Arcosanti: an urban laboratory

Arcosanti is a projected experimental concept of community living in Yavapai County an hours drive north of Phoenix. The creative concept was designed by the Italian-American architect, Paolo Soleri (1919–2013).

He broke ground and started construction in 1970, to show the world his vision of an urban community.

His goal was to improve the quality of living while minimizing the destruction of earth.

Newsweek magazine in 1976 voted his creation as “the most important urban experiment undertaken in our time”.

Some of the interesting features of the city is the grey matter water system. This new system is under construction.

One can be a guest for a small fee to rent the guest room, sky suite or dorms. The fee includes breakfast.

There is a shop to purchase interesting one of a kind art and have a snack. The view in the restaurant and shop will not disappoint.

Take a tour and capture the unique designs of the arches and creative use of 25 acres of the 4,060-acre land preserve.

We took Star Wars figures and were practicing with perspectives.  Plan on 2-3 hours if you want to take a tour, photos and have a snack.

The site is open 9 am to 5 pm for visitors.
The street address: 13555 S. Cross L Rd. Mayer, AZ 86333

Flagstaff, Arizona

Did you know?
– Flagstaff is the 2nd highest located city in the US (with a population over 25,000)
– Pluto was discovered at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff.
– Flagstaff is located in the world’s largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest.

We stayed a cozy cabin rental.  There are couple of local cats who will come by for a quick pet.  Breakfast is included and is the perfect place to stay for a rustic cabin feel.  

6355 N. Highway 180, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Ski Lift Lodge

The lodge is located close to the birch forest.  This is the location for family photos.

This is remote and we almost turned around when suddenly the birch trees appeared.  I followed the instructions below.
Take US-89 about 12 miles north of city center. Turn left directly across from the turn to Sunset Crater. The left turn is on to a Forest Access Road (FR 420). Take this ½ mile to a T and turn right onto FR 522. This goes 4.6 miles on a very bumpy, some areas washboard grated, ascent. Road is narrow with areas to pull out every few 100 yards in case another car is coming the opposite direct. This was a little nerve wracking as you can’t see ahead very far. I wouldn’t do this again without AWD or 4WD. After 4.6 miles of painfully slow driving you come to a pretty clearing of yellow flowers and grass = Locket Meadow. Signs take you to day parking, which is free and located near an outhouse.

Be sure to take advantage of all that Flagstaff has to offer.  The downtown is quaint and perfect for bringing out your festive holiday spirit.

Take a stroll with your hot tea or chocolate and enjoy the lights.

If you are looking for a holiday gift that is unique and one of kind then stop in the local shops.  Check out local artists at:

120 N Leroux St, Flagstaff, Arizona 86001, United States

Round off your trip with a hike into Coconino National Forest lava cave.  It is often crowded to be prepared to practice your patience. The further into the cave the crowd thins out.  It is a warm hike so bring water.

Location: About 14 miles north of Flagstaff on paved highways and graveled Forest Roads. Travel time is about 45 minutes.

One of our favorite watering holes:

It’s not just about the altitude it’s all about the attitude.

5 S. San Francisco St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Garlic Festival Dragoon, AZ

8th Annual Garlic Festival

Triangle T Guest Ranch 4190 E Dragoon Rd, Dragoon, Arizona

Step back into the Wild West for a fun weekend of garlic, food, arts, live entertainment in one of the last few ‘dude’ ranches left in the Old West.

The food was amazing we bought garlic pickles, horseshoe decor and a garlic seasoning.

Amado, AZ

The opening “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'” sequence in the 1955 film Oklahoma!, with Gordon MacRae singing the famous song while riding a horse past the stalks of corn “as high as a elephant’s eye”, was filmed in Amado.

From Spain and Mexico the family moved north, settling about 1850 into Southern Arizona, then part of Mexico. In 1852, Manuel Amado began ranching south of Tucson between the Canoa and Otero Spanish land grants. With no fences, his cattle roamed from the border to north of Tucson. The railroad opened a station nearby in 1910. In 1919 the Amadoville post office was established. A year later, the name was changed to Amado.  Information courtesy of:

Stop and dine at The Firefly Restaurant.  The menu rotates and serves delicious seasonal plates year round.  The patio is the perfect place to savor the flavors of wine and savory dishes.  My favorites are the Irish Beef Stew and the Autumn Kale Salad.

3001 E. Frontage Rd.,
Amado, AZ 85645
Phone. 520-398-3028


Eden, AZ

Eden was an agricultural town established by Mormon settlers in the 1880s and named after the town of the same name in Utah. The post office was established in 1882.

Eden Hot Springs was the site of a bloody murder and suicide the night of Feb. 19 when Englishman Jonathan Bailey shot Dr. James A. Dassault through the head with a .9mm Glock automatic pistol and then killed himself with a shotgun blast to his throat as local officers arrived on the scene.three-story hotel was completed in 1903, and it was described as a “feudal castle lost in the desert.” In 1905, a swimming pool measuring 255 feet by 70 feet was added, the largest in the state. The hot burnt to the ground in February 2008.


Bonita, AZ

Bonita was the town that catered to the soldiers and ranch hands in the area as well as Fort Grant. Its post office was established in 1884 and lasted until 1955. The store was also known as DuBois Mercantile Co. History has it that Billy the Kid’s first killing occurred in Bonita in August 1877. Frank P. Cahill, a local blacksmith was killed after a fight with Billy.

Camp Verde and Prescott

Camp Verde
Settlers first began migrating into the Verde Valley because of the mining industry.   The first military establishment was a temporary post overlooking the farms at West Clear Creek.   In 1865, the next post, Camp Lincoln was established.   In 1865 the name was changed to Camp Verde.  The post was moved to its present day site in 1871, due to the onset of a malaria outbreak.   In 1878, the name was changed to Fort Verde to signify permanence.    The fort was occupied from 1871-1891; with the post officially closing in April of 1890.






This charming town offers endless entertainment hours.  There is a little nugget called The Point Bar and Lounge. If you are looking for a proper cocktail this is the happening place.  This street is named Whiskey Row because of the large number of saloons at one time totaling 40.  The reason we have this lovely row of opportunities is because of a fire in July of 1900 destroyed the entire block. When the area was reconstructed, there was a large amount of bars rebuilt in the area.

The St. Michael hotel stands at the intersection of Prescott’s famed Montezuma Street(Whiskey Row) and Gurley street, the northern flank of  the Courthouse Plaza Square.The city is the county seat of Yavapai County. In 1864 Prescott was designated as the capital of the Arizona Territory, replacing the temporary capital at Fort Whipple. The Territorial Capital was moved to Tucson in 1867. Prescott again became the Territorial Capital in 1877, until Phoenix became the capital in 1889.  text credit wiki

Take a break after touring downtown and head over to the Prescott Brewing Company. Their menu looks like a news print from a time long ago.



Adams Hotel, AZ

In 1896, one of the most historic and iconic hotels in Arizona was built. It was the Adams Hotel, and it was the largest and most expensive building in Phoenix, Arizona.

Sadly, the hotel suffered from a massive fire in 1910 and was re-built shortly after. The newest version of the Adams Hotel boasted claims of being “absolutely fireproof” and the beautiful five-story structure was made of reinforced concrete, a very big advancement for the time. The hotel stayed in that location, where it remained until 1973. The Adams Hotel was eventually torn down, however, as the beautiful new Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel was built in 1975.    Courtesy of

Rogers Springs Arizona

Rogers Springs 3
While visiting Lake Meade we stopped for a soak in at a natural spring. Several particular areas within the NRA host a number of springs. One such area is found along the west side of the Overton Arm of Lake Mead, just west of Northshore Road. This area is home to Rogers Spring which produces water at a fairly constant 720 gallons per minute – the greatest flow of any spring within the park. The relatively constant year-round flow and the warm temperature (86 degrees Fahrenheit) are both indications of a regional source for this water.

Rogers Springs 1

Rogers Springs