Getting in/out of van; traveling about 60 miles, approximately 2 hours. Walking and standing at Desert Museum; paved and unpaved terrain. Mounting and dismounting horse (mounting block available); riding horses. Swimming; bring bathing suits. Walking up to 2 miles over course of the day; packed dirt, mostly even terrain.
We’ll board one of the Ranch vans and travel to Tucson to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. We’ll go on a docent-led exploration of the exhibits, followed by time for independent explorations. The museum exhibits more than 300 live animal species, including mountain lions, prairie dogs, Gila monsters, hawks, bighorn sheep, and hummingbirds in their natural habitats; a fenceless enclosure allows javelinas—a pig-like animal with hooves— to explore hillsides and take mud baths. We’ll walk on paths through landscapes containing more than 1,300 species of plants indigenous to the Sonoran Desert region, including desert grasslands, cactus and desert gardens. There is also a pollination garden complex which shows interactions between insects, birds, bats and plants. A simulated limestone cave features a collection of regional gems and minerals. Additionally, there is a display about how the planet has evolved with explanations of erosion, volcanic and seismic activity and plate tectonics. We will take the van back to the Ranch for a little free time for swimming or relaxing before lunch.
We'll choose from a couple ranch activities this afternoon, such as a scenic slow trail ride or cattle sorting. We'll then walk to the arena for the Exhibition Ranch Rodeo performed by the White Stallion Ranch staff. The weekly exhibition rodeo has been a Ranch tradition for almost 50 years.
After dinner we'll gather for a Star Party. We'll walk out to a nearby area where we'll be able to view the heavens just as the early Native American residents of this area did; far away from city lights, the stars, moon, and planets are visible with amazing clarity. With our local expert, we'll have the opportunity to view the magnificence through telescopes as well as binoculars (bring your own if you have them).