Haute Travel Plans with the Desert Botanical Garden for 2010/11

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The Desert Botanical Garden has some unique opportunities for travel and adventure this fall and upcoming spring. Read on to learn how you can experience the beauty, culture and foods of the Tohono O’Odham people of the desert, participate in a photography and nature workshop in the San Francisco Peaks, tour three Sonoita wineries, witness the migration of 300 million monarchs, or visit the Hopi Mesas to see the artisans making pottery and silver jewelry.

Sept. 24 – Tohono O’odham Traditional Farm Tour and Culinary Experience

The visit includes a trip to the Tohono O’odham Community Action (TOCA) traditional farm to learn about and view fields of traditional crops, a stop at the Desert Rain Café for a healthy lunch of  foods like cholla cactus buds, white tepary beans, mesquite meal and prickly pear in both traditional and contemporary dishes. After lunch, enjoy a hands-on basketry demonstration by a tribal member before visiting the Desert Rain Gallery.

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Oct. 9 – Flagstaff in Fall Color: Photography in the Field

Calling all DSLR photographers wishing to improve their understanding of exposure, color composition, camera histogram, and the secrets to nabbing that perfect shot. Among the cool fall colors of the aspens of the San Francisco Peaks, you’ll learn on-location techniques, and a picnic lunch and snacks will be provided.

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Oct. 29 – A Taste of Arizona: Desert Botanical Garden Tour of Sonoita Wineries

Visit the Wilhelm Family Vineyards, the Kief-Joshua Vineyards, and the Sonoita Vineyards, where you’ll enjoy sampling different selections at each and learning more about how it’s possible for winemakers to be committed to sustainable agriculture, without the use of herbicides and pesticides on the crop. At the Kief-Joshua Vineyards, you’ll even see Baby Doll sheep grazing between the rows. Sonoita Vineyards is the oldest commercial vineyard in the region, so don’t miss your chance to visit this little piece of Arizona wine-making history.

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Feb. 27, 2011 – March 11, 2011 – Kingdom of the Monarchs

Every fall, up to 300 million monarchs set flight on a remarkable 3,000-mile journey from northeastern U.S. and Canada to their ancestral wintering grounds in the volcanic mountains of central Mexico. Join the DBG in its encounter of this delicate phenomenon at three different locations in Mexico. Planned by Natural Habitat Adventures, the trip also has an extension option to Puerto Vallarta for the opportunity to experience humpback whale watching.

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April 24-30, 2011 – Land of the Hopi and Navajo

The piece de resistance of the DBG travel options for the upcoming season, this trip will allow participants to explore the fascinating geology and rich cultures of Arizona’s Colorado Plateau. Visit the Hopi Mesas to watch artisans at work, and tour Oraibi, where you can view petroglyphs and learn how residents still live in the traditional way. You’ll also see Old Oraibi, which has been continuously inhabited for 1,100 years. Subsequent stops include Coal Mine Canyon to study fossils, the Chinle Formation to view dinosaur tracks, and Navajo National Monument to observe Anasazi cliff dwellings. Then you’ll travel south to Canyon de Chelly, Spider Rock, the Hubbell Trading Post, the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert. The return drive is through the scenic Salt River Canyon, where you’ll witness The Great Unconformity, some 700 million years of missing geologic time seen between layers of rock.

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