Travel

Craving Color?

We’ve finally made it through the summer!  Do we dare say 100 degree days are behind us?  Maybe we’ll whisper it just to be safe.  As expected, as the weather cools in the desert it’s also cooling in the high country.  This means color!  Fall leaves will soon be decorating the mountainsides with an array of oranges, golds, reds and browns.  Fall in the Arizona mountains is something you don’t want to miss!  In this article by azcentral.com you will find detailed information on areas all over the state that offer amazing opportunities to witness this beautiful time of year.  Keep in mind that depending on the region it could be early October to mid November before some of the leaves begin to turn.  The US Forest Service has provided a website that will give you all the information on when certain regions come alive and how quickly you need to start planning your trip.

Enjoy the cool season everyone!  This is why we live here!

Advertisements

“Snow-what?”

For some of us when we hear the term “Snowbird” sometimes we think we’ve heard the word incorrectly.  “Is that supposed to be snowboard?” we ask ourselves.  But then when we realize “snowboard” doesn’t make any sense in the context of the sentence, so we go back and listen again.  “Snowbird“?  Is that a rare bird from the North Pole that only makes it’s presence known when Rudolph is on vacation and Santa needs help navigating?   After struggling to figure out what the heck it is, finally…the term is explained – “a person who seeks to live in warmer climates during the winter months.”  Ahhh, a dream so many of us hope to be able to financially achieve once we hit retirement age.  Better yet…win the lottery, quit our jobs and start now!  To live part of the year in the warm, relaxing, long hours of summer and the other half away from shoveling snow in a warmer southern climate!  What a great life that would be.

Well, folks, if you are lucky enough to enjoy this type of lifestyle, Arizona is definitely the place to be in the winter.  We know it’s only the beginning of Fall and that the temperatures are still a bit toasty for most; but, before you know it we’ll be in the midst of perfect winter weather (60’s & 70’s)!  If you have not enjoyed a Phoenix winter before and are hesitant to buy a place right off the bat come on down and rent a place for a season.  Check us out first before you decide to call the Valley of the Sun your home away from home.  AvenueWest Phoenix is the perfect place to help you with a long term rental during your winter stay.  We’ve got several properties to choose from in all shapes, sizes and locations throughout the valley.  Visit our website or call us at 602.753.2412 to speak to a representative that can help you find the right winter getaway.

There’s More to Arizona than Just Desert

When most people think of Arizona they think of dry deserts, temperatures that can match the surface of the sun, cactus and tumbleweeds. Although the southern part of this great state is desert, there are miles and miles of forest areas as well.  State Fact – Arizona has the largest contiguous stand of Ponderosa Pines in the world.  These tall majestic trees stretch from near Flagstaff, all along the Mogollon Rim and into the White Mountain region.  That’s right folks it’s the largest pine forest in the entire world…Arizona  is NOT just a desert!   With the unforgettable scenery, breathtaking views, historical landmarks and an abundance of wildlife, the Arizona mountains are a must see for anyone who loves the outdoors.

It’s going to be hot and humid in the Valley of the Sun again this weekend.  Yes, it’s September.  Yes, the weather should be cooling down.  And yes, we know you’re probably tired of the heat.  However, the fact remains, we’re not through it yet and there are still a few weeks left of summer temperatures.  Great news though…there’s still time to get up into the mountains to enjoy the fresh pine scented mountain air, beautiful scenery and cooler temps!  Take a drive up north into the pines.  Enjoy their beauty, listen to them sing as the wind blows through their needles and relax in their shade.   The great outdoors are calling your name this weekend!

Travel to the Thompson Trail

It’s going to be a hot one in Phoenix this weekend folks – 110!  Unless you enjoy the heat or have a pool, escape to the mountains for some cooler weather on this 3 day weekend.  One of our favorite mountainous areas is the White Mountains located about 3-4 hours outside of Phoenix.  Since most of us have a 3 day weekend ahead of us we thought the White Mountains would be a perfect spot to write about for this weekend’s getaway.  Check out the White Mountains Regional Chambers of Commerce website for all of the activities and lodging in the area.  Also, while you’re up there check out the Thompson Trail hike located near the west fork of the Black River.  It’s an easy 6.5 mile trek amongst some of our state’s most beautiful scenery.  If you’re not up for the full 6.5 miles there’s also an option to cut it down to 4.8.  Below we’ve included more information on the hike originally published by Arizona Highways Magazine.

Thompson Trail

Thompson Trail

Picture a long alpine valley at nearly 9,000 feet of elevation with a blue-ribbon trout stream running its entire length and forested slopes of spruce, fir and yellow-leafed aspen trees ascending to surrounding peaks. Imagine a level trail that meanders with the stream, mostly in sun, sometimes in shadow, never more than a few yards from the stream bank. Add a sunny Arizona fall morning with frost underfoot and a fine mist exhaled from the shallow, fast-moving waters. That’s a description of Forest Service Trail 629 (Thompson Trail) in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. The trail traces a portion of the West Fork of the Black River near Big Lake in Arizona’s White Mountains. The round-trip length of the hike is either 4.8 or 6.5 miles, depending on whether you hike Trail 628A, the shorter loop that begins where the Thompson Trail meets the West Fork Trail, 628 in the trail system. Because it traverses sensitive riparian habitat, the Thompson Trail 629 is for hikers only. Trail 628, a section of which travels along an old railroad grade above and parallel to the Thompson Trail, is open to both hikers and mountain bikers. Either route offers views of some of Arizona’s most scenic landscapes.

Trail Guide

Length: 6.5 miles, round-trip

Elevation: 8,600 to 8,840 feet

Difficulty: Easy

Directions: From Springerville, drive south on U.S. Route 180/191 to State Route 260 and turn west. After 3 miles, turn south on State Route 261, which joins Forest Road 113 as it loops around Big Lake and becomes Forest Road 249E. To reach the trailhead from Big Lake, drive northwest on FR 249E until it merges with Forest Road 116, then it’s approximately 1.5 miles west to the trailhead at the confluence of Thompson Creek and the West Fork of the Black River at Thompson Ranch. A parking area and information kiosk indicate the trailhead.

Travel Advisory: This hike is best done in late spring, summer and autumn. Be prepared for any type of weather in Arizona’s high country.

Information: Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, Springerville Ranger District, 928-333-4372;www.fs.fed.us/r3/asnf/recreation/trails.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone and happy hiking!!!

 

Prepping for Business Travel

Planning for business travel can be a little stressful at times.  Most people should be preparing for the work that lies ahead rather than worrying about what to pack and hoping nothing is left behind.  We’ve got a few tips to share with you that will hopefully make your planning and packing a little less hectic.

1.  Double Up – Ever get to your destination and realize you forgot your comb, shampoo, or even worse…your phone charger?  Sure, you can buy forgotten items in most major cities; but, the last thing you should be doing while on a business trip is running around trying to purchase travel size hair spray or deodorant.   A favorite clever packing tip is to double up.  Keep duplicates of your small items such as toiletries and electronic charging cables in your travel bag at all times.  Some of these items may need replenishing from time to time; but, if you keep a separate supply for traveling you will never have to worry about forgetting these items again.

2.  Avoid Checking Bags – if your taking a short trip try your best to travel light.  By using a carry-on this will avoid baggage fees and if running late, will save you time.  In order to fit everything in one small bag just focus on the necessities and cut corners when possible.  For example, most hotel rooms have hair dryers these days; so, leave yours at home.  Or, pack just one pair of shoes – remember, you will be wearing a second pair on the plane.

3.  Extended Stay – if your trip will be for an extended stay, try shipping larger items ahead of time.  This will save hefty fees with the airline and will save you time at the baggage check.  Most companies have someone at your destination city who is making your living arrangements.  This person can give you the information on where to send these items and will make sure everything is ready for you when you arrive.

4.  Down Time – unless it’s just a day trip don’t forget your leisure wear.  Everyone needs some down time so remember to pack your lounge and/or exercise clothes.  When you’re done doing business for the day take some time for yourself and relax.

We hope these tips help ease the stress of packing while planning for your trip.  Safe travels everyone!

Whistles, Water & Wine

Hold on tight everyone!  Believe it or not, we are almost at the end of another Phoenix summer!  In about a month you should start to notice…dare I say…a slight dip in temperature.  I know at this point it sounds too good to be true…but hang on…we are almost there!

While we wait, we’ve got another cool weekend getaway idea for you,  two selections to choose from this time, both just a short distance away tucked within the Verde Valley. Whistles, water and wine anyone??

First stop, the Verde River.  Sedona Adventure Tours offers a unique way to cool off by taking you on a Water to Wine guided float trip down the relaxing Verde River.  Choose from two tours, the Classic and the Grand, both include a beginner friendly cruise down the river on inflatable kayaks.  Soak up the sun and the amazing scenery from the water.  Once you reach your destination you will enjoy award winning wines from some of the areas best wineries.  Depending on which trip you choose, lunch and tours may be included.  Visit their website at www.sedonaadventuretours.com for more information and reservations.

All aboard!  All aboard the wine train that is! The Verde Canyon Railroad offers an unforgettable adventure through the Verde Valley and delights it’s guests with scenery you will never view from the road.  Ride first class or in one of the open air viewing cars. Either way, there’s not a bad seat in the house!   The railway has daily trips for the whole family; however, during the summer months they offer a special treat for adults – The Grape Train Escape.  Take the same route through the valley only this time enjoy rolling wine tasting under the stars.  The Saturday evening tours host a different region each time from Tuscany to Napa.
What better way to spend a Saturday night than under the stars with a glass of wine in your hands.  This time you can do it in style on the railway.  Unfortunately at the time of this posting we are nearing the end of this season’s tour.  The next and last trip is September 9th.  However, visit their website for information on other exciting events that they offer throughout the year.

Happy Trails!

Your Investment is the Ideal Short Term Housing Solution for Big Business

Did you know that Phoenix is a big part of big business?  Many large corporations have set up shop in The Valley of the Sun which gives strength to a growing economy, provides a need for housing and allows for a huge opportunity for residential real estate investors.  Many of these companies such as Intel, Wells Fargo, Albertsons, JP Morgan Chase, US Airways and Mayo Clinic will need short term housing for relocating employees or folks that may travel to the area on a temporary assignment.

In order to treat these valuable employees right, the employer will want to make sure they are comfortable not only in the office but at home as well.  This is where your investment comes into play.  Managed corporate housing is the ideal short term solution for this particular clientele.  A condo, town home, or single family residence is perfect for the business traveler.  It allows them to feel relaxed in a home away from home type setting.  Hotels are fine for a quick weekend getaway; but, if someone is relocating or on an extended assignment, managed short term rentals are the preferred option.

AvenueWest Phoenix uses a specifically designed, tested and proven program that delivers high quality rentals, exceeding tenants expectations, while constantly maintaining the quality of the property and delivering higher returns to the property owner.  This means we spend a lot of time with both our tenants and property owners working to keep the best balance possible. In today’s economy, quality, location and cost are everything to our tenants. Tenant’s needs must be taken care of in a timely fashion while making every effort to keep property owners well informed and educated about their properties.

We service all maintenance requests, process all rental payments, negotiate with tenants to maintain higher occupancies, process monthly utility payments and produce year-end income statements including 1099s and expense reports.

You will discover we have structured our management program to work with your needs whenever possible. Our management program includes bringing the best properties into our inventory, assisting with furnishing (if necessary), providing housecleaning and maintenance services, and working with you to ensure you obtain the most from your investment.

AvenueWest Phoenix can help you prepare your rental to be in tip top shape for the incoming business traveler.  Feel free to call us at 602.753.2412 or visit our website at phoenix.avenuewest.com for additional information.

 

Worth the Drive

Staying with our Friday theme by highlighting a cooler weekend destination, we’ve decided to showcase the North Rim of the Grand Canyon this week.  Some may argue the North Rim has more spectacular views than the South Rim and with 1/5 of the visitors than on the south side the North Rim is definitely worth the extra 5 hour drive.  The average high temperatures in August hover right around a refreshing 75 degrees and with a variety of hiking and lodging this is a perfect getaway.  Due to the fact that it is about a 6 hour drive from Phoenix we recommend you get on the road early.  Also,  if you can swing it – consider taking a 3 day weekend in order to enjoy all that the area has to offer.

We found a very informative website that highlights the north side of the park and we’ve shared information on the hiking trails below.  This was originally published by Hit the Trail and if you would like more information on the area you can follow this link to their site.

Bright Angel Point Trail

Bright Angel Point brochureHighly recommended as your first hike upon arriving at the North Rim! It is only ½ mile each way, paved, and takes you to one of the most spectacular views at Grand Canyon. A fabulous walk to during sunset to emphasize all the details and dimensions obscured mid-day when the sun is directly overhead. Since it does follow a ridge line for part of its distance, I have seen a few people who were troubled by the drop offs and unable to walk out to the point. Try it before you decide to not to hike to it; it is a sight to behold! The trail begins at the log shelter in the parking area by the Visitor Center or at the corner of the back porch behind the lodge.

To get the most out of your visit to the point, download the park’s brochure for Bright Angel Point in PDF format (1.65 MB).

Transept Trail

Another wonderful hike located right in the village area of the North Rim. The Transept Trail connects Grand Canyon Lodge to the North Rim Campground and follows the rim of a side canyon called Transept. Although not paved, it is an easy trail that doesn’t have any terrible drop offs along its edge to discourage those with a fear of heights. The trail takes you through Quaking aspens and ponderosa pines, making a very pleasant walk that isn’t too demanding for most people.

Uncle Jim Trail

The Uncle Jim Trail begins at the North Kaibab Trail parking lot and is 2.5 each way. It winds through the forest and comes out to a spectacular point that looks out over the canyon and the North Kaibab Trail switchbacks. It is a pleasant enough trail, but since it is used by mules, let’s just say that the scent of pine tress is not the prevalent “fragrance” here!

North Kaibab Trail

The North Kaibab Trail is the only maintained trail from the North Rim that can take you all the way down to the Colorado River. It is 14 miles one way to the river—with over a mile drop in elevation—and NOT a day hike. However, there are several destinations that make great day hikes. Do be aware that the trail begins at 8,000 feet in elevation, and therefore is pretty strenuous hiking back out no matter how you look at it!

In spite of this challenge, I highly recommend a hike to the Coconino Overlook for nearly anyone. To get to this incredible viewpoint is only ¾ mile one way and provides one of the greatest views to be seen from the North Rim. It is one of my favorite spots along the North Kaibab Trail!

Another ½ mile from the Coconino Overlook, two miles from the rim, is the Supai Tunnel. This is the turning around point for the short day mule trips. There are toilets here as well as a water faucet (check availability before counting on water here). This is a common turn around point for day hikers who don’t want to get into much strenuous hiking. Be very careful leaving packs unattended here as the squirrels can destroy them in seconds looking for food!

Nearly five miles and 3050 feet down will take you to Roaring Springs. This is an extremely strenuous hike and takes a full day to do. It can also be extremely hot in the inner canyon, especially when compared to your starting point on the rim, and requires carrying up to one gallon of water per person. I cannot stress enough how important it is to get started as early as possible. I am not exaggerating when I recommend that you start no later than dawn. You can’t know how important this is until you are stuck below the rim in oven-like temperatures! Roaring Springs is the turn around point for the long mule rides. No mule rides go beyond Roaring Springs; Phantom Ranch can only be accessed by mule from the South Rim.

Widforss Trail

Widforss Trail brochureA very pleasant, relatively level hike through the aspen and pine forest. The trail ends at the rim of the canyon, 2½ miles distance one way. A great hike to take a picnic lunch along. To access the trailhead, watch for the dirt road located one mouth south of the Scenic Drive/Cape Royal Road. Drive in ¼ mile to the Widforss Trail parking area.

To get the most out of your hike, download the park’s brochure for the Widforss Trail available in PDF format (1.75 MB).

Ken Patrick Trail

10 mi. / 16 km one-way; 6 hours approximate one-way hiking time. Winds through the forest and along the rim from Point Imperial to the North Kaibab Trail parking area.

Cape Final Trail

4.0 mi. / 6.4 km round-trip; 2 hours approximate round-trip hiking time. A 2-mile walk from dirt parking area to Cape Final. This trail offers a view of the canyon.

Cliff Springs Trail

1.0 mi. / 1.6 km round-trip; 1 hour approximate round-trip hiking time. Meanders down a forested ravine and ends where a chest-high boulder rests under a large overhang. The spring is on the cliff side of the boulder. Please do not drink the water as it may be contaminated. Trail begins directly across the road from a small pullout on a curve 0.3 miles/0.5 km down the road from Cape Royal.

Cape Royal Trail

0.6 mi. / 1.0 km round-trip; 30 minutes approximate round-trip hiking time. An easy walk on a flat, paved trail providing views of the canyon, Angels Window, and the Colorado River. Markers along the trail interpret the area’s natural history. Trail begins at the southeast side of the Cape Royal parking area.

Point Imperial Trail

4.0 mi. / 6.4 km round-trip; 2 hours approximate round-trip hiking time. This easy trail passes through areas burned by the 2000 Outlet Fire and ends at the north park boundary. From there connections are possible to the Nankoweap Trail and U.S. Forest Service roads.

Roosevelt Point Trail

0.2 mi. / 0.3 km round-trip; 20 minutes approximate round-trip hiking time. This trail is a short, secluded woodland loop with spectacular views. Offers benches for relaxed enjoyment of the canyon.

Safe travels and have a great weekend everyone!!!

Surviving Phoenix During the Summer Months on Business

As everyone knows summer temperatures in Phoenix rival those of the surface of the sun; however, Phoenicians have figured out how to cope and get through the 3-4 months of above 100 degree temperatures with ease.  If you’re traveling to Phoenix on business this summer don’t sweat over the anticipated heat.  Come prepared by following these few simple steps and you will be surprisingly quite comfortable.

First and foremost, dress light. Obviously for business that can be tricky when trying to look professional; but, try your best to wear light, breathable fabrics whenever possible (cotton or linen).  Stay away from anything form fitting – loose fitting dresses, skirts or wide legged pants are the way to go.  Short sleeved or sleeveless blouses feel great when outside of the office; however, while at work make sure to cover up with a light jacket or sweater to comply with the dress code.   Also, keep in mind…we like to blast our A/C out here and if you get cold easily, trust me, you will freeze in the office if you don’t have something to cover up with.  As crazy as this sounds…it’s true!

Shade anyone?  If you see a parking space in a shady spot grab it!  Keeping your car as cool as possible will help tremendously. Summer temperatures in cars can rise to close to 150 degrees depending on what the temperature is on the outside.  If you can’t find a parking garage or shade, use a sun shade for the windshield.  Anything to shield the interior from the sun and heat will help.  And please, please, please remember not to leave children or pets alone in a car EVER!

Water is your friend!  Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!  Whether you love to drink water or not, in the Valley of the Sun it is a MUST during the summer months.  Try to drink at least 64 ounces a day to maintain a healthy level of hydration to keep you going.  The last thing you need during your business presentation is to feel light headed from dehydration.

Stay indoors or take care of outdoor activities early.  Phoenicians have a love/hate relationship with their air conditioners during the summer.  We love the cool comfortable temperatures they provide but we hate paying the high energy bills.  Nevertheless, A/C is a necessity in the desert so try to stay inside with the cool temps as much as you can.  If the great outdoors is calling your name then do your best to take care of it in the early morning before the sun starts to bake.  Even before the sun comes up sometimes the temperature doesn’t dip too far below 100 so the earlier you are up and about the better off you will be.  Look on the bright side…even though the sun isn’t up at least you won’t need a sweater!

The summer in Phoenix isn’t as bad as it seems as long as you are prepared.  Use these simple tips to assist you while visiting and if you feel they’re not enough you can always schedule your business meeting at the pool!

Stay cool!

 

The Open Road

Sometimes it’s nice to get out of town and just go for a scenic drive.  Arizona offers many beautiful places to view from the road.  This particular drive originally posted in Arizona Highways Magazine is just a short trip north from Phoenix.  You can choose to head out of town for the day or let the open road take you for the weekend…it’s up to you!

Beaver Creek

This drive through Beaver Creek country, northeast of Camp Verde, offers history, rock art, hiking and spectacular views. The route, suitable for passenger vehicles, begins on Beaver Creek Road just off Interstate 17. The first nod to the region’s history takes place at the Montezuma Well section of Montezuma Castle National Monument. The ancient Sinagua Indians formed a thriving farming community there beginning about 900 A.D. A short walk uphill along a paved trail takes you to the well that provided the Sinagua with much-needed water, but that isn’t the only water in the region. Hike down the hill’s back side to lush Wet Beaver Creek, where water spills over terraced boulders that are shaded by sycamore and ash trees. A few miles down the road from the well, three popular trails – Bell, White Mesa and Apache Maid — lure hikers. From that point, the road travels across several one-lane bridges and a country boarding school to the V-Bar-V Heritage Site, where after a short half-mile hike, visitors can see more than 1,300 petroglyphs depicting everything from snakes to humans with walking sticks. From there, drive past the M Diamond Ranch through rolling hills and flat-topped mesas back to State Route 260 that connects to I-17.

 

Tour Guide

Route: From Interstate 17 at McGuireville, Exit 293, turn right onto East Beaver Creek Road and drive 4.2 miles through the towns of McGuireville and Rimrock to the entrance to Montezuma Well. The pavement ends here and the road becomes Forest Road 119. Past Montezuma Well, continue for 3 miles to the intersection with Forest Road 618 and turn right onto FR 618 (paved) and drive another 1.9 miles, past the parking area for the three trails to the entrance of the V-Bar-V Heritage Site. There, you’ll find a modified T-intersection with a small desert island in the middle. Turn right there to go to V-Bar-V. From that intersection, travel 3.8 miles south to the M Diamond Ranch and from there, drive another 7.2 miles to State Route 260 and turn right to go to Camp Verde and I-17.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!  Try to stay cool out there!