Hot Air Balloons & Arivaca Wildflowersby Jim Gressinger on Apr. 04, 2012, under Day/Weekend Adventures, Scenic Back Roads, Southern Arizona Art, Southern Arizona Attractions, Southern Arizona Wildlife, Wildflowers
Hot Air Balloons
Neighbor Roy lives just up the street from us. Day before yesterday, he and Ms. Karen were on their early morning walk with the (4) dogs when all of a sudden this hot air balloon rises from the ground right in front of them.
On another note, I have it on good authority that wildflowers are in bloom in and around Arivaca. Resident Paul Perino tells me that many varieties can be spotted all along the roadsides and hiking trails, as well as within the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR).
Among the performers, you will find: Bajada Lupine; Stork’s Bill Filaree; Wooley Daisy; and of course, Mexican Poppy.
If there is ever a “best” time to wonder through the BANWR, this is it. Take the kids. Bring a camera. Also, I believe this
coming Saturday is First Saturday in Arivaca – a rural version of a street fair. Farmers’ Market. Games for kids. Good fun for all.
If you go, take the Arivaca Road exit off I-19 and drive west about 23 miles to the Village of Arivaca. Just before you reach the Village, you can get fresh roasted coffee (several blends) at The Gadsden Coffee Company (on the right). Just before you enter the Village, you will see a big sign on the left announcing your arrival at La Cienega portion of the Wildlife Refuge.
While you’re there, do acquire a copy of the book: Wildfowers: A Field Guide to Flowering Plants of Southern Arizona. Highly recommended. It was written by Maggie Milinovich who also publishes the local newspaper Connection and is proprietor of La Gitana (gypsy) Cantina.
Where To Dine
When you get hungry, I recommend Sweet Peas Cafe. Any of the town folk can give you directions. Good food. Good value. Try the quiche. If you go, let me know if Jenni has her liquor license yet. jg