A July 2005 trip
to Arizona by DanCinOC
Quote: My annual vacation was more domestic this year, so we chose Arizona. Our first stop was to visit friends in Phoenix and then go off to Tucson for 4 nights. Not much was planned, so all the side trips were somewhat spontaneous.
Prior to our booking our 4 night stay, we looked through their extensive and informative website (www.coyotemoonresort.com). It gave us a clear idea of what the philosophy of this establishment was all about, going beyond a spa with good food and a menu of spa treatments. The resort is also very environmentally conscious and in touch with the earth. After speaking to them directly, we were emailed an extensive questionnaire to assist them in providing a stay with them that was tailored to our interests and desires. Questions included dietary needs and concerns (they were sure to leave the mushrooms off my meals), desired activities (from yoga classes and star gazing to morning hikes and an excursion to the Arizona Sonara Desert Museum), and desired spa treatments. Upon arrival, our spa treatments had already been scheduled (one per night stay) as well as a sign up book for activities offered that were also scheduled around our spa treatment.
This was low season for the resort but I believe the owners and staff would be equally as attentive during their peak season. The chef even came to the dining room at several meals to converse with the guests. Meals were exceptional. Not only were they healthier than many of your nicer restaurants, the portions were more than adequate, and the flavor exceptional.
I experienced a Swedish massage, reiki, and a facial. All were outstanding but I what I will remember with the most fondness is the hot-stones massage. While I have had this type of massage before, massage therapist Steve had the most incredible hands and intuition.
While many might try to go here for a weekend, I highly suggest at least a four night stay. It wasn’t until the third morning that I began to really relax. It would have been a shame to have left on the day that I was just beginning to settle into that sense of calm. I prefer to not return to a place that I have visited before because there are so many other places I want to visit. Coyote Moon, however, will be a definite return visit.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 15, 2005
Coyote Moon Health Resort and Spa
7501 N. Wade Rd.
The caverns were discovered in 1974, so it is fairly new. But so much has been done to protect the integrity of the caves. Our tour had about 20 people in the group. As we walked along the handicapped accessible path, parts of the caverns would illuminate as we approaced. There are several different types of formations that are described by the guides. The walk was easy and the tour lasts around 1 1/2 hours. On this particular tour, the final stop was in an area with benches that overlooked the entire room. As music began to play, we were treated to a light show as different parts of the caverns came to life with lights highlighting each spectacular formation. At the end, I took in a deep breath and tried to soak in one last look to put this vision into my memory bank. I may find my way back here sometime in the future to experience the other cavern.
Call ahead to make reservations. This is out of the way so it would be disappointing to drive that distance and not be able to get a tour. Their website is www.azstateparks.com. Since picture taking was not allowed in the caverns, you will have to see some of these formations on their website.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 15, 2005
Kartchner Caverns State Park
Benson, Arizona 85602
Upon arriving into the area, I was taken aback by the beauty of the landscape. Entering the valley, my eyes were greeted by the striking landforms that jetted out of the ground into these awesome formations of rich reds and earthy browns. Before even getting to the community itself, we had to pull off the road to pause, take some pictures, and take it the majesty of what lied ahead.
The climate that particular was quite hot and dry. We stopped off at the tourist center on the way in to pick up pamphlets on things to do (back road jeep rides, shopping, etc.), as well as to pick up water. We decided to walk through the town, have lunch, do a jeep ride, and see what things were here to see on a future trip back.
While walking through the small shops and galleries on the small tourist road, we came across the many common souvenirs. We took time to stop into the different galleries to marvel at some very unique art pieces. One stop was to a crystal shop located on the upper level near the center of the stretch of roadway. As with artwork, I was drawn to the different items in this shop in the same manner. I don’t know what is good, but I know what I like when I see it. I was like a little kid in the candy store. I saw a lot of things that I liked. I settled on an amethyst crystal surrounded by copper wiring to give to a friend. I found out later that this was made by a local artist, who I met at the door on the way out.
By afternoon, the weather had turned to something quite different. By mid-afternoon, the skies had darkened and the town was treated to a symphony of thunder and lightning and a showering of rain that lasted for at least an hour.
I didn’t know what to expect on this particular trip to a community that has beckoned me. I will be back again to spend the evening there to see what the spirits of this place have in store for me on my next journey.