Destination: Arizona

Video You Must See: The Airplane Boneyard

This gorgeous timelapse of the planes in Arizona’s massive U.S Air Force ‘Boneyard’ also includes short, moving interviews with a handful of retired pilots. Wreckage never looked so good.

(Via The Atlantic)

River a Mile Deep: Three Videos

Videos from Michael Shapiro's 24-day rafting trip down the Colorado River

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River a Mile Deep: Five Great Photos

Images from Michael Shapiro's 24-day rafting trip down the Colorado River

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Spiritual Tourism Struggling in Sedona

The New York Times’ Mark Lacey reports from Sedona—“Arizona’s New Age mecca,” as World Hum contributor Laurie Gough calls it—where visitors numbers are way down. Here’s Lacey:

Nobody is sure exactly what is keeping people away from Sedona’s four vortexes, swirling energy sources emanating from the earth, but the effects are clear: far fewer crystals are being bought, spiritual tours taken and treatments ordered, from aura cleansings to chakra balancings.

That an earthly power—the economy—is a culprit is not in doubt. But some do not discount the effects of an awful incident from a year ago that put Sedona’s New Age community in a bad light and that, to some degree, still lingers, despite efforts by metaphysical people to cast it away.

The rest of the story delves into the impact of that incident last year, when three tourists died in a sweat lodge ceremony. It’s a chilling read.

Que Lástima, Arizona

Que Lástima, Arizona iStockPhoto

The state's new immigration law puts more at risk than tourism dollars and tacos. Adam Karlin reports from the Sonoran Desert.

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Will Arizona’s Immigration Law Lead to a Travel Boycott?

It’s starting to. Some groups are already canceling meetings there. San Francisco supervisors are expected to vote today on a resolution that would go well beyond travel and cancel all contracts with companies based in Arizona.

And in a man-bites-dog kind of twist, Mexico has issued an alert for Arizona, warning that “any Mexican citizen could be bothered and questioned for no other reason at any moment.”

Another Casualty of the Down Economy: Rest Stops

And the people of Arizona are pissed off. From the New York Times:

Arizona has the largest budget gap in the country when measured as a percentage of its overall budget, and the state Department of Transportation was $100 million in the red last fall when it decided to close 13 of the state’s 18 highway rest stops.

But the move has unleashed a torrent of telephone calls and e-mail messages to state lawmakers, newspapers and the Department of Transportation deploring the lost toilets—one of the scores of small indignities among larger hardships that residents of embattled states face as governments scramble to shore up their finances.

Other states have closed rest stops, too, including Colorado, Georgia, Vermont and Virginia.

Must I Get ‘Off the Beaten Path’ When I Travel?

Vagabonding traveler Rolf Potts answers your questions about travel and the world

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A Pilgrimage to SkyMall

SkyMall overload Graphic by Doug Mack

Can a trip to its headquarters make for documentary art, or just a closer look at solar-powered mole repellers? Bill Donahue journeys into the soul of SkyMall.

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Travel Song of the Day: ‘By the Time I Get to Phoenix’ by Glen Campbell

Travel Movie Watch: ‘The Canyon’

This one’s for all the low-grade horror fans. When a newlywed couple heads for the Grand Canyon on their honeymoon, things, predictably, go awry—cue the rattle snakes and the inexplicable pack of man-eating desert wolves. The IMDb page for “The Canyon” doesn’t offer much detail, but apparently the film was released last weekend. Straight to DVD, perhaps? Here’s the trailer:

Travel Song of the Day: ‘Crystal Frontier’ by Calexico

Arthur Frommer Is Steering Clear of Arizona

He isn’t quite calling for a full travel boycott—yet—but in his latest blog post, Frommer expresses his concerns over the recent appearances by gun-toting citizens at a Phoenix political event, and makes it clear that he won’t visit the state anytime soon.

America the Accessible

America the Accessible Photo by Rick McCharles via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by Rick McCharles via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Fifteen years ago, when nobody else was really servicing the community, writer Candy Harrington ditched traditional travel writing and launched Emerging Horizons, a travel magazine for people with disabilities.

“Back then most of my friends and colleagues thought I was a few fries short of a happy meal for making such a drastic change,” says Harrington. Silly colleagues. Other travel magazines come and go but Emerging Horizons is still running strong, and Harrington also writes books, articles for magazines and websites, and a blog on the subject.

We checked in with her to find out about the state of accessible travel in America—and some of her favorite accessible travel adventures around the 50.

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Name That Cactus!

Scottsdale is all very hip and happening, with fancy hotels, great golf courses (allegedly—I’m no golfer) and highly rated restaurants. But during my visit last year, I was mesmerized by the cacti. So many varieties, so many personalities. I snapped umpteen photos—see my brief slideshow after the jump and read about a contest that could win you a trip to the booming desert city.

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