By Cacinda Maloney
There is really nothing quite like it, as I squeal with glee in the backseat of the open-air, 4-wheel drive!
Just being out on the open road in the desert landscape made all the difference in the world for me, as I am a city-dwelling fiend. The smell of dirt and yet, fresh grass mixed with the cool breeze against my skin, it put me in pure relax mode with a slight tinge feeling of “hang on tight” because this truck is movin’.
Although living so close to the edges of nature, I never really do too much in the way of outdoor activities, not even when the ‘perfect weather of almost anywhere in the USA in the Spring‘ is right here in my own home town.
Even my friend Lee Abbamonte, who is the youngest American to visit every country in the world (312 total countries) thinks so!
And he is among one of the world’s most-traveled people!
After our wild ride in the famous pink colored jeeps, we finished the night at Canyon Creek Ranch, which sits high in the Sonoran Desert among the Bradshaw Mountains with rugged terrain for four wheeling!
Here’s the deal: Scottsdale Arizona now has its own Pink Jeep Tours that for years Sedona has been famous for. The tour I went on and recommend whole-heartedly is the Cactus Canyon & Cowboy Adventure, where I previously wrote about ending up at Canyon Creek Ranch and about what a great experience it was.
Pink Jeep Tours has a great set up, where they pick you up at your greater Phoenix area hotel in an air-conditioned, pink van and then they take you out in comfort to Bar Rescue’s Chilleen’s AZ in Black Canyon City. This is the stop to exchange vehicles, make a pit stop, grab a bite to eat and get ready for the adventure that is “Pink Jeep Tours” to begin! From here, they do two hours of off-roading with engaging and professional tour guides that can handle theses beasts and are graduates of the Pink Jeep College, Smith System Driver Training Program and are certified by the National Association for Interpretation (ie they are trained, qualified and safe). And honestly, this tour is a blast and one you will have a great time on!
When you are ready to be safely deposited back to your hotel, I think there would be nothing more appropriate than a stay at Lon’s Hermosa Inn in Paradise Valley, to go along with the western theme of Cactus Canyon and Cowboy Adventure. This hidden gem is tucked away deep within a Paradise Valley residential neighborhood. It is a luxury boutique hotel that was built back in the 1930’s with a recently completed $2 million dollar remodel that has transformed its suites into a sophisticated, yet comfortable place to rest your head after a long day in the desert.
Ending the night at the Last Drop Bar, which pays homage to Lon Megargee’s “The Last Drop” painting, that symbolizes every cowboy’s appreciation for his horse (and is still printed on every Stetson hat sold today). Nothing could be more fitting that to have an “El Diablo” at cowboy artist Alonzo “Lon” Megargee’s one room studio, that eventually was turned into the Inn you see today.
Disclosure: My time spent riding high in the pink jeep was courtesy of Pink Jeep Tours and in no way influenced the amazing time I spent in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. My pleasurable swallows of “El Diablo” was courtesy of the Last Drop Barat Lon’s Hermosa Inn and I enjoyed every last drop!