things to do
Things To Do
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Things To Do
June, 2013, Page 116
Photo courtesy ARAMARK Parks and Destinations
Wilderness River Adventures trip in Cataract Canyon, Utah
Yoga in Utah
May 30-June 3
Pretzeling your body into the Bird of Paradise or back-bending Little Thunderbolt is a deeply spiritual experience, but just imagine the high you’ll achieve doing the Downward-Facing Dog overlooking Anasazi ruins in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park. Seven-year veteran Alex Smith has taught yoga in the most unusual of places, from surfing beaches to craggy mountains. This summer, with Wilderness River Adventures, Smith will take practitioners on a rollicking ride through Cataract Canyon, a 46-mile-long gorge that plunges into Lake Powell. Smith’s calming poses, taught on breaks during the five-day adventure, might help you weather the intensity of Class 4 rapids. $990 per person. The company also offers numerous other trips in Cataract Canyon and Grand Canyon throughout summer. 800-992-8022,
Galaxy Gaze at Grand Canyon
Ancient Egyptians used celestial calendars to track the flooding of the Nile and aligned their pyramids at Giza with Orion’s belt. Though modern culture is more attuned to Hollywood superstars than astral objects, more than a hundred amateur astronomers from Tucson Amateur Astronomy Club, Saguaro Astronomy Club of Phoenix and other stargazing groups are expected at this year’s free Grand Canyon Star Party on the North and South rims. View Saturn through a telescope or learn to spot star clusters with the naked eye on guided tours (9, 9:30 and 10 p.m.) on the South Rim. Most stargazers pack up around 11 p.m., but diehards are welcome to stay until Egyptian sun god Ra appears at dawn.
Photo courtesy Colorado Shakespeare Festival
Colorado Shakespeare Festival
To Be or Not to Be in Boulder
June 8-August 11
In William Shakespeare’s day, plays were performed on outdoor stages beneath the stars – a great way to ensure adequate lighting in an age when electricity wasn’t even a twinkle in Ben Franklin’s great-grandfather’s eye. So the tree-shaded courtyard of UC Boulder’s Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre is an appropriately atavistic setting for the Bard’s eternal works. Founded in 1958, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival presents shows year-round, with a special summer season incorporating Will’s most beloved classics. The Rippon will be transformed into an enchanted realm of fairies and mischievous satyrs for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, June 8-August 11, with the murderous mayhem of Macbeth opening on June 29. Productions inside the University Theatre include the hysterical spoof The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) and Women of Will: An Overview, Tina Packer and Nigel Gore’s side-splitting examination of Shakespeare’s feminine side. The University of Colorado – Boulder, 2055 Regent Dr., Boulder, 303-492-8008,
Take the Tequila Train to Jerome
Legend has it that Arizona Biltmore bartender Gene Sulit invented the Tequila Sunrise cocktail in the 1930s, but no one seems to know the origin of its brandy-infused cousin, the Tequila Sunset. No doubt the drink will be popular aboard the Verde Canyon Railroad’s Tequila Sunset Limited, a four-hour train trek through the scenic wilderness of Verde Canyon. Offered as an upgrade to the Verde Canyon Railroad’s Saturday evening starlight tours, the ride includes three premium tequila samples and Mexican munchies served in the plush first-class cabin. Sip a cucumber mojito or a prickly pear margarita from the cash bar as the locomotive winds around rocky hills and valleys. The tequila train departs at 5:30 p.m. on June 8 and 22, July 20, August 17, and September 7 and 21, returning to the sight of Jerome’s lights after dark. $99.95 per person. 300 N. Broadway, Clarkdale, 800-582-7245,
See Pyrotechnics in Prescott
Tsunamis are a force to be reckoned with, a fact not lost on the founders of Prescott’s annual alternative arts festival, Tsunami on the Square, which drowns the masses in a sensory overload of dance, music and theatrical performances in an event that’s part Burning Man, part Cirque du Soleil. Stilt-walking troupes from Columbia and San Francisco march into town alongside South American music and poetry group AZ Hojarasca, New Mexican family circus Clan Tynker, and Cedar Creek Apache Crown Dancers. Tempe’s Axé Capoeira will show off some head-spinning moves, while Pyroklectic Fire Tribe sets the final night ablaze. Sadly, adults are relegated to spectator status, but kids ages 6-14 can learn to juggle, stilt-walk, make masks and more (no fire-spinning, we promise) at Circus Camp, June 10-14. Free admission for most events. Circus camp $25/day or $85/full camp. 928-925-6830,
Sip Like a Cicerone in Flag
Beer is seeing a renaissance among educated drinkers, and it’s about time: Historians speculate man created beer before farming or baking bread. It was served to Egyptian royalty in golden chalices and used to pay taxes and debts during the Middle Ages. Flagstaff’s annual Made in the Shade Beerfest puts beer on a pedestal, with selections from more than 75 craft breweries at this year’s event, which pours it on from 1-5 p.m. June 22 at Fort Tuthill County Fairgrounds. Local favorites Beaver Street Brewing, Lumberyard and Mother Road will attend, alongside craft beer giants New Belgium and Stone Brewing Co. Advance tickets cost $10-$25 for designated drivers; designated drinkers pay $40-$80. 928-779-1775,
Get the Blues in Portland
Whoever said blues is dead hasn’t picked up a Keb’ Mo’ album.
John Mayer, Adele, Jack White and dozens of other modern artists draw inspiration from classic blues, and many return to their roots as they mature. Case in point: Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant, who headlines this year’s Waterfront Blues Festival at Portland, Oregon’s Waterfront Park. It’s the second-largest event of its kind in the U.S., crammed with 150-plus acts including Taj Mahal, Mavis Staples and Seattle-based blues wunderkind Allen Stone. Daily admission costs $10 plus two cans of food for Oregon Food Bank, but there’s a catch: Plant and his Sensational Space Shifters bring the festival home after a swing dance jive contest with vintage honey Nikki Hill, and you’ll have to spring $60 for a four-day pass to get guaranteed Sunday admission.
Pursue Hopi-ness in Flagstaff
The oldest of three annual Native American cultural events at the Museum of Northern Arizona, the Hopi Festival of Art & Culture celebrates Native contributions from intricate silver overlay jewelry to seasonal rain dances. It’s the closest you’ll get to an authentic Hopi experience short of visiting the Three Mesas. More than 60 artists are expected to make the trek to Flagstaff for this year’s event July 6-7, with wares including rugs, pottery and katsina (kachina) dolls. There’s even a contest for the best katsina, with hefty cash prizes for the winners. Pop a squat and listen to the legend of Spider Woman and the four creations, or sample hot baked piki, a thin, blue-gray rolled bread made with cornmeal and ash – either way, you get a taste of ancient Hopi life. Museum of Northern Arizona, 3101 N. Fort Valley Rd., Flagstaff, 928-774-5213,
Fly a Kite in Cali
The annual Berkeley Kite Festival has a way of bringing out the kid in everyone. Drive along I-80 between 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and see drivers craning their necks to watch what looks like a miniature Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in the sky, with colorful puppies, dragons, and a pod of 100-foot-long octopi kites flying in formation. The event draws some of the world’s most accomplished flyers, including the Berkeley Kite Wranglers, Japan’s Sode Cho Kite Team and individual entrants in the West Coast Kite Championship. It’s not all Tao of Pooh here: The Rokkake Battles are like an aerial version of Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots, with participants trying to knock each others’ Japanese bowed kites out of the sky. Kites are sold on-site, and free lessons are offered if you’re worried about looking like Charlie Brown under his kite-eating tree. Free admission; $10 parking. Cesar E. Chavez Park at the Berkeley Marina, 11 Spinnaker Way, Berkeley, 510-235-5483,
Photo by Sam Nalven
Vigilante Days in Tombstone
Dodge a Gunfight in Tombstone
It’s not unusual to see a dead man lying in the streets of Tombstone. In addition to Boot Hill Cemetery, OK Corral and the disreputable Bird Cage Theatre, the former mining hub is home to the Tombstone Vigilantes, a group of history re-enactors who start their mornings with a stout cuppa cowboy coffee and a shootout. August 9-11, the group kicks off their 65th annual Vigilante Days with a chili cook-off and 10K run. The event is a bit tamer than October’s Helldorado Days but offers the same opportunity for all-day gunfights, saloon hall dances and performances by roaming cowboy poets.
Go Wild West in Payson
: Arizona’s Rim Country may have modernized since the days of novelist Zane Grey, but remnants of the Old West remain in Payson’s Main Street, rodeos, and historic lodging. Situated on land that was once the setting of a bloody 10-year feud between the Graham and Tewksbury ranching families, Ken and Diana Chaffee’s Mountain Meadows Cabins (1075 E. Ranch Rd., 928-478-4415,
) combine quaint country living with modern perks. Each of the six cabins nestled among ponderosa pines boasts knotty pine walls, rocking chairs and free Wi-Fi.
: Payson’s claim to fame is the world’s oldest continuously operating rodeo, the 129-year-old August Doins (
), held the third weekend in August. There will be plenty of buckin’ broncs, raging bulls and even a Breast Cancer support day, when riders and horses don pink for the cause.
: After working up a hearty appetite wrasslin’ steer or hiking along Christopher Creek, head to Buffalo Bar & Grill (311 S. Beeline Hwy., 928-474-3900) for the three B’s: barbecue, burgers and beer. With weathered wood rails and mounted animal heads on the walls, the place is as authentically country as it gets in these here parts.
View Vortexes in Sedona
Sedona’s metaphysical scene may seem hokey to some, but there is something innately soothing about the town’s red rock vistas. With more than 30 years of experience teaching workshops on the Native American tradition of seclusion-in-nature vision quests, Crossing Worlds Journeys and Retreats instructor Sandra Cosentino understands it doesn’t always take peyote or a sweat lodge to connect with the Divine. “Given even a brief encounter with a coyote’s bold yellow wild eyes… or seeing the stars out away from city lights, wonder can erupt,” she explains. “It is never too late.” Cosentino’s Mystic Vision Weekend starts with a Native American-inspired drum ceremony, followed by nature walks and a trip to Cathedral Rock, site of a vortex – one of Sedona’s many spiritual and inspirational hotspots. Whether you reach the depths of your soul or not, a weekend without cell phones, deadlines and housecleaning is bound to be good medicine. Crossing Worlds also leads several other tours, from equinox ceremonies to Hopi- and Navajo-themed journeys. $400-800, depending on group size. 800-350-2693,
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