A Goodbye to Remember

The first sign of daybreak appeared as the sun peaked through Golden Eye’s window. It was the last time Golden Eye would wake up at Camp Lincoln and Camp Lake Hubert this year. He felt a rush of sadness run through his body as he thought of the faces of new friends he wouldn’t see again until next summer. Several other familiar faces popped in his mind too – his Tanque Verde Ranch family! A Goodbye to Remember Today was bittersweet. Golden Eye’s sadness was quickly replaced with excitement, as he would soon be on his way to see friends and family in Tucson, Arizona. He also remembered that he would get to meet so many new friends back down at the Ranch through the Kids Program. The Program provides guests aged four to twelve years old the opportunity to participate in daily activities such as tennis, watercolor painting, and Golden Eye’s favorite, horseback riding. Plus, the winter was his favorite time of year in the desert, as temperatures hovered in the 60s to 70s. Perfect weather for activities!

A Goodbye to Remember

Golden Eye headed over to the Dining Hall to meet some of his friends for their final breakfast together at camp. Laughter filled the air over the sweet smell of pancakes and orange juice as Golden Eye and his friends reminisced about hilarious stories from the summer.

Phone numbers, addresses, and hugs were exchanged while buses, vans, and cars began to fill the parking lot. Golden Eye spotted the bright, yellow van from Tanque Verde and slowly made his way over with his saddlebags. After many heartfelt goodbyes, lots of hugs, and even a few tears were shed, Golden Eye hopped into the van and began his journey back home to Tanque Verde Ranch.

What an amazing summer this was for Golden Eye!  He met so many incredible, life-long friends, experienced Personal Growth and Development in cool, new activities that he never would have been able to try at home, and he came away with more amazing memories than he could count.  Only nine more months until next summer!

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Ride on Air

September 6, 2013

Ride On Air

Every October through April, hot air balloons will become a usual sight to see in the early morning Arizona sky, especially those from Fleur de Tucson. If you’re looking for a fall adventure, look to the skies!

Fleur de Tucson Hot Air Balloons has been providing exceptional flights over the Tucson Mountains and Saguaro National Park since 1985.  Each journey is equipped with leather seats for those that prefer not to stand for the duration of 3 hours and they can hold up to five people.

The ride is unique, combining low-level views as low as 500 feet of the beautiful desert landscape and spectacular panoramas from higher elevations up to 2,500 feet.  On most of their flights numerous wildlife have been spotted, including javelina, deer, bobcats, rabbits, foxes and red-tailed hawks.

Each flight landing is celebrated with a delicious continental brunch and premium champagne, which is an old French tradition. Dating back to 1783, French aeronauts would offer champagne to calm the laborers who were startled by the “firebreathing monster” which was seen descending from the sky. During your flight, you will be able to learn more about the history of hot air ballooning, receive digital pictures of your ride, and a frame-able flight certificate.

Fleur de Tucson is family owned and operated.  Mike Fleury has been FAA certified for over 32 years.  Mike was the key-grab winner at the 1999 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, competing against 850 other balloonists! He has accumulated over 2,700 hours, flying throughout the United Stated and France. They have been featured on the Animal Planet’s Jeff Corwin Arizona Experience, Fodor’s Arizona Travel Guide and Frommer’s Guidebook just to name a few.

Tanque Verde Ranch is excited to offer this exciting adventure to it’s guests for just $250 per person. A complimentary shuttle will be provided to and from Fleur de Tucson and for larger groups, it can be arranged to have Fleur de Tucson take off from the resort grounds. Click here to get a sneak peek of what it will be like to ride in a hot air balloon this fall! For more information on the Fleur de Tucson Hot Air Balloons, click here.

Fall for La Sonora Spa

September 6, 2013

Fall for La Sonora Spa

Our La Sonora Spa is the ultimate spot to relax, find peace of mind and wind down from an adventurous day in the desert. This fall, guests can experience several new services that will help renew not only the mind, but also the body and spirit. To accompany the new services are a variety of organic and locally made spa products that are used during all spa treatments and massages.

Desert Tropics – We begin this anti-aging treatment with a healing and refining apricot raw cane sugar scrub, followed by our gentle mango enzyme wrap.  A light massage is done with Monoi body cream that makes skin appear firmer and smoother from head to toe. (80 or 120 minutes)

Blueberry Bliss – Treat yourself to a luxurious, slimming body treatment with an anti-oxidant-rich blueberry blend with naturally hydrating soy yogurt to replenish dry skin.  Rejuvenate with blueberry fruit and raw sugar cane scrub, and our blueberry soy slimming body wrap to tone, tighten and stimulate your circulation while refining and strengthening your skin structure.  A relaxing massage with a scrumptious whipped blueberry soy massage soufflé will leave your skin hydrated and refreshed after a day in the desert sun. (80 or 120 minutes)

Sonoran Refresh ­– After hours in the Sonoran desert, your body will love being immersed in an invigorating, refreshing cucumber mint body wrap.  Cool down and soothe your skin with cucumber mint cane sugar scrub, to refine and smooth your skin.  A hydrating cucumber mint cream will purify your skin and a replenishing cucumber mint soufflé will leave you feeling revitalized. (80 or 120 minutes)

Catalina Leg Treatment – Relieve tired, aching legs with our lychee and chestnut immunity-boosting leg cream, improving circulation and stimulating the skin while effectively reducing visible signs of varicose veins.  The delicate lychee fruit helps relieve soreness so you can ride and hike all day long. (30 minutes – May be added on to any massage)

Hydrating Floral Facial ­– A positively invigorating facial that addresses a variety of skin concerns starting with strawberries and rhubarb to gently exfoliate your skin. This is followed by a hibiscus and calendula flower application to heal and hydrate leaving you feeling and looking years younger. (30 minutes – May be added on to any massage)

 You can also cool down from the desert sun in the spa’s indoor pool where large windows look out over the mountainous Arizona landscape. A whirlpool and sauna also accompany the spa in order to provide you with the finest pampering experience which you may use prior, or after your spa service.

For a complete list of our spa services and pricing, please click here. All spa sessions are by appointment only. Book two weeks before your arrive to receive $20 off any service! Just mention this article. Please call 520-296-6275 to book your day of pampering!

Joe Valdez – A True Tanque Verde Cowboy

Joe Valdez was born and raised in what he recalls as “an arid and desolate place” within east Tucson, Arizona. Growing up with 16 brothers and sisters, he attributes horses playing a big role in not only his life, but also his siblings. “We rode horses to school most of the time and I remember some of our neighbors still using horses to plow their fields.”

At the age of nine, Joe got his first taste of the cowboy lifestyle when a “tough, old cowman,” otherwise known as Ole Man Lupe Parker, who lived at a nearby cattle ranch was missing one of his cow ponies. He requested Joe’s help. One of his ranch hands had ridden the horse across Redington Pass and into Tucson for a few nights on the town, but never returned. After Lupe had finally found the horse at a nearby farm, he asked Joe if he would ride the horse back to the ranch. Parker drove Joe into Tucson and dropped him off with the horse. Joe saddled him up and started his journey back to Redington.

Joe realized right away that he had forgotten to pack his water canteen. By 2 p.m., the mid-July heat was too much to handle. Mr. Parker had told him of a spring that he would run across on his journey back, however, he had no such luck. He dismounted his horse, dizzy and dehydrated. Just when he thought he wasn’t going to make it, “a miracle happened” Joe explains it. His brother-in-law drove up the dirt road with a gallon of water. “He saved my life.”

After graduating from Tucson High School, Joe worked as a tour guide at Colossal Cave. During this time he also took classes at the University of Arizona where he joined the U of A Rodeo Club and assisted in exercising rodeo horses at the racetrack. In 1977, he joined the Tanque Verde Ranch team and since has been a wrangler teaching western riding and mountain trail riding.

Even as he’s semi-retired now, he still can be found working with the riding program and has enough stories to fill several books. “The best part of my day is when I’m heading up a mountain trail, early in the morning,” says Joe. When he’s not in the saddle, Joe enjoys working with leather, listening to music and going camping in National Parks. “I also get a thrill from reading a good book on the history of the southwest.” Joe has been a pillar of Tanque Verde Ranch, as well as the riding program – staff and guests alike share in the appreciation of his efforts – and his stories.

The Flavor of Fall

September 6, 2013

The Flavor of Fall

Dine for your health this fall. Bring a taste of Tanque Verde’s southwestern flavor to your kitchen table with this crisp and zesty Caesar Salad. (For a printable version of these recipes for your recipe box, click here, print and cut.)

A Boneyard of Exploration

September 6, 2013

A Boneyard of Exploration

On your journey to the ranch, you may drive between the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and what appears to be a “boneyard” of old planes. From the road it seems somewhat barren, but it’s truly misleading, as within this fenced in “boneyard” offers an overflowing abundance of history and excitement. It is the Pima Air & Space Museum.

Labeled as one of the largest aviation museums in the world, it is the largest non-government funded aviation museum in the United States. The grounds contain a collection of more than 300 aircraft and spacecraft from around the globe, many rare and one-of-a-kind, and more than 125,000 artifacts. You can walk or take the tour among the giants of our aviation heritage, including military, commercial, and civil aviation. Among them are a B-29 Superfortress, the SR-71 Blackbird, and a rare World War II German V-1 “Buzz Bomb.”

A Boneyard of Exploration

This incredible collection of aircraft includes President John F. Kennedy’s Air Force One and presidential aircraft used by President Nixon and President Johnson. The museum has five large hangars totaling more than 177,000 feet of exhibit space. In addition, the 390th Bombardment Group (Heavy) Memorial Museum is located on the museum grounds. The Pima Air & Space Museum maintains its own aircraft restoration center, and is also proud to offer exclusive tours of the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG), also known as the “Boneyard,” located across the street at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

The Museum’s restaurant, Flight Grill, is a great quick-service grill that features an expo kitchen, sleek modern comfortable furniture and floor to ceiling windows. The indoor dining room is just steps away from the new covered tram waiting area. From  their patio, you can enjoy the mountain views, the outdoor collection and even watch as aircraft take-off and land just across the street at the Air Force Base.

Next time you’re planning your trip to Tanque Verde Ranch and would love to see some aviation history, make sure you set aside a few hours to share this fantastic visit. The Museum is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. with last admission at 4 p.m. Click here to see pricing and try to plan this great exploration of flight here in Tucson on your next visit.

This is not your average haunted house – rather – it’s the ultimate haunted town! At nightfall, you will have the opportunity to entomb yourself into terrifying sights, sounds, live shows, disturbing haunts, and much more!

Nightfall at Old Tucson Studios will open its gates September 27th and provide thrills and scares every weekend until October 31st. The formerly wide-open space of Old Tucson ‘welcoming guests’ is gone. Be prepared to be scared.

Throughout the night you’ll have to be on your highest guard, as the creatures and villains of Nightfall are not confined to the houses, but rather will be found lurking in the streets. You may see an insane clown, or a mad man with a chainsaw as you make your way through the haunted town.

There is not only one, but multiple haunted houses that are rated at different scare levels, so both those who want a real scare and those faint of heart can all enjoy the excitement found inside the houses.

The haunted town also offers several live shows for guests to enjoy. They range from from magical acts to horror, providing the perfect, engaging entertainment for the whole family.

On your way out don’t be shocked if you see two talking gargoyles poking fun at guests. These infamous gargoyles have become local favorites and are sure to make you laugh as they heckle the crowd.

“Each year my friends and I make at least one trip to Nightfall,” says Tanque Verde Ranch’s Casey Numetko. “It is truly worthy of a journey and is two to three hours of fun. Even though it’s about a 30-minute drive from the ranch, it is worth a trip for those seeking a thrill and scare of a lifetime.”

Nightfall does carry a disclaimer on their website which states “Warning: Due to the subject matter and realism of Nightfall, this event may not be and most likely is not appropriate for younger people.” But if you’re looking for a fright-filled evening while your at the ranch this fall, look no further than Nightfall. For more information, click here.

Summer is quickly coming to a close at Camp Lincoln and Camp Lake Hubert. Golden Eye and all his new friends have already begun packing their bags and will soon travel back to their homes in every corner of the globe.

Golden Eye could sense that the seasons were beginning to change, and knew in the back of his mind that it meant he would soon return to Tanque Verde Ranch. He was going to enjoy his time at camp down to the very last minute. In fact, there was one last event of the summer that he was especially looking forward to – The Second Annual Brownie Cote Lucky Me Run.

All proceeds from the race go directly to the Camp Lincoln and Camp Lake Hubert Campership Fund, so Golden Eye knew that he was running for a great cause! The Lucky Me Run offered two options to runners – the  5K and the full 8-mile run around Lake Hubert.

Back at his home at Tanque Verde Ranch, Golden Eye was nicknamed “fast hoofs” for his speed and agility during race competitions with his friends. The choice was clear for him – he would run the full 8-miles, and once he finished, he would have bragging rights as the fastest to run completely around Lake Hubert!

Race day arrived. Golden Eye ate his normal bowl of oats, apples, and of course, drank plenty of water to get energized and hydrated properly. After breakfast, he headed over to Lincoln Lodge to stretch out.  As the time neared 9:30 a.m., the race official lined everyone up. “Runners ready? Set…” BANG! – the starting gun fired and without a second’s delay, Golden Eye was on his way leading the pack!

Fifty-five minutes later, the race official saw Golden Eye’s nose come stampeding through the trees. Sweaty and tired, he crossed the finish line taking 1st place in the four-legged division. Just behind him, finishing in an astounding 58 minutes, was alumni staff member “Fletch.”

After the awards ceremony, Golden Eye and all the Lucky Me Run participants had a delicious BBQ and campfire. Scary stories, summer memories, laughs, and the sweet smell of s’mores filled the warm, evening air. It was so amazing for Golden Eye to meet great campers and staff of decades past at Camp Lincoln and Camp Lake Hubert.  He loved listening to their stories as they reminisced about the good days at camp.

Early the next morning, after a perfect night, Golden Eye finished packing his bags. He looked out of his cabin at the beautiful sunrise over Lake Hubert and said proudly and humbly, “Lucky Me,” while thinking of Brownie Cote. He had an unforgettable summer meeting new friends, experiencing new activities, and learning important life skills.

‘Twas time to make the journey back home to Tanque Verde Ranch.  Golden Eye knew, without a doubt, that he would have a great winter and be back next year for another epic summer on the shores of Lake Hubert!

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