Within an hour your bus leaves behind the cityscape and climbs through saguaro and mesquite hill county to the most famous of Arizona’s scenic wonders. Indigo canyons and sandstone ledges in a variety of conformations soon lead to the unforgettable monoliths and magnificent depths of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River.
You can be on that bus when this terrific, five-day tour of Arizona takes place September 17-21 following the 1989 PSA International Convention in Scottsdale (September 11-16).
Jim Russell, APSA, tours chairman for the convention, has scheduled three exciting adventures. Two are one-day trips into the Oak Creek Canyon area of northern Arizona – one will feature a Jeep ride into back country and one will take advantage of surrounding scenic sites.
The five-day, four night post convention tour takes place in the south rim of the Grand Canyon, a boat trip on Lake Powell to the base of Rainbow Bridge, and a journey through Navajo Nation.
Shorter tours in the Valley of the Sun feature (1) a visit to an Arabian horse farm, Scottsdale Civic Center and Arizona Highways magazine offices; and (2) an evening of fun and good food at Pinnacle Peak Patio.
The Post-Convention Adventure
In the spirit of presenting PSAers with a different option for a post-convention tour, the longer five-day trip will cover many miles of the spectacular northern Arizona area, and provide photographic possibilities that might take a resident Arizonian five years to visit.
This adventure begins with a visit to Montezuma Castle National Monument, a luncheon stop at Flag-staff, and a planned arrival at Grand Canyon National Park in time for late afternoon and sunset photography at Yavapai Point. For evening entertainment, you’ll shoot canyon rapids via the power of IMAX cinema.
The following day begins with an early boarding for further adventures through the Navajo and Hopi Indian Reservations, which cover nearly a sixth of the northeast corner of the state. Roadside vendors selling juniper beads and silver jewelry appear occasionally along the way.
Included in this past of the tour (but not necessarily in this order of occurrence) are: a one-half day tour of Canyon de Chelly at Chinle, guided by a Navajo Indian; a one-half day tour of Monument Valley in Utah, also guided by a Navajo Indian; a visit to a Navajo Indian hogan (six-sided home); Indian dancers and weavers; special photo shots of Navajo shepherds and an Indian on horseback at Ford’s Point. This lookout over Monument Valley and “The Mittens” (monoliths) was made famous by motion picture director John Ford.
On your half-day tour into Canyon de Chelly (pronounced d’shay), you enter the national monument from the west. Here the canyon walls are low. As you proceed in your four-wheel drive vehicle, the walls become higher, and at every turn of the riverbed in which you’re traveling a new panorama appears.
This is the home of the ancient Anazasi, the people who lived here before the present Navajo (Dineh: The People). Their ancient cliff dwellings remain as testimony to the excellent living conditions of the canyon in summer. Even now the winters are hash in this high mesa land, and present inhabitants migrate to the outer canyon for the winter. You’ll see the canyon following the late summer monsoon, just before winter begins.
Another highlight of the tour will be a one-half day trip by excursion boat on Lake Powell. At Wahweap Marina, you’ll embark on a thrilling ride to the foot of the world-famous Rainbow Bridge National Monument. This gigantic natural arch was virtually inaccessible until the dammed waters of Lake Powell backed up under the red stones. Only the Arizona-Utah sky will match the hues of the lake – in September the light values for photography should be excellent, and there should be many possible shots, from boat wake to other craft.
Dinner by water’s edge at Wahweap Lodge is planned, but confirmed reservations may be located in Page. (This is a change from advance publicity.)
A stop at Cameron Trading Post, one of the most frequented posts on the western side of the reservation, is planned. Shopping here is great – you can purchase anything from inexpensive trinkets to fine art in the world of weaving, basketry and jewelry. Cameron stands behind its merchandise.
Another stop photography expert tips for photographs and information includes Wupatki National Monument, which should be surrounded by hundreds of acres covered with blooming brittle bush and snake weed. These tiny yellow flowers are thelate bloomers in September. (Because you are visiting Arizona in the early fall, there will not be any cactus flowers. Sorry.) Wupatki was populated around the time of the Sunset Crater eruption and you’ll have a chance to see how this apartment complex was built.
Traveling through the adjacent Sunset Crater area, you’ll see miles of lava beds, created nearly a thousand years ago, and now beginning to support vegetation.
To complete your tour of northern Arizona, you’ll visit two more national monuments – Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert. Take a picture of a giant log that lived eons ago turned to agate. Close-ups of the beautiful rock formations will be good nature shots.
The cost for the five-day tour will be $515 per person, double occupancy; $675 per person, single occupancy. This tour will have a limited capacity. Interested PSAers should make reservation early.
Included in the cost are hotel accommodations, transportation, guided tours and photography tips for clients some meals (a full breakfast each morning, three box lunches, due to remote areas being visited,and one dinner), and all taxes. It will not include tips to Navajo Indians who pose for photos: it is their custom to except gratuities from individual photographers.
The air-conditioned motor coaches engaged for transportation will have airplane-style reclining seats, kitchenette and restroom, and a public address-VCR system with five color television sets.
Four Convention Adventures
On September 11, the Jeep tour will head for the outback of Arizona’s red rock country. Buses will leave the hotel early, and arrive in Sedona for some shopping time in Tlaquepaque, a realistic Mexican-style walled area on the banks of Oak Creek. Lunch is on your own. The bouncy back country Jeep ride follows trails and pursues the ups and downs of rocky red hills. Cost for this outback adventure is $55 per person.
On the following day (September 12), another tour to Sedona, Tuzigoot National Monument and the “ghost town” of Jerome is scheduled. All transportation will be by bus. Shopping at Tlaquepaque and in Jerome is available, but PSAers more than likely will want to take away pictures rather than souvenirs.
Tuzigoot is a well preserved Indian ruin atop a small hill overlooking the quick photography tips for beginners Verde River Valley. If you’re interested in the pre-historic Native Americans, here’s an excellent chance to see one of their dwellings.
This tour includes a luncheon at Poco Diablo (little devil) at the Doodle Bug Ranch in Sedona. Cost of the day tour is $47 per person.
Also scheduled for Tuesday is the evening outing to Pinnacle Peak Patio. This favorite western style restaurant in the valley north of Scottsdale is famous for steaks and ribs. Cowboy Dan is your host, and the Old Timer and Annie, his burro, will entertain you. Cost for the evening is $26 and includes the famous apple pie and cinnamon ice cream desert. The buses board at 6:30 p.m. for a short trip through the desert. There will be a no-host bar.
The city tour is scheduled for Wednesday, September 13. First stop is the Scottsdale Civic Center. This well-designed area is full of photo angles – the buildings are generally southwestern/pueblo style, and the grass areas complement the desert vegetation. In September, there should be ducks and other waterfowl visiting the ponds.
Next on the tour is a visit to one of Scottsdale’s outstanding Arabian horse ranches. A guide will show you through the stables, and you can photograph the beautiful horses, some of which cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The ranch has fountains, pools, and columned porticos.
For lunch you’ll stop at the McCormick Ranch Whalers Restaurant, which is surrounded by lakes. There may be a few wind surfers to enjoy watching. Tour cost includes lunch.
Then it’s a long ride across the valley to the offices of Arizona Highways magazine on the west side of Phoenix. These cordial folks will welcome you and answer your questions.
On the way back to the Hyatt Regency, you’ll get to see a little more of the Valley of the Sun. Your bus guides can fill you in on other sights to see, places to visit, and things to do. The day-long sojourn will cost $35.
Register Early for the Tours
Registration forms for both the convention and the tours will be in a future issue of the PSA Journal. Tours will be booked in order of receipt, and a stand-by list will be kept.
The convention committee looks forward to welcoming you to Scottsdale, the Valley of the Sun, and an super time in Arizona. It will be the perfect place to celebrate Photography’s 150th Anniversary! And the tours will lead you to some excellent opportunities to continue your own photographic history.
The convention will be held at the Hyatt-Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch, 7500 East Doubletree Ranch Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85258. Information on room accomodations will be available in the Journal soon.
Sock It Away
The 1989 PSA International Convention in Scottsdale will be held in a prime resort. Because of this, the local convention committee feels it is a courtesy to advise PSAers coming to Arizona about costs.
The Hyatt-Regency is located in northern Scottsdale and has no nearby shopping centers with a McDonald’s or Burger King franchise. The hotel’s restaurants and those of adjacent hostelries are expensive. To reach coffee shops and economical restaurants, a journey by taxi or motorized trolley is necessary.
We suggest making a PSA convention sock like the one in the attached cartoon and “sock it away for Scottsdale.”