Upcoming Guided Hikes at Red Rock State Park

Red Rock State Park
Guided Geology Hike -  May 11th, 2014
Guided Moonlight Hike – May 14th, 2014

Do you love hiking in Sedona? Have you ever wanted to learn more about the geology of Sedona or see how beautiful the red rocks are by the light of the moon, here is your chance! Red Rock State Park’s Guided Geology Hike takes place on May 11th, and their very popular Guided Moonlight Hike is scheduled for May 14th. Below you will find a brief description of each hike, if you are interested in taking one or both of these Sedona hikes make sure to contact the park about schedule changes or reservations. Call 928.282.6907 or visit Red Rock State Park

Guided Sedona Geology Hike
May 11th, 2014 (1:00 pm)
Red Rock State Park Upcoming Guided Hikes at Red Rock State Park Red Rock State Park is located at the base of the Mogollon Rim, the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau. Over millions of years of erosion the rim has receded over four miles leaving behind the picturesque features of Sedona. Join Red Rock State Park’s knowledgeable volunteers as they venture out on our trails and discuss how Sedona transformed into what we see today. This is an interpretive experience for both the beginner and experienced hiker, lasting between 2-2 ½ hours and an elevation gain of 250 feet. Please bring water and wear suitable footwear.

Guided Sedona Moonlight Hike
May 14th, 2014 (6:00 pm check-in)
Moonlight hike Upcoming Guided Hikes at Red Rock State Park The Moonlight Hike is among the most popular interpretive hikes at the Park. Led by a naturalist, it gives hikers the rare opportunity to enjoy the sunset and moonrise from an overlook and return by the light of the moon, while also having the chance to learn about Sedona and its surrounding areas. The hike lasts two to 2 1/2 hours and covers a distance of approximately two miles. Wear suitable clothing and shoes (prepare for cool nights) and bring water, a flashlight, and insect spray. A $5.00 per person program fee is charged at the time of the reservation. Reservations are required please call 928-282-6907. There is also a $10.00 entrance fee to the park for a car of four adults.

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Enjoy Fly Fishing this Summer in Sedona, Arizona

Sedona Castaway Package

  • Fly Fishing.JPG 2 Upcoming Guided Hikes at Red Rock State Park 1 Night at the Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona, with additional nights available at a great rate!
  • A morning of casting for 2 Adults, includes instruction, does NOT include fishing licenses, which can be purchased on line at www.az.gov/app/huntfish
  • Package is priced for 2 people – Call Concierge for additional anglers
  • Your expert guides will pick you up at the hotel
  • Full Hot Breakfast Buffet each morning
  • To book this package click here.
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2014 Heritage Festivals at the Museum of Northern Arizona

Museum of Northern Arizona
2014 Heritage Program Festivals

Museum of Northern Arizona 2014 Heritage Festivals at the Museum of Northern ArizonaThe Museum of Northern Arizona,  offers a balance of ancient and modern cultural presentations, performances, and activities― providing visitors a deeper insight into the Hopi, Navajo, Zuni, and Hispanic cultures living on the Colorado Plateau and in the Four Corners region.

Throughout the year the Museum offers exciting Heritage Program Festivals the will immerse you into and most of all, give you a better sense of each featured culture. Below you will find the 4 festivals scheduled for this year; I personally have attended all of these festivals every year and have truly enjoyed the environment and activities and have learned something new every time. There is not one Heritage Festival I would pick over the other however I will say that the Annual Navajo Festival of Arts and Culture seems to be a favorite among my friends.

23rd Annual Zuni Festival of Arts and Culture
May 24th – 25th, 2014
The A:shiwi or Zuni people, share Zuni language, lifeways, traditional music, and dances. Artists, performers and educators travel from Zuni, New Mexico, an integral part of the cultural landscape of the Colorado Plateau, to share their art and culture. Enjoy the Nawetsa Family Dancers who perform traditional Zuni dances, and music from the Zuni Pueblo Band. Learn about the importance of art and cultural place-names in the perpetuation of traditional identity. Meet and buy directly from Zuni artists and demonstrators. This event is created in partnership with the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center in Zuni, New Mexico.

80th Annual Hopi Festival of Arts and Culture
July 5th – 6th, 2014
Hopi Festival 2 2014 Heritage Festivals at the Museum of Northern ArizonaA Fourth of July tradition since the 1930s, award-winning Hopi artists from the twelve Hopi villages bring the mesas to Flagstaff. Add map of Hopi The unique work of carvers, painters, jewelers, potters, quilters, and basket and textile weavers fill the more than 65 artists’ booths. Enjoy cultural presentations, storytelling, music, and dances that fill the Museum grounds during the Fourth of July weekend. Taste Hopi bread and piki baked outside in ovens. Watch Hopi pottery being shaped, painted, and traditionally fired. Walk the Museum’s Rio de Flag Nature Trail with a Hopi medicine woman. Learn about Hopi clans and clan migration, and how the tribe is working to preserve language and agricultural traditions.

64th Annual Navajo Festival of Arts and Culture
August 2nd – 3rd, 2014
Weavers and potters work side by side with jewelers and filmmakers during this colorful and exciting summer festival. More than 100 of the finest Diné artists display and demonstrate their innovative expressions of traditional art forms. Meet award winning painters and renowned weavers. Enjoy hoop and social dances, and traditional and modern Native music with the Pollen Trail Dancers and Blackfire. Learn from cultural experts about customs and practices families are using to keep traditions strong. Explore the tribe’s intricate language with a Navajo linguist, and come to understand many ancient legends and traditions. Hike with a Navajo ethnobotanist and learn the Diné uses of local plant life.

10th Annual Celebraciones de la Gente :: A Lively Celebration of the Day of the Dead
October 25th – 26th, 2014
The Museum comes to life for Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead, an ancient Mesoamerican holiday held throughout Mexico, Latin America, and the Southwest. More than a dozen Flagstaff families create ofrendas (altars) to display in the Museum’s courtyard. Learn about Day of the Dead traditions and the role of Hispanics in northern Arizona’s history. Enjoy mariachi music, arts, and storytelling. Learn about migration and the blending of cultural traditions. A celebration of all people of Latino and Hispanic origin, this festival is a colorful and vibrant expression of community. It is created in partnership with Nuestras Raices, an organization of Flagstaff Hispanic pioneers.

The Museum of Northern Arizona is located at 3101 North Fort Valley Road in Flagstaff, Arizona. To learn more about the Heritage Program Festival or to learn more about the museum please visit the Museum of Northern Arizona.

Please note that the most popular route to the Museum from Sedona, Arizona is usually Highway 89A. Due to construction taking place  on Highway 89A this summer, you might run into some delays. A full closure of SR 89A through the switchbacks, which have steep grades with little to no shoulders, will be necessary for up to five weeks following the Memorial Day holiday and prior to the July 4 holiday (May 27-July 2). for updated information please visit http://azdot.gov/SR89A. Below you will find and alternative route using I17. 

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Add Some ATV Adventure to Your Summer Vacation in Sedona

Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona
Sedona, Arizona ATV Adventure Package
Valid through 2014

Inn of sedona1 Add Some ATV Adventure to Your Summer Vacation in SedonaStay at our Sedona hotel, save money and add some adventure to your summer vacation in the red rocks with our “Play Dirty, Sleep Tight” ATV package! This package features an adventurous and scenic 3 hour guided ATV Tour with Arizona ATV Adventure Tours through the outback of the West Sedona Valley, where over 40 movies have been filmed and a two night stay with us at the Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona.

Play Dirty, Sleep Tight

  • 1 Night at the Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona, ATV Sedona Add Some ATV Adventure to Your Summer Vacation in Sedona
    with additional nights available at a great rate
  • “Funtastic” 3 hour guided ATV tour for 2 Adults
  • Package is priced for 2 adults. Please call our Concierge at 800.292.6344 to add children or extra adults
  • Our complimentary “About Town” Shuttle will take you right to their door
  • Full Hot Breakfast each morning
  • To Book this package click here
  • For more information on our Sedona hotel please visit the Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona
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Sedona’s First Friday Gallery Walk and Jerome Art Walk

Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona
Sedona’s First Friday Gallery Tour – May 2nd, 2014
Jerome Art Walk – May 3rd, 2014

First Friday Sedona’s First Friday Gallery Walk and Jerome Art WalkVisit Sedona, Arizona this weekend and enjoy the creations of talented artists at Sedona’s First Friday Gallery Tour taking place tonight, May 2nd, and then on Saturday, May 3rd, head up Cleopatra hill for the Jerome Art Walk!

Below you will find a few of the exhibits and receptions taking place during the First Friday Gallery Tour, to see a full listing of participating galleries please visit the Sedona Gallery Association on Facebook. For your convenience, the Sedona Trolley provides free transportation to venture from art gallery to art gallery. If you are staying at the Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona, we also offer our guest free shuttle service to uptown Sedona and the Tlaquepaque Arts and Craft Village. All of the exhibits and artist receptions for 1st Friday run from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm.

Sedona’s 1st Friday Evening in the Galleries Exhibits

Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village
Rowe Fine Art Gallery is Wild At Heart
Ken Rowe Gallery Sedona’s First Friday Gallery Walk and Jerome Art WalkRowe Fine Art Gallery presents Wild at Heart, an art show and fundraiser for the Southwestern Wildlife Conservation Center Come meet animal ambassadors like Sage the bobcat and donate to win one of four original clay sketches by wildlife sculptor Ken Rowe. . When Ken needs to stay close to home, he finds inspiration for his next bronze sculpture by visiting wildlife sanctuaries such as Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in Scottsdale. For more information on this Sedona event please visit Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village.

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Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village
Mountain Trails Sedona’s First Friday Gallery Walk and Jerome Art WalkAt Work and at Play in the West at Mountain Trails Galleries
At Work and at Play in the West opens at Mountain Trails Galleries in beautiful Tlaquepaque on First Friday and features a selection of the gallery’s stellar roster of artists who depict the West that they know best. The art work highlights historic and present day activities of ranchers, working cowboys and cowgirls, animals, and children…For more information on this Sedona event please visit Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village.

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Turquoise Tortoise Gallery
Tony Abeyta: New Works
Turquoise Gallery Sedona’s First Friday Gallery Walk and Jerome Art WalkThis much-anticipated exhibition introduces exciting new avenues from one of the most eagerly collected Contemporary Native American painters working today. While Abeyta’s landscapes, full of slashes of rain or jagged mountains, brush and water, or full blue skies, have been of recent focus, the artist has turned his eye to Sedona itself, producing a wholly new look of landscape.For more information please visit the Turquoise Tortoise Gallery.

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Lanning Gallery
Sculpted Nature: The Art of Hans Schiebold & Robert Cherry
Lanning Gallery Sedona’s First Friday Gallery Walk and Jerome Art WalkProminent artists are the focus in May as Lanning Gallery opens its newest exhibition with both Hans Schiebold and Robert Cherry travelling to Arizona for the exhibition’s opening reception. Hans Schiebold’s vision and the singular technique used to create his sculptural landscape paintings of heightened realism have secured him a listing in the “Who’s Who in American Art. Robert Cherry describes his artistic path as working with wood while also producing something different and new. To that end he succeeds with every vessel he creates. Cherry uses only downed pine and selects his “blanks” for their character, their natural defects, splits and cracks. For more information on this Sedona event please visit the Lanning Gallery.

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Jerome Art Walk
Arizona’s Art Destination
Jerome Art Walk1 Sedona’s First Friday Gallery Walk and Jerome Art WalkMay 3rd, 2014
The monthly tradition of Jerome First Saturday Art Walk has taken root and will blossom once again this spring with new artists and studios as well as Jerome’s exciting and well-known galleries. . Every first Saturday, the creative community of Jerome is pleased to host an evening of art, music and entertainment with open studios and galleries displaying local, regional and national artistic treasures. A free shuttle runs throughout the town during the event. For more information please visit the Jerome Art Walk.

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Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona
Complimentary “About Town” Sedona Shuttle Service

new shuttle Sedona’s First Friday Gallery Walk and Jerome Art WalkDid you know that the Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona offers a Complimentary “About Town” Sedona Shuttle Service? That’s right, if you are a guest of our Sedona hotel we’ll do the driving for you. We’ll take you anywhere within Sedona proper in our 12 passenger air conditioned van, then just call us and we’ll come back and pick you up! This free shuttle service is available to all of our guests from 8:00 am until last pick up at 9:45 pm.

  • Don’t worry about finding a parking spot, especially in Uptown!
  • Don’t worry about navigating after dark!
  • Don’t worry about having a glass of wine with dinner!
  • Don’t worry about a thing, you’re on vacation!
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2014 May Events at Red Rock State Park in Sedona, Arizona

Red Rock State Park
Astronomy, Native American History, Guided Geology and Moonlight Hikes
May 2014

Red Rock State Park in Sedona, Arizona has a great line up of events, presentations and guided hikes in store for you this May! Dive into Native American History and Astronomy with special presentations featuring Allen Dart and Kenneth Zoll, take a leisurely bird or nature walk, enjoy a guided and informative Geology or Moonlight hike, and at the end of the month the park will host a very special Star Night Party!

Guided Bird Walk
Every Wednesday and Saturday Morning (8:00 am)Red Rock State Park 2 2014 May Events at Red Rock State Park in Sedona, Arizona
Meet up with other bird lovers at the visitors center at 9:00 am and enjoy a leisurely stroll through one of the most popular parks in Northern Arizona . Rangers recommend that visitors bring their own binoculars. A limited number are available for loan from the Park. For more information on this Sedona hike please visit Red Rock State Park.

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Daily Nature Walk
Nature walks 2014 May Events at Red Rock State Park in Sedona, ArizonaEvery Day at 10:00 am
you can join a naturalist for a guided nature walk of one and a half to two hours. You will be introduced to the riparian ecosystem of Oak Creek and other aspects of the Park. Some of the subjects that may be discussed include plants, wildlife, geology, history, and archaeology. For more information on this Sedona hike please visit Red Rock State Park.

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Southwestern Rock Calendars and Time Pieces
May 4th, 2014 (2:00 pm)
Red Rock State Park will be welcoming Allen Dart back for our first lecture series of the month. Allen will be speaking about ‘Southwestern Rock Calendars and Time Pieces’; this lecture will explore the early Native American Cultures of the Southwest including the Mesa Verde culture of the Southern Colorado and Utah, the Chaco Culture centered in Northwestern New Mexico, and the Hohokam Culture of Southern Arizona and their relationship and skills with astronomy. This program is included within the Park’s admission fees and reservations are required. For additional information and reservations, please call (928) 282-6907 or visit Red Rock State Park.

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Guided Sedona Geology Hike
Red Rock State Park 2014 May Events at Red Rock State Park in Sedona, ArizonaMay 11th, 2014 (1:00 pm)
Red Rock State Park is located at the base of the Mogollon Rim, the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau. Over millions of years of erosion the rim has receded over four miles leaving behind the picturesque features of Sedona. Join Red Rock State Park’s knowledgeable volunteers as they venture out on our trails and discuss how Sedona transformed into what we see today. This is an interpretive experience for both the beginner and experienced hiker, lasting between 2-2 ½ hours and an elevation gain of 250 feet. Please bring water and wear suitable footwear. For more information please visit Red Rock State Park or call 928.282.6907.

• • • • •

Guided Sedona Moonlight Hike
May 14th, 2014 (6:00 pm check-in)
Moonlight hike 2014 May Events at Red Rock State Park in Sedona, ArizonaThe Moonlight Hike is among the most popular interpretive hikes at the Park. Led by a naturalist, it gives hikers the rare opportunity to enjoy the sunset and moonrise from an overlook and return by the light of the moon, while also having the chance to learn about Sedona and its surrounding areas. Verde Valley and park history, as well as archeology, geology, botany, and riparian wildlife information, is offered. The hike lasts two to 2 1/2 hours and covers a distance of approximately two miles. Wear suitable clothing and shoes (prepare for cool nights) and bring water, a flashlight, and insect spray. A $5.00 per person program fee is charged at the time of the reservation. Reservations are required please call 928-282-6907. There is also a $10.00 entrance fee to the park for a car of four adults. For more information please visit Red Rock State Park.

• • • • •

Native American Astronomical Practices
May 25th, 2014 (2:00 pm)
Red Rock State Park1 2014 May Events at Red Rock State Park in Sedona, ArizonaKenneth Zoll will be at Red Rock State Park to talk about the Native American astronomical practices throughout history. The ability to predict seasons was essential for Native Americans in order manage environmental changes, which was vital for survival. Learn about how the early sky watchers developed systems to synchronize their calendars around celestial events. Kenneth will describe the diverse ways in which prehistoric Native American cultures integrated the stars and their annual events.This program is included within the Park’s admission fees and reservations are required. For additional information and reservations, please call 928.282-6907 or visit Red Rock State Park.

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Star Night Party at Red Rock State Park
May 30th, 2014 (7:30 pm)
Star Party 2014 May Events at Red Rock State Park in Sedona, ArizonaStar Parties are a great way for families to enjoy the evening sky together, there will even be a chance for children to shake hands with a surprise guest-(perhaps one from another world?) After the 7:30 presentation there will be telescope viewing available from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Saturn and Jupiter will be visible; as well as the clusters of Coma Berenices, Virgo, Cancer, and Hercules. Several planetary nebulas, or exploded stars, may also be seen.This program will require a $5.00 reservation fee per person prior to the event in addition to the park’s admission fees.For additional information and reservations for this Sedona event please call 928.282.6907 or visit Red Rock State Park.

• • • • •

tight building IMG 99091 2014 May Events at Red Rock State Park in Sedona, ArizonaA visit to Sedona can be anything you want to make it. Whether you’re interested in ancient cultures or hiking, wild animals or off road adventure, Sedona has something to offer. To save our guests time and money we’ve put together several great packages that make it easy to plan that Sedona getaway. To learn more about our Sedona hotel please visit the Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona

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Cinco de Mayo Celebration at Tlaquepaque in Sedona, Arizona

Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village
Cinco de Mayo Celebration
May 3rd, 2014

cinco de mayo Cinco de Mayo Celebration at Tlaquepaque in Sedona, ArizonaEnjoy a festive getaway to Sedona, Arizona with family and friends this weekend! Everyone in your family will have a blast at the free Cinco de Mayo Celebration at Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village! The charming plazas, patios, and streets of Tlaquepaque will be dressed in a festive wash of color, music, and dancing in the spirit of old Mexico. The lively mariachis, the heart-pounding rhythms and beats of Flamenco dancers, and the mouth-watering tastes of Mexico will fill the day. Arts and crafts exhibits will abound offering a glimpse into the traditional and present artistry of Mexico. This is one of our favorite events at Tlaquepaque, and if you are a guest at the Inn of Sedona you will be able to hop on our Complimentary “About Town” Sedona Shuttle and catch a ride to and from the event! This coming weekend is going to be a busy one in Sedona, we highly recommend making your hotel and tour reservations ahead of time. If you would like to stay at our Sedona hotel please visit Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona.

Festival Schedule

    • Mosaico Flamenco will perform in Patio Del Norte from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
    • Ballet Folklorico de Colores performs in Plaza De La Fuente at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:00 pm.
    • Ritmo Latino will perform in Patio De Las Campanas from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    • Mariachi La Familia Rojas will roam the streets of Tlaquepaque from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
    • Free face painting for children and adults in the Calle Independencia from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Sedona Chili Cinco de Mayo Celebration at Tlaquepaque in Sedona, ArizonaThe Great Sedona Chili Cook-Off twill also be taking place at Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village on May 3rd. Tasting Starts at 11:00 am until 4:00 pm in the Calle Independencia.Tickets for tastings or just $5 for kids and $10 for adults. For more information please visit Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village. For more information on Cinco de Mayo celebrations and the Great Sedona Chili Cook-Off please visit Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village.

*****

Complimentary “About Town” Sedona Shuttle Service
new shuttle Cinco de Mayo Celebration at Tlaquepaque in Sedona, ArizonaAll of us here at the Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona want you to have the best vacation ever! With that in mind, we have upgraded our complimentary “About Town” Sedona Shuttle this to a 12 passenger van! We’ll take you anywhere withing 5 miles of the hotel then when you call we’ll come back and pick you up! This free shuttle service is available to all of our guests from 8:00 am until last pick up at 9:45 pm.

    • Don’t worry about finding a parking spot, especially in Uptown!
    • Don’t worry about navigating after dark!
    • Don’t worry about having a glass of wine with dinner!
    • Don’t worry about a thing, you’re on vacation!
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Enjoy Fly Fishing in Sedona, Arizona this Summer!

Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona
Sedona Castaway Package

Sedona Castaway 3 2 Enjoy Fly Fishing in Sedona, Arizona this Summer!Think outside the box when you are planning your summer vacation to Sedona, Arizona! Learn how to fly fish in beautiful Oak Creek Canyon with Sedona Fly Fishing Adventures, stay at our Sedona hotel and save money with our Sedona Castaway Package. Oak Creek yields great fishing year round with Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout in its pristine pools.

“During the summer months we start our trips early in the morning for two reasons, beating the heat and beating the crowds. We have more success during this time of year with dry flies, meaning the fish will take flies from the surface of the water making it more exciting.” – Victor, Sedona Fly Fishing Adventures

Bring your camera, your Arizona fishing license and your licensed guides from Sedona Fly Fishing Adventures will bring the poles and expertise. Often referred to as the smaller cousin of the Grand Canyon the beauty of Oak Creek Canyon will take your breath away. So what are you waiting for, book your Summer Sedona Castaway Package today!

Sedona Castaway Package

  • 1 Night at the Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona,
    with additional nights available at a great rate!
  • A morning of casting for 2 Adults, includes instruction, does NOT include fishing licenses, which can be purchased on line at www.az.gov/app/huntfish
  • Package is priced for 2 people – Call Concierge for additional anglers
  • Your expert guides will pick you up at the hotel
  • Full Hot Breakfast Buffet each morning
  • To book this package click here.
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2014 Bike MS: Ride the Vortex-Sedona Verde Valley

Bike MS: Ride the Vortex-Sedona Verde Valley
One Hundred Rides, One Destination, A World Free of MS!
May 17th & 18th, 2014

Bike MS 2014 2014 Bike MS: Ride the Vortex Sedona Verde ValleyDo you love to bike in the Verde Valley? Do you want to help fight MS? If you answered yes, this is your chance to do what you love while helping those who are affected by multiple sclerosis (MS affects 2.1 million people worldwide). It’s simple, all you have to do is register for Bike MS: Ride the Vortex-Sedona Verde Valley taking place on May 17th & 18th and ride!

Bike MS: Ride the Vortex is a premier Arizona cycling event! They have route options for every level of cyclist, ranging from 30-150 miles; you will surely find a route fit for you. Enjoy delicious meals and strong support, with rest stops every 15 miles, bike mechanics and SAG vehicles. A fantastic festival awaits you on Saturday afternoon with great food, music, a beer garden, massage tent and fun entertainment. The Start/Finish for the race is the Verde Valley Fairgrounds in Cottonwood, AZ.

You can register as an individual, start a team or join a team. All participants 17 and under must have a notarized waiver form submitted to the Arizona Chapter prior to the ride. Maybe you don’t bike but would like to help by volunteering or donating, if that is the case just visit the Bike MS website and their user friendly site will walk you through those options.

Bike MS is a fantastic, fun-filled weekend, but the main purpose of the event is to raise funds and awareness for multiple sclerosis. The money you raise funds research for better treatments and a cure, and also allows them to offer countless, vital programs and services for the 8,000+ Arizonans living with MS. For more information, registration, or to volunteer or donate please visit Bike MS.

Don’t just ride, Bike MS.

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Verde Valley, AZ – Back to School with Chef Christopher Dobrowolski

Schoolhouse Journals April 2014
The Scary, The Fun, and a Rocking Recipe!
By Chef Christopher Dobrowolski

Christopher Dobrowolski Verde Valley, AZ   Back to School with Chef Christopher DobrowolskiHey there readers, I think we are finally in the clear from coast to coast and are expecting nothing but great weather to be heading our way for a while. Thank you for coming back and checking on us and reading what we think is important each month. This month we are going to start by talking about something a little bit scary followed by something very fun and finish up with a recipe.

The Scary…

Market trends for food this year have already shown a 1.5-3% price increase, depending on where you do your research, but either way is very scary. The market is showing that most Americans actually spend more money on food each month than they do their mortgage or rent (WOW). That being said the market pretty much across the board is showing by the end of 2014 we will have a total increase of over 5%, higher than any year in the last 30. Since I have been in this business I have personally seen an increase of about 18% over 23 years, so I am sure you asked the same question I did, “Why is it a 5% increase in just one year?” Once again depending on where you do your research, some people blame the government, some people blame the drought and some people just say whatever they feel like letting fall out of their mouths. Here’s my opinion, which may not be worth much, but….. IT’S ALL THE ABOVE! Freezes in the east, drought in the west, higher minimum wage, politics, and of course the vast amount of corn being made to create that lovely substance called fuel are all contributing to the increase. I don’t have the answer to fix this problem, but I will tell you that there are other countries that are doing shared farming techniques that are working. You can read more about those on our Facebook page “Schoolhouse Restaurant Cottonwood”. Ok, I do apologize for starting out that way, but now we get to the fun part.

The Fun… (At least in my world)

organic gardening Verde Valley, AZ   Back to School with Chef Christopher DobrowolskiSoil bag gardening seems to be a pretty cool alternative when it comes to planting your seedlings. This year we have been experimenting with this concept. It’s simple, low maintenance and don’t forget the easy cleanup at the completion of the season, or you can even reuse. So the idea is this, take a standard 3 cubic foot organic soil bag full of your soil of choice (I like Kellogg because it’s local to our area) poke about a dozen 1 inch holes in the bottom, then flip it over and cut a rectangle out, leaving about a 2.5 inch frame around the top so it will hold form. After that simply plant away and at the end of the year you can recycle into your compost pile or pull the plants and reuse the bags until they fall apart. During the season I will post some progress pictures.

The Recipe…

Black Garlic Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 ounces pureed Black Garlic (Buy from culinary elite on Amazon)
  • 1 lb. Elbow Macaroni
  • 3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 3 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup diced Brie cheese, rind removed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and butter a 13×9″ baking dish. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.
  2. Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan and reduce to 3/4 cup over high heat. Bring the cream to a boil in another large heavy saucepan and reduce it to 1-1/2 cups.
  3. Melt the butter and olive oil in another large heavy saucepan and cook onions until translucent and tender. Cook the pasta until al dente and drain.
  4. Add the reduced cream and reduced broth to the onions, then add the mustard, cheddar, black garlic puree, and Brie cheese and whisk until melted and blended. Add the seasonings. Add the pasta and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the baking dish. In small bowl, mix bread crumbs, 3 tablespoons melted butter and Parmesan cheese; sprinkle over casserole. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until the top browns and casserole is bubbly.

Thank you for reading and we will see you next month!
Sincerely,
Christopher Dobrowolski/Schoolhouse Restaurant

Schoolhouse RestaurantSchoolhouse event Verde Valley, AZ   Back to School with Chef Christopher Dobrowolski
“Dining in the Dark”
May 14th, 2014 (6:00 pm – 9:00 pm)
“Dine in the Dark” wine dinner! Yes that,s correct pure darkness so every bite and sip is intensified by 10000000%! Featuring one of our fine local wineries and the finest ingredients in the Verde Valley.Call the Restaurant Directly to make Reservations 928-634-0700.

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Is Out of Africa Wildlife Park Really that Special?

Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona
What Makes Out of Africa Wildlife Park so Special

OOA 1.jpg2  Is Out of Africa Wildlife Park Really that Special?Is Out of Africa Wildlife Park really all that special? Do I really want to include the park in my Sedona vacation? These are questions we get asked often from guest that are coming to stay with us and wondering if they should purchase our Out of Africa Wildlife vacation package. Our answer is a big fat YES followed by another big YES! Even if you were not staying with us and taking advantage of our package we would say YES!

318709 488364274528181 130313922 n Is Out of Africa Wildlife Park Really that Special?If you have ever visited Sedona, Arizona and the Verde Valley you know all about the wonderful wildlife and caretakers at Out of Africa Wildlife Park located in nearby Camp Verde. This park has become a main attraction to people visiting the area. As for the locals, well we go there often throughout the year! We go for the excitement that fills the air when the strength, dexterity and cleverness of the Tigers are on display at Tiger Splash, some people (me included) face their fears and hold a python in the Giant Snake Show, smiles cross the faces of all when Pilgrim or Kibo (Giraffes) visit to say hello and get some treats during the African Bush Safari Tour, be warned if they are in the mood you might get a big giraffe kiss. The beauty of their White Tiger, “Chalet” will take your breath away and the roar of their African Lion “Lazarus” is invigorating! And that is just a few of our favorite animals to encounter at the park.

Tigers Rescued 2 2 Is Out of Africa Wildlife Park Really that Special?Make no mistake, this place IS special. It is not a zoo! Out of Africa Wildlife Park is a place like no other, were you can see hundreds of animals from all over the world in their natural habitat along with wonderful and exciting educational attractions that get you up close and learning about the wonderful animals that live there. The caretakers do not train the wildlife, or try to change their behavior in any way. They are well known for their commitment to their wildlife and serve as a safe haven for many of the animals they have rescued over the years. The Park recently rescued two tiger cubs they named Gabriel and Journey that have become a big hit with Out of Africa fans, including us.

If you would like to learn more about this wildlife park please visit Out of Africa Wildlife Park, you should also check out their Out of Africa Wildlife Park blog.

Our Out of Africa Adventure Sedona Vacation Package

  • 200 animals3 Is Out of Africa Wildlife Park Really that Special? 1 Night at the Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona,
    with additional nights available at a great rate!
  • Two Adult Tickets to Out of Africa Wildlife Park
  • FREE Full Hot Breakfast
  • All Packages are priced for Two Adults. Please call concierge at 800.292.6344 for children or extra adults.
  • Additional nights available at prevailing rates without amenities of the package
  • And as always when you stay at the Inn of Sedona you will be treated to unbeatable views of Sedona’s Red Rocks from our terraced promenade decks. Enjoy early morning sunrises, spectacular sunsets and of course, memorable moonlit nights.

General Admission Includes: African Bush Safari, The Wildlife Preserve, Tiger Splash, The Wonders of Wildlife Show, The Giant Snake Show, Predator Feed

As you can tell we are really big fans of Out of Africa Wildlife park, which is why we are so proud to be able to offer you this Sedona Vacation Package! 

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