Sunglow Ranch offers Digital Detox Package

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Are you a gadget junkie? Anyone with smartphones or tablets knows how addicting they can be. At Sunglow Ranch, in the Chiricahua Mountains south of Willcox, Ariz., guests now can opt for the new Digital Detox package. They will have the chance to put away — or leave at home — those frustrating electronic devices that seem to distract us from the more important things in life.

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Relaxing in the swimming pool from March to October, unwinding in the hydrospa and strolling along the nature trails at Sunglow Ranch will “put your life back in balance” according to owners, Brooks and Susan Bradbury. You see, there’s no telephone or television in the suites.

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The three-night Digital Detox Package includes lodging, all meals, house wine, two private, two-hour guided horseback trail rides, and a one-hour massage. The cost is: $1,500 for two-room casita or $1,250 for one-room casita (plus tax and ranch fee, for one or two guests, double occupancy. Based on advance reservation & availability. Excludes holidays & blackout periods.)

And Sunglow Ranch has added a new suite to its collection: The Blue Heron Suite, a 530 sq. ft. king bed room with views of the spectacular Chiricahuas and the nearby pond, stopover location for the occasional blue heron. The suite’s private porch is the ideal spot to enjoy morning coffee or a glass of wine. Like all of the Sunglow Ranch rooms, the Blue Heron Suite includes coffeemaker, microwave, refrigerator, hairdryer and comfy waffle robes — for that porch time.

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Of course, WiFi is available for those who are not detoxing digitally or others who can no longer withstand the peace and quiet of Sunglow Ranch and all its surrounding natural beauty — and absolutely find it necessary to check the latest Twitter trends.

For other packages and information including spectacular photos of Sunglow Ranch, please visit its website.

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Wings Over Willcox nature festival bolsters tourism

Willcox, Arizona is earning a well-deserved place among Arizona’s tourism communities. When Arizona visitors think about Willcox, they will not only imagine singing cowboy-actors, apple orchards and agriculture, but also quaint shops, museums, fine wines and nature festivals.

Willcox can boast about being hometown to one of Arizona’s favorite celebrities: singing movie cowboy Rex Allen. His son, Rex Allen Jr. also brought his own fame to the small, but growing southeastern Arizona city. The region around Willcox also became known for its famous apple orchards and pistachios. More recently, a new crop of wine grapes has flourished and wineries have sprung up around Willcox. The town is now a popular spot for wine tasting.

What many don’t know: Willcox is famous for birds, birding and bird watching. Wings Over Willcox (WOW) is an annual birding and nature festival with the main focus on the winter migration of sandhill cranes. Seminars, trade show and bird tours bring visitors to Willcox for the four-day festival. This year’s event is January 12-15.

While in town for the event, visitors and festival attendees will have much to do and see. The chamber website has listings for attractions as well as dining and lodging.  The city’s website also contains visitor information. Here are just a few of the places we recently visited:

Downtown Willcox, along Railroad Avenue holds several of Willcox' main attractions. Willcox Commercial Store is said to be the oldest, continuously operating retail establishment in Arizona.


Also on Railroad Avenue, Rex Allen Museum is a tribute to the singing cowboy-actor and his son


Vintage Photography, Gambing Hall and Parlor is full of antiques and vintage clothing


Coronado Vineyards, a few miles northeast of Willcox, is one of several area wineries. Its retail shop has a large selection of quaint gifts, and wine, of course.


A Taste of Coronado offers Willcox visitors an option of upscale dining

Wine-tasting at Carlson Creek Winery



Window shopping along Railroad Avenue

Wine tasting room at Keeling Schaefer doubles as art gallery

Readers: what are your favorite things to do in Willcox? Any favorite restaurants? Attractions?

Chiricahua National Monument reopened and ready for visitors

If a new year signifies growth, recovery and renewal, 2012 can’t come soon enough — especially to those affected by Arizona’s wildfires. Fortunately signs of growth and recovery are beginning to sprout up in some areas affected by the Horseshoe Two Fire, one of Arizona worst wildfires this past year. Chiricahua National Monument, 36 miles south of Willcox, is one location these signs are evident.

Chiricahua National Monument is best known for its unique rock formations

The Horseshoe Two Fire is the fifth largest fire in Arizona history. It began May 8 and ended with total containment on June 25. Officials determined the fire was human-caused and began about 15 miles south of the national monument, in Horseshoe Canyon. Although much of the park was burned, because the fire had varying degrees of intensity, many areas remained green. Three weeks ago, the park reopened its main roadway, Bonita Canyon Drive. Workers started the repairs on the fire-damaged guardrail back in October and finished in early December.

On the road from Willcox to the park, Dos Cabezas (two heads) towers above state route 186

Massai Point and Echo Canyon areas were also reopened with the completion of the Bonita Canyon Drive repairs. Now that the repairs are finished, the hikers’ shuttle operations have been resumed as well as the entrance fee collections. Now the entire park is back in business and visitors are welcome to return.

On our Dec. 4th visit to Chiricahua National Monument, we were greeted with snow showers and freezing temperatures. The wintry day provided a backdrop of snowy peaks, empty highways and low clouds. Although we came before the park drive was reopened, we were able to check out the grounds surrounding the visitor center and main entrance. The visitor center provided park history as well as information about the Horseshoe Two Fire. On display were many of the satellite maps showing the progress and coverage of the fire. To see the immensity of it was a bit overwhelming. Some of the same information can also be seen on the Incident Information System website, or

Coues deer are returning to the fire-ravaged area

On the way into the park, we noticed a couple of Coues (Arizona white-tail) deer cautiously working their way through some brambles of pinon pine. A hawk soared over the trees. Gradually more wildlife will be returning to the park and the surrounding Coronado National Forest. Growth, recovery and renewal also will return to this park, also known as the “Wonderland of Rocks.” And, like the wildlife, it will be a welcomed one.

Visitor center at Chiricahua National Monument