Wild Horses Right on Cue in the Arizona Outback

by Robyn Porteen
( May 23rd, 2015 )

Kayak Scene

Looking for great experience and a way to cool off in the summer heat? Try the kayaking tour down the Lower Salt River in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Kayaks

It was a relaxing and meditational trip floating down this part of the Salt River. We left in the early morning, took the 45 minute van drive to the drop off point and loaded into the inflatable two-person kayaks. The guide was great at explaining the team efforts that both paddlers needed to know to keep the kayak straight on the river.

Kayak Scenic

This excursion was a great place to do some scenic photography. You don’t have to worry about camera gear getting wet, they supply dry bags and unless you are planning on dancing in your kayak, it’s a pretty smooth, dry ride.

The guides had mentioned that there would be a possibility of seeing wild horses on this trip and right on cue, they came up to the bank and right into the water! The horses feed on the river grass and are used to boats, so they will come right out into plain view.

Wild Horses
Wild Horses

It was the break I needed from my hectic life and this river trip was an eye opener for me to slow down and enjoy life a little more. I began researching local kayaking as soon as I returned home!

A big Thanks to Arizona Outback Adventures for a memorable day on the Lower Salt River!

If you are interested in going a little more on the wild side, they also offer River Rafting, Stand Up Water Boarding, Backpacking, Hiking trips and Mountain Biking and much more. Be sure to check out their website. I just might come back and take their photography workshop in the Grand Canyon!

For more information on this area visit the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors center.

Photography Copyright – All photos by Robyn Porteen

Disclaimer: This experience was provided free of charge for review purposes by Scottsdale CVB, but all opinions expressed are my own.

 

 

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Passion and Jumping Cactus – Scottsdale, AZ

by Robyn Porteen
( May 17th, 2015 )

Sonora Desert

Passionate people and jumping cactus!

I had been to the desert in the southwestern part of the US but not to Scottsdale, Arizona or the Phoenix area. Sundresses packed and sandals ready to go, I boarded a plane for Arizona, looking forward to feeling the sun on my skin after a long dark winter in the midwest.

Sandals

I had done some research before I left on the area and decided to look up hiking in the desert. I came across a couple of sites that warned of jumping cactus that attach to your skin and embed their tentacles if you try to pull them off! Now I had visions of hiding under my sheets with a flashlight spoofing on the Blair Witch Project, scared of heading out to the trails of the Sonora Desert Preserve. But when I arrived and connected with the Scottsdale Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the lovely ladies there assured me that there were no jumping cactus and gave me the safety basics when hiking in the desert. Whew! Glad to hear that as I had a solo 4 AM  sunrise photo-shoot planned.

Desert Selfie

My few days in Scottsdale was a wonderful experience! It turned out to be an adventure filled area in the desert steeped with history and plenty of things to do. I met many restaurant and business owners, and the one thing that really struck me was the passion the people of this area have for what they do. I will be sharing some of their stories here and in future posts.

I’ll start with a couple of places that should not be missed when you visit this area.

Second Story Food

Second Story Liquor Bar and Restaurant has an intimate setting and the owner, John Christie is passionate about whiskey. He has 165 different whiskies and all are made right there. the food is also top notch with dishes like Chilean Sea Bass, Lobster Corn Dog and a Rum cake to die for!

Dunham Wine Tasting

The Lawrence Dunham Vineyards is another story of passion. Wine is at the center of life for the team that runs and owns this vineyard. With a tasting room in old town Scottsdale, you can taste all of the signature wines from grapes grown on their property in the Chiricahua Mountain region in Arizona. Their signature wine, the 2010 Petite Sirah was my favorite and I ended up shipping a bottle home for my husband.

Dunham Food

The House Brasserie has a really nice vibe with outdoor chandeliers and vintage style furnishings. The chemex coffee is something worth coming back for and the food was delectable! The towering chicken parmesan sandwich was very tasty!

House Sandwich

Chemex Coffee

Stay tuned for more food and adventure! Kayaking on the lower Salt River, Hiking in the Sonoran desert and the best museum stops in the West.

For more information on this area visit the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors center.

Photography Copyright – Robyn Porteen

Disclaimer: This experience was provided free of charge for review purposes by Scottsdale CVB, but all opinions expressed are my own.

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Cosanti – A Unique Desert Studio!

by Robyn Porteen
( May 9th, 2015 )

Cosanti Building

When you visit Scottsdale, AZ, a must-see stop should be Cosanti just outside of Scottsdale!

This magnificent studio was home to Italian-American architect Paolo Soleri before his passing in 2013.

The structures are formed with concrete using the ground as a mold. All of the details were carved in a mound of earth, concrete was poured over and when dried, the earth was removed beneath the concrete. This technique is called earthcasting.

Cosanti Tiles

Cosanti is also known for it’s wind bells which are created on-site.

Cosanti Bells

These bells are know world-wide and are a favorite gift for an Arizona resident to send out on the holidays to people outside of the area.

I was lucky enough to be present during a casting with several of the day’s visitors.

Cosanti Foundry

Molten Metal

Molten metal is poured into the sand forms and will set quickly. The forms have been shaped and etched with designs beforehand.

Bells

Using different metals will yield different looks. My favorite were the bells with heavy patinas. I will definitely be bringing one of these pieces of art home with me!

Cosanti Bell

Cosanti is on the list of Arizona Historic sites and they have resident students on the property.

www.cosanti.com

 

All Photography copyright – Robyn Porteen

Disclaimer: This experience was provided free of charge for review purposes by Scottsdale CVB, but all opinions expressed are my own. 

 

 

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