September 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, a landmark law that helped protect some of America’s last great wild country and created 90 protected wilderness areas in Arizona. Now, you can help protect the state’s wilderness areas, too. With each new Arizona Highways subscription purchased using promo code M3WILDC, we’ll donate $5 to the Arizona Wilderness Coalition. To subscribe, visit http://www.arizonahighways.com.
Category Archives: Loco for Local
Directions from Tucson: Directions: From Tucson, go west on Ajo Way (State Route 86) for 15 miles to State Route 286. Turn left (south) on SR 286 and continue 38 miles to the refuge entrance, which is near Milepost 7.5.
For more information, call 520-823-4251, Ext. 116, or visit www.fws.gov/refuge/buenos_aires/.
The closure of U.S. Route 89 south of Page has cut that town’s most direct link to the rest of the state, forcing visitors to take a 45-mile detour to reach the picturesque southern bank of Lake Powell. The closure has had a profound effect on Page businesses, many of which rely on tourism. Korey Seyler works at Colorado River Discovery, a river-rafting company. Seyler spoke with Arizona Highways about how his business and the town are coping with the closure.
If you’re looking for a great way to get out of the heat, head up to Page and raft Glen Canyon — or visit the town’s other businesses, which could really use your help right now. For more information on Colorado River Discovery, call 888-522-6644 or visit http://www.raftthecanyon.com.
Tell us about Colorado River Discovery.
We offer full-day and half-day trips on the Colorado River through Glen Canyon. This area is incredibly scenic and beautiful, and it allows people to get on the river and see the canyon from a different perspective. We’ve been in business since 2007, and our owners have more than 70 combined years of experience on the river.
How has the closure affected your business, and what are you doing to mitigate those effects?
It’s had a large effect, not only from an operations standpoint but also in inconvenience to our guests. We used to take people down to Lee’s Ferry and bus them back to Page. Now, with the closure, the road trip from Lee’s Ferry back to Page takes three hours.
To avoid that much of a trip back, we now take rafters back upstream, through Horseshoe Bend. That allows people to experience Glen Canyon Dam, the petroglyphs and some of the other great views along the route. Unfortunately, we’ve also had quite a few cancellations because of the additional 45 minutes it takes to get up here.
Are other businesses in Page hurting?
Everyone is taking a hit. Page has seen tourism increases of 8 percent to 10 percent per year in recent years, and I would estimate this year has been about a 10 percent decline from last year.
Are you hearing a lot of complaints about the detour?
The biggest problem that we’ve seen with the detour is the use of technology to try to get here. Some people are blindly following their GPS or cellphones to try to get to Page, and they miss the detour. Then, once they reach the closure, it’s an even longer drive to Page because they have to double back.
What should people who haven’t visited Page know about the town?
I’ve been here for seven years now, but Page has been a hidden gem for a long time. There are an incredible number of activities here — Lake Powell, the Colorado River and the slot canyons, to name a few. Probably the most important of all of those is that Page is right in the middle of a “grand circle” of national parks — Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Mesa Verde and so on. You can use Page as a “hub” and be able to get to all those national parks fairly quickly.
The temporary route [Indian Route 20] will be open soon, and that will eliminate the extra drive time. The extra 45 minutes it takes to get here is worth it to be able to spend a night in Page. If you spend two days here, you’re going to see some incredible things.
For the latest updates on the status of U.S. 89, visit www.azdot.gov/US89.
On February 20, a 150-foot stretch of U.S. Route 89 was significantly damaged by a landslide. As a result, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) was forced to temporarily close the road. Despite the closure, we want to remind everyone that Page and Lake Powell are open for business. In fact, the local businesses there need your help.
“With the busy tourism season coming up, there are a lot of people concerned in Page and the Lake Powell area with how this closure is going to impact their businesses,” says ADOT spokesman Dustin Krugel.
It’s also important to note that U.S. Route 89A is not affected by the closure. So if you’re heading to the Grand Canyon’s North Rim (when it opens for the season in mid-May), Fredonia, Lees Ferry or Marble Canyon, the detour won’t impact your drive.
So, as you start planning your summer vacations, don’t forget about booking that trip up north. Yes, the route you’re used to taking is closed, but the 45-mile detour is an incredibly spectacular drive.
For the latest on U.S. 89, visit azdot.gov/US89.
If anyone knows anything about Arizona’s music history, it’s John Dixon. Since the early 1960s, Dixon has acquired an impressive collection of records, CDs and cassettes of Arizona-made music… no wonder people call him the state’s “unofficial music historian.” Dixon says his archive (which isn’t limited to just music made by Arizonans) started as a hobby when he was a DJ at sock hops. Over time, the collection grew, and grew and grew — and now it fills a room in his house, as well as a building in his backyard and an off-property storage unit.
Though you might not know it, out of all that music, Dixon says Arizona’s biggest contribution to the music world is the twang. According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Website, the twang is “a reverberating, bass-heavy guitar sound boasted by primitive studio wizardry.” As for those studio wizards who created the twang in Phoenix nearly 60 years ago, they were none other than producer, Lee Hazlewood, and guitarist, Duane Eddy. With barely a budget to speak of, they developed unconventional musical methods to get the sounds they wanted.
“[The] twang came to represent the sound of revved-up hot rods and an echo of the Wild West on the frontier of rock and roll,” according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Website. The sound is most famously heard in Duane Eddy’s hit song “Rebel Rouser,” which inspired a young generation to dabble in rock and roll.
“There was really nothing like it before,” Dixon adds.
Dixon also tips his hat to Alice Cooper, Linda Ronstadt and Stevie Nicks for putting Arizona on the map. But it’s a little-known musician named Billie Maxwell, a cowgirl from a farming family, who stole his heart.
“They were real down to earth working people who were making music because there was not much to do in those days,” Dixon says. Maxwell laid down the tracks for her first album in 1929, making her the first Arizonan to record music. She’s also hailed as the first cowgirl singer — at least by those who know who she is.
Fortunately, because of Dixon’s affinity for the singer, some of Maxwell’s records are on display at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. Other items from Dixon’s collection that are on display at MIM, include Duane Eddy and Linda Ronstadt album covers.
“Slowly but surely, some of this stuff is getting out as an educational thing,” Dixon says. “Hopefully, someday, somebody will march in and buy this archive and I’ll still be around to put it together.”
Until the collection gets a more official home, Dixon is happy it’s at least in one place — even if it’s his backyard.
—By Kayla Frost
It’s that time of year and Local First Arizona is hosting its 8th Annual Certified Local Fall Festival… no doubt, this fest will be better than ever. With plenty to see, do, eat and drink at this family-friendly event, don’t forget to get a jump start on your holiday shopping (you’ll be supporting a grateful local community).
Besides a new venue — on Portland Street between Third and Central Avenues — the following local businesses will be on-hand, waiting for you to stop by and say hello: Hubbard Family Swim School, Community Tire, Salvador Calvano Hair Salon, Practical Art, Greener House Today, Strawberry Hedgehog, Scottsdale Cat Clinic, Furniture Affair, Desert Song Yoga and Massage Center, The Pool Tile King, Del Sol Furniture.
As for food, think: Souvia Tea, Postino, Windsor/Churn, Urban Cookies, Luncha Libre food truck and Pizza People food truck. Yum. Good stuff. You should definitely GO… Oh, did we mention: it’s FREE.
The dets: http://www.localfirstaz.com; 602.956.0909
Below, Local First Director Kimber Lanning talks about why you should hang out with the Local First crew this Saturday:
This is your 8th year… how have things evolved over the past several years?
We have grown, grown, Grown! We’re so much more now: We have more food, more shops, more fun stuff for kids! We have always had something for everyone, but now it’s just amazing. From Frances Boutique, Samurai Comics and Noble Beast pet store to Kidstop Toystore and restaurants, including Postino, Parlor, St Francis and more.
What can visitors to the festival expect?
They can expect green grass, sunshine, live music from the Valley’s best musicians, a large beer and wine garden, 12 of the Valley’s best restaurants and lots of kids activities like a rock climbing wall, a bounce house, craft booth and face painting, plus the Diamondbacks are going to have a T-Ball cage out there. Food tickets are just $1, and admission to the beer and wine garden, where you can sample dozens of Arizona-made beverages are just $10!
This event is very community-oriented. Talk to me about the importance of nurturing our community — after all, we live in a city that is pretty spread out.
Yes, the heart of this festival is in the messaging: This is a day to celebrate Arizona! When you see how many AMAZING stores and restaurants we really have, it’s impressive.
Let’s talk buying local. Why is it so important to our local economy?
Choosing to support locally-owned businesses keeps more money right here at home, recirculating and creating additional revenue for things like parks, libraries and fire departments. In addition, people who choose to buy goods from Arizona-based companies feel like they’re part of the community and are more apt to create a place that everyone feels proud to call home.
What are you excited about this year?
I am excited about the new location! There are so many trees and a wide open green space. We’re also anxious to see how many people choose to ride the light rail down — it’s literally a few feet away from the festival. Also, our expanded beer and wine garden will really WOW people, and we have great new kids activities lined up, too. We were voted “Best Free Festival” last year and I think this year is really going to be something to see! You won’t want to miss this event.