The Slope Stability 2022 Organizing Committee has developed a number of activities for partners/guests traveling with symposium delegates. October is the perfect time to experience many of Tucson's sites and experiences. All tours can be registered for and purchased through the conference registration system.
Wine and Rocks Excursion
Tuesday, October 18: 10 AM to 4:30 PM
Price: $125 per Person
Did you know that Spanish settlers and missionaries introduced viticulture to Arizona sometime in the 1700s and that southern Arizona has had commercial vineyards since the early 1980s? This day trip will take you out of the Tucson Basin to the American Viticulture Area of southern Arizona located between the Santa Rita, Whetstone and Huachuca Mountains. These mountains soar above the desert floor, creating “Sky Islands” that have created tremendous biological and geographic diversity, and contribute to the setting that makes for great wines. We’ll travel the scenic State Route 83, which ascends to nearly 6,000 feet at its highest point, and then drops 1,500 feet into Sonoita’s expansive, breathtaking landscape of undulating grasslands.
We’ll share information on culture, history, geologic setting, and beautiful landscapes as we travel to two wineries. The first stop will be the Flying Leap Vineyards and Distillery, followed by a second stop at Rune Wines. Both vineyards are set against the backdrop of the Mustang Mountains.
Event fee includes wine tastings at both vineyards, a gourmet lunch, locally made desserts and a souvenir wine glass.
Transportation is provided via charter bus (meet at La Paloma's entrance at 9:45 am). Minimal walking ability or mobility will be required to participate.
Please note: The elevation is about 5,000 feet (1500m), which is higher than Tucson. It will be cooler than in Tucson (~ 10°F lower in temperature), and you will likely want to have a light jacket or a sweater with you.
San Xavier Mission
Wednesday, October 19: 9 AM to 3 PM
About 12 miles south of Tucson stands Mission San Xavier del Bac, a remarkable church which has been maintained to look much as it did in 1797. What you will see is a view into the Spanish/Mexican baroque world. Life as it was then is forever captured in the frozen gestures of the saints, the drama of the paintings, and the broken outlines of the architectural detail. The saints, the Holy Family, angels, symbolic plants, animals, and objects, and even the famous cat and mouse on the facade, all create the impression that they have been brought together from their different places for a purpose. San Xavier is still being used for the purpose for which it was built, as a Catholic Church serving the Tohono O’odham villagers who live around it. It is still served by the Franciscan Friars, members of the same order that built it in the 1790’s. Mass is offered daily and on Sundays there is a service in Spanish. The church recently opened a museum devoted to the native people of Bac, mission architecture and religious artifacts.
This tour is filled with early Arizona history. Tubac was at one time the site of a Spanish presidio built in 1752 to protect nearby missions and settlements from Indian attack. It is believed that the Tubac area has been inhabited for over 11,000 years. Today, Tubac is a colorful artist colony where working artists' studios now surround the grounds which once served as the military garrison. Tubac is the town “where art and history meet.” You’ll enjoy wandering through the numerous museums, art galleries, working studios and shops.
Following lunch at Stables Ranch Grill, you will travel the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail to the nearby Tumacacori Mission. The Tumacacori Mission was built in 1795 as a Franciscan mission church. The garden contains plants similar to those grown by the padres 200 years ago. Tumacacori National Historical Park (1908) preserves the ruins of 3 early Spanish colonial missions; the oldest and best preserved mission in Arizona, San Jose de Tumacacori, was built on the site of a Pima Indian village.
Price: $190 per Person
Thursday, October 20: 1 PM to 3 PM
Price: $85 per Person
Sabino Canyon is not only a nature photographer’s dream it is also steeped in history. Twelve thousand years ago, Columbian Mammoth roamed here. About 1,200 A.D., irrigation dams were placed in the creek by Hohokam Indians.
Our tour guides will accompany you to Sabino Canyon where you will board an open-air, outdoor motorized tram for a 45 minute narrated tour that gets you up close and personal to this desert oasis. Along the 3.8 mile trail the tram makes nine stops for visitors to take in the panoramic views – cameras are a must. Each stop also offers a variety of hiking trails ranging from easy to challenging. Following your tram adventure, you will be treated to a botanical walk where you’ll learn about desert flora and fauna.