Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mark your calendar for March 9, the 7th annual Geo Cache Desert Bash at Cattail Cove SP

Cattail Cove SP will host the 7th Annual Geocache Desert Bash treasure hunt with a cactus walk, presentations, and food.

For those not familiar with Geocaching, it is related to orienteering where people find their way using a compass, except that Geocaching takes advantage of personal, handheld Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to seek out a specific location.

After the Geocache event treasure hunters and visitors are invited for a free raffle and cake starting at noon. A hot dog vendor will also be on site for lunch. Call the park at 928 855-1223 for more information.

This event won an AZTEC (Arizona Talent in Event Concepts) award for its official Arizona Centenntial Event Geo-Cache Bash on March 12 last year at the park south of Lake Havasu City. The AZTEC awards strive to recognize outstanding examples of festival and event production and promotion in the State of Arizona. The park was honored for "Best AZ Centennial Extra Element" which recognized the park for producing an added element to an existing annual event.

The annual geo-caching treasure hunt event features teams broken up into easy, moderate, and difficult cache groups and based on their specific missions set out to find treasures in the park using clues and their GPS systems.

Following the Geo-caching, teams returned to the campgrounds and were entered into raffles for a brand new Garmin GPS system as well as other prizes such as cooking spices, key chains, and more.

For more information visit the Cattail Cove State Park website.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Oracle State Park re-opens for weekends in 2013 February through April

Oracle State Park, Center for Environmental Education, will re-open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays beginning February 2, 2013 from 8am to 5pm through April 28, 2013.

Spring activities will include the popular guided bird walks and hikes, tours of the historic Kannally ranch house, and environmental education school programs are offered weekdays by reservation.

On February 2 and 16, join Volunteer Mary Ellen Flynn for a Guided Bird Walk. Meet on the upper patio of the Kannally Ranch House at 8:15 am. The walk is free with park entrance fee. No reservation needed.

On February 9 and 16, there will be a Guided Hike with Gaston Meloche. 3-5 mile group hikes are planned. Reservation is required. Meet at 9 am at the Kannally Ranch House both days. Call Hike Leader, Gaston, at (520) 638-5404 to sign up.

Annual Oracle Volunteer Training will be held on February 15. There will be an open house Orientation from 9am to noon in the living room of the Kannally Ranch House. Please call for a reservation (520) 895-2425. The first class is a no-commitment-necessary introduction to the Oracle State Park (OSP) Volunteer Program, Environmental Education School Programs and introduction to the Cultural History of the park. Volunteer Training continues weekly Fridays through March. On Friday February 22, learn more about the park's natural history - geology, plants and wildlife - and interpretive education mission.

Each Saturday and Sunday at 10am and 2pm starting on February 2, tours of the historic Kannally Ranch House will resume. House tours are free with park admission. Visitors will learn the stories behind its hand-carved corbels, stenciled walls, hand-formed fireplace, French casement windows and cozy ranch kitchen. The Kannally Ranch House is a four-level pueblo-revival adobe home with Moorish and Mediterranean influences. It was built by the Kannally ranching family and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The displays include family photos, furnishings and several paintings by "self-taught" cowboy artist Lee Kannally. Picnicking on the patios is welcomed.

Oracle State Park has trails that offer varying degrees of difficulty including a four-mile section of the Arizona Trail that transects the park. Bring your camera, binoculars, notebook, sketchbook, birdbook and leash for your pet.

Oracle State Park is located northeast of Tucson in the northern foothills of the Catalina Mountains and features quiet picnic spots, miles of hiking trails, stunning views of the mountains, access to the Arizona Trail plus other oak-woodland trails. Restaurants and attractions in the quaint community of Oracle are nearby.

Elevations in the 4,000-acre wildlife refuge range from 3,500 to 4,500 feet. The park features a diversity of animals, plant species and rock formations. There are also oak tree-shaded washes, mesquite scrub habitats and riparian woodlands with manzanita and beargrass.

For more information visit the website at, call the park office at (520) 895-2425. The Park Entrance Fee is $7 per vehicle for up to 4 adults.

For information about all 27 Arizona State Parks, the Trails and Off-Highway Vehicle Programs and State Historic Preservation Office call (602) 542-4174 (outside of the Phoenix metro area call toll-free (800) 285-3703), visit the website and online camping reservations at, Twitter/Facebook AZStateParks.

You will find Bob Difley's RVing ebooks on desert boondocking and saving money on the road in RV Bookstore.