of their ancestors, an al fresco breakfast at Spider Rock, a tour of historic Hubbell Trading Post and, of course, the semi-annual Friends of Hubbell Native American Arts Auction in Gallup! This is indeed a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience a well-curated, experiential journey into another culture, the weaving world of the Diné. Cost includes motorcoach transportation, accommodations, all meals (except for lunch at the auction), admission fees and guide services.