Getting on/off motorcoach; traveling for approximately 175 miles for 4 hours over the course of the day; standing and walking for up to 2 hours over the course of the day. PLEASE NOTE: Kitt Peak is at nearly 7,000 feet above sea level, and temperatures are 15-25 degrees cooler than in Tucson, particularly after sunset. Winter and early spring months often bring cold, windy conditions; hats and gloves with heavy coats are highly recommended at Kitt Peak Observatory.
We’ll ride via motorcoach to Mission Garden, often referred to as the birthplace of Tucson agriculture. A docent will lead our exploration through the garden. After viewing the five timeline gardens and learning about their connection to Tucson history, our group will depart via motorcoach to The Carriage House for a cooking demonstration led by Chef Janos. In 2000, Chef Janos was awarded the “Best Chef in the Southwest” designation by The James Beard Foundation; he also played a role in getting Tucson designated as a UNESCO city of gastronomy in 2015. After the cooking demonstration, there will be time to ask questions.
At the cooking school, we’ll have a 2-course plated meal featuring the flavors and ingredients that have earned Tucson the designation of UNESCO's first city of gastronomy in the U.S. Water will be included; other beverages available for purchase.
We'll travel outside the city of Tucson to the Tohono O'odham Nation Reservation. The Tohono O'odham Reservation sits on about 2.7 million acres in southern Arizona's Sonoran Desert, making it the second-largest tribe in the United States by land holdings. On arrival at Himdag Ki, the Tohono O'odham Nation Cultural Center & Museum, we will gather in the museum’s meeting room for a special cultural presentation by a member of the Tohono O'odham Nation. After the presentation, we will have a little time for self-directed exploration of the exhibits at the museum. We will then travel via motorcoach to the Kitt Peak National Observatory, which sits on land leased from the Tohono O'odham. Kitt Peak Observatory is home to one of the largest arrays of optical and radio telescopes in the world.
At the Kitt Peak Observatory, we’ll have a boxed lunch with a sandwich, snacks and water as we watch the sun set.
We will participate in the Nightly Observing Program, which will include a presentation on telescope viewing and an introduction to star-gazing by Observatory staff. This program is designed for beginners. The Nightly Observing Program will take place regardless of weather conditions; in the event of cloudy weather, we will experience alternate presentations and activities at the Observatory. Star charts will be available to help us identify the constellations. We’ll return to the hotel in Tucson in the late evening.