Author Archives: Dana Wentzel

Dana Wentzel

About Dana Wentzel

Adventure Guide, Shadow Cat Adventures,


Coffee Houses

Java Joints

Looking for a hip place to hang with your friends while sipping your skinny latte? Here’s a list of some of the best independently owned coffee shops in the Valley.

  • Cartel Coffee Lab
    225 W. University Drive
    Tempe, AZ 85281
    1 N. First St.
    Phoenix, AZ 85004
    Hand-crafted coffee

  • Copper Star
    4220 N. Seventh St.
    Phoenix, AZ 85013
    Coffee, tea, sandwiches and smoothies

  • Fair Trade Cafe
    1020 N. First Ave.
    Phoenix, AZ 85004
    Cafe, gallery and concerts

  • Giant Coffee
    437 N. First St.
    Phoenix, AZ 85004
    New coffee house by Matt Pool of Matt’s Big Breakfast

  • Hob Nobs
    149 W. McDowell Road
    Phoenix, AZ 85007
    Deli, live music

  • Lola
    1001 N. Third Ave.
    Phoenix, AZ 85012
    Featured artists, poetry, bakery

  • Luci’s
    1590 E. Bethany Home Road
    Phoenix, AZ 85014
    Full restaurant and jazz night on Saturday evenings

  • Lux
    4404 N. Central Ave.
    Phoenix, AZ 85012
    Coffee and baked goods

  • Royal At The Market
    14 E. Pierce St.
    Phoenix, AZ 85004
    Poetry, First Fridays

  • Urban Beans
    3508 N. Seventh St., #100
    Phoenix, AZ 85014
    Coffee, tea, smoothies and lunch

close up of arizona employment graph

Employment Statistics

Statistics on employment in Arizona.

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Photo of a man on a horse on the edge of a butte

Arizona on the Silverscreen 1927-49 (Part 1)

Many films have been shot in Arizona because of its movie-making friendly weather. Arizona also has a wide range of geographical zones that allow for such extreme differences, such as Old Tucson for Westerns to the Imperial Sand Dunes near Yuma for such films as “Star Wars” and “Jarhead,” as well as Route 66 in the North for movies such as “Roadhouse 66″ and “Natural Born Killers.”

In fact, a snowstorm prevented Flagstaff from becoming the center of the motion picture industry in 1911. Cecil B. DeMille and Jesse Laskey had decided to relocate their New York-based motion picture company to an area with access to more bright, sunny landscapes for outdoor filming.

When their train arrived in Flagstaff, the sky was a deep blue. The movie moguls were surrounded by the majestic pines, and the snow capped San Francisco Peaks made an awe-inspiring backdrop. Unfortunately, two days after their arrival a storm brought high winds, icy rain and snow that soon turned the town into a winter wonderland, unsuitable for film making.

Regardless, Arizona has had its fair share of limelight. Below is a list of the films shot in Arizona from 1927-1949 with many more to come.

  • Wings 1927 Tucson
  • The Painted Desert 1931 Tuba City
  • Lost Horizon 1933 Tucson
  • The Garden of Allah 1936 Yuma
  • Gunga Din 1939 Yuma
  • Stagecoach 1939 Mesa
  • Arizona 1940 Tucson
  • The Grapes of Wrath 1940 Topock
  • The Thief of Bagdad 1940 Grand Canyon
  • The Westerner 1940 Tucson
  • Casablanca 1942 Flagstaff
  • Flying Tigers 1942 Flagstaff
  • Road to Morocco 1942 Yuma
  • The Outlaw 1943 Yuma
  • The Uninvited 1944 Phoenix
  • Along Came Jones 1945 Nogales
  • Leave Her to Heaven 1945 Prescott, Sedona
  • The Bells of St. Mary’s 1945 Tucson
  • Duel in the Sun 1946 Tucson, Yuma
  • Song of the South 1946 Phoenix
  • Angel and the Badman 1947 Sedona
  • The Sea of Grass 1947 Canyon de Chelly
  • Blood on the Moon 1948 Sedona
  • Red River 1948 Tucson
  • Lust for Gold 1949 Superstition Mountains
woman balancing on her forearms with her heels curving toward her head

Yoga Studios Around Arizona

Whether you’re looking to Bikram, Astanga or modern yoga for flexibility, weight loss or relaxation, one of the following yoga studios will definitely fit your needs. These studios from around the Valley come highly recommended by friends of AZNow.Biz.

  1. At One Yoga
    LifePower welcomes yoga students from the beginner of any age to the advanced yogi. The modern and comfortable yoga studios combine the best of East and West to create a peaceful, soothing environment conducive to the incredible benefits of yoga. Whether you are looking for a variety of classes, a wonderful massage or a boutique unlike any other, LifePower is the complete experience.

  2. Bikram Yoga College of India

    40 E. Camelback Road, #108, Phoenix
    Bikram yoga is a challenging series of 26 asanas, or postures, that are designed to systematically stretch, strengthen and restore health to every part of the body. Scientifically designed by Bikram Choudhury, founder of the worldwide Yoga College of India, this 90-minute program is performed in a heated room.

  3. The Bikram Yoga Institute

    7620 E. Indian School Rd., #115, Scottsdale
    The Bikram Yoga Institute was established in 1992, the first Bikram yoga school Arizona. The institute has earned an excellent reputation by providing high quality teaching, a nurturing atmosphere, and a supportive and safe place to heal. The staff encourages students to seek out their true potential no matter their age, shape, size or condition.

  4. Bikram Yoga Tempe

    1825 E. Guadalupe Road, #103, Tempe
    Practice authentic Bikram hot yoga in an environmentally green and air quality clean Bikram yoga studio. Make sure you look for the student who has lost more than 100 pounds or the thousands of students who have changed their lives physically, mentally and emotionally with 30 days of yoga.

  5. Bodhi Coyote Yoga

    6450 E. Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek
    Offering Anusara-inspired beginner/intermediate, workshops, yoga-inspired stretch, advanced flow yoga and yin/flow. Expand your body awareness and stamina. Join the instructors as they weave practical life stories into the poses and fabric of the body.

  6. Dave’s Astanga Yoga

    7950 E. Redfield Road, #170, Scottsdale
    Astanga yoga is a set series of poses sequentially designed to strengthen the muscles and bones, detoxify the body and calm the nervous system. Ashtanga is a classical, traditional series based on yogic principles proven to promote clarity and open the body.

  7. Metta Yoga

    Metta offers many types and styles of Yoga from Kundalini yoga (very traditional) to athletic flow (fitness oriented). Each class experience will be unique to the instructor. It is recommended to try all of the classes for an overall balanced yoga practice.

  8. Omshanti Yoga

    By appointment
    Julie Blew has been a daily practitioner of yoga since 2003, spending one year in solitude before making her way into the studio. She is trained in Ashtanga yoga and inspired by many others. Her classes are filled with powerful flows, music and a place to truly release, surrender and breathe.

  9. SumitsYoga

    SumitsYoga was created by Sumit Banerjee based on his own years of experience in practicing and teaching Bikram yoga and Vinyasa. By integrating the best core principles of traditional hot yoga and Ashtanga-inspired power flow, Sumit created a dynamic, energizing practice that focuses on building strength, flexibility and balance with a holistic approach of nurturing the spirit.

  10. Urban Yoga

    3225 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
    Urban Yoga is devoted to creating a sanctuary of strength and spirit in the heart of the city. It offers a wide range of classes each week in a variety of yoga practices, as well as workshops, seminars and events on yoga and holistic health.

  11. Yoga Breeze

    4705 E. Carefree Hwy., #111, Cave Creek
    Daily yoga classes, yoga teacher training, reiki healing and training, world-class life coaching, nutrition counseling, hypnotherapy, as well as workshops, trainings and special events with international leaders in yoga and spirituality.

  12. Yoga Kamala

    5115 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
    Services range from traditional to modern yoga classes, workshops, monthly yoga spa days, private yoga sessions, Hatha yoga and meditation.

  13. Yoga Pura

    15440 N. 7th St., #1, Phoenix
    Directed by Yogi E, aka Eric Walrabenstein, the experienced and certified teachers are skilled in all facets of the practice, including guiding your yoga postures, assisting you to work safely within the limits of your ability, and helping you to discover the profound and life-changing secrets yoga has to offer in every part of your life. It also offers regular workshops on yoga postures, yoga philosophy, meditation and application of yoga into your everyday life.

  14. Zenergy

    16447 N. 91st St., #105, Scottsdale
    More than 30 classes per week for beginners through advanced. Enjoy an intimate and welcoming environment with small class sizes, excellent hands-on instruction, affordable pricing, and yoga packages that can be shared with immediate family members. Zenergy has a new partnership with Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Scottsdale. Classes will be offered at its beautiful spa for Zenergy yoga.

Town of Superior

The Town of Superior Awaits Copper Mine Ruling

The residents of the Town of Superior are collectively holding their breaths as they wait for SB 409, the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act, to pass. Supported by Senators John McCain and John Kyl, as well as Gov.  Jan Brewer, SB 409 will essentially trade the Oak Flat Campground for various areas around the state, such as the riparian area of the San Pedro River and the Appleton Ranch. In exchange, the Oak Flat Campground will become part of the Resolution Copper Mine.

The Resolution Copper Mine Company, made up of London-based Rio Tinto Group and the Australian-based Broken Hill Properties, purchased the abandoned Magma Mine and is looking to acquire the Oak Flat Campground. Why? Because beneath it is possibly the largest vein of copper ever discovered.

The economic impact to the state is estimated at $46 billion over the mine’s 60-year life span. This would put Superior back on the map and employ many of its residents. The Resolution Copper Mine Company is proposing a block-style mining technique.

However, in 1955, President Eisenhower mandated that the Oak Flat Campground cannot be developed when he signed Public Land Order 1229.

Oak Flat Campground and the surrounding area is a recreational dream, and a sacred land to several Native American tribes. Devil’s Canyon lies to the immediate east. It is a canyon that is a mecca for rock climbers, canyoneers, hikers and bird watchers. The mining will significantly impact the water source for the creek. Apache Leap lies to the west, overlooking Superior, and is sacred to the Apache and several other tribes. Apache Leap is named after an uncomfirmed story of a skirmish between troops and Indians at what is now called Apache Leap Mountain. The legend states that Apache warriors were trapped on the large rock ledge by cavalry troops from Camp Pinal. Instead of surrendering, about 75 of the warriors opted to leap off the cliff to their deaths.

Superior’s history is one of coal mining. The first mines in the area were developed in the late 1800s. The town itself was founded in 1896, and incorporated in 1904. The town reportedly was named after the superior quality of coal found in the area. West of Superior is the Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Superior Facts:

  • Population in July 2009: 3,525
  • Population change since 2000: +8.3%
  • Males: 1,757  (49.8%)
  • Females: 1,768  (50.2%)
  • Median resident age:  39.2 years
  • Arizona median age:  34.2 years
  • Zip codes: 85273
  • Estimated median household income in 2008: $37,392 (it was $27,069 in 2000)
  • Superior:  $37,392
  • Arizona:  $50,958
  • Estimated per capita income in 2008: $16,810
  • Estimated median house or condo value in 2008: $100,261 (it was $45,400 in 2000)
  • Superior:  $100,261
  • Arizona:  $229,200
  • Mean prices in 2008
  • All housing units: $109,693
  • Detached houses: $102,383
  • Townhouses or other attached units: $103,822
  • Mobile homes: $34,951
  • Occupied boats, RVs, vans, etc.: $85,000
  • Movies: 1962 movie, “How the West Was Won,” and 1997 movie, “U-Turn”
  • Read more about the town of Superior
woman holding her head - looking stressed

Five Ways To Reduce Stress In The Workplace

  1. man on phone
    Communicate:If co-workers are causing you stress, ask yourself — why? Perhaps the two of you just aren’t communicating. Put yourself in their shoes — listen to their needs and see if you can accommodate them. If you can, a source of conflict is removed and so is the stress associated with it. If you can better communicate your needs, others are more likely to agree with you.
  2. sun shining thru clouds
    Bright Side:
    When things turn negative, you may follow with a negative pattern of thinking. It’s easy to say that you hate your job, but are you doing anything to improve the situation? If you try to have a positive attitude, it’ll be easier to overcome problems at work. It’s quite possible that everything at work is not as bad as it feels when you are angry. If you try to focus on the things that are going right, you will be less stressed and will increase your job satisfaction.
  3. woman doing yoga in field
    Take Care:
    When the work load is unbearable and you find yourself working through lunch or overtime, stop and take breaks. Enjoy something that isn’t work related. Try not to take work home. Exercise and eat right. A healthy body translates to a healthy mind.
  4. people working together
    Everyone’s Human:
    Everyone makes mistakes. Your team can still produce quality work even if you make a few mistakes. Remember, the work place will still function even if you aren’t there. Remain flexible.
  5. child in adults work shoes
    Other’s Shoes:
    If you put yourself in other people’s shoes you will be able to better understand where they are coming from. If you understand their expectations you can better manage a project and your stress.
close up shot of differnet varieties of of microbrews

Homegrown Brews: Get A Taste Of Arizona’s Own Beers

Breweries from all over the state that brew their own beers for a taste of Arizona.

  1. Four Peaks Brewery

    Tempe & Scottsdale – Kilt Lifter, 8th St Ale, Arizona Peach, Oatmeal Stout, The Raj India Pale Ale (IPA), Sunbru Kölsch Style Ale, Hop Knot IPA, Hefeweizenclose up of website

  2. SunUp Brewing

    Phoenix – Trooper IPA, Horizon Wheat, Amber, Vanilla Porter, Light Rail Cream Ale, Armadillo Red Ale, Stinger Pale Aleclose up of website

  3. Papago Brewing

    Scottsdale – Orange Blossom Wheat, El Robusto Porter, Churchill’s Wheatwine, Ryans Red Ale, Oude Zuipers, Elsie’s Irish Coffee Milk Stoutclose up of website

  4. Thunder Canyon Brewery

    Tucson – Deep Canyon Amber, Thunder Canyon IPA, Blackout Stout, Countown Honey Brown, Good Vibrations IPA, Sandstone Cream Ale, Warhead reserve, Windstorm Wheatclose up of website

  5. Flagstaff Brewing Company

    Flagstaff – American Blonde Ale, Sasquatch Stoutclose-up of website

  6. Oak Creek Brewery

    Two Sedona Locations – Gold Lager, Amber Ale, Nut Brown Ale, Hefeweizen, Pale Aleclose-up of website

  7. BJ Restaurant and Brewhouse

    Six Arizona Locations – Brewhouse Blonde, Harvest Hefeweizen, Piranha Pale Ale, Jeremiah Red, P.M. Porter, Tatonka Stout, Nutty Brewnetteclose up of website

  8. Beaver Street Brewery

    Flagstaff – Big Red Rapid, Hopshot IPA, Bramble Berry Brew, R&R Oatmeal Stoutclose-up of website

  9. Rock Bottom Brewery

    Four Arizona Locations – Varies depending on location: Raptor Red, Desert Trail Pale Ale, Light Lager, Wheat, Red or Amber Ale, Brown Ale, Pale Ale, Darkclose-up of website

  10. SanTan Brewing Company

    Chandler – Devil’s Ale, Sunspot Gold, HefeWeizen, HopShock I.P.A., Gordo Stout, Epicenter Amber Aleclose-up of website

View looking southeast from the top of battleship towards weavers needle

Five Challenging Arizona Day Hikes

1. Humphreys Peak from Lockett Meadow — Flagstaff

Clouds rolling through the mountains on the way to Humphreys Peak

Difficulty: 5
Route Finding: 1
Round Trip: 14.3 miles
Accumulated Elevation Gain: 4,430 feet
Average Time Round Trip: 7-9 hours

Description: You start your hike through Aspen trees on the floor of Lockett Meadow on the Inner Basin Trail until you intersect with the beautiful Weatherford Trail, which takes you through dense pine trees. You then ascend through the avalanche site to the Humphreys Summit Trail, which starts at the saddle and is above the tree line.

2. Mooney Falls to Colorado River — Havasupai

hikers climbing down red rock to the base of mooney falls

Difficulty: 3
Route Finding: 2
Round Trip: Approximately 11 miles
Accumulated Elevation Gain: NA
Average Time Round Trip: 5-8 hours

Description: The hike into Havasupai is not that remarkable once you leave the rim of the Grand Canyon — that is until you reach the campground, where the trail becomes amazing. As a result of last year’s flooding, the scenery has changed and the Navajo Falls have been lost. Luckily, a couple of new falls have been added. Hike past the campsites and climb down the switchbacks, chains and ladder to the pools at the base of Mooney Falls. Continue downstream, crossing the Havasu Cataract several times to Beaver Falls. A hiker very familiar with the area could help you find the hidden Green Room, a small cavern that gets its name from the sunlight that filters through the travertine water, casting a green glow. It’s accessible by swimming through an underwater tunnel near Beaver Falls. As you move past Beaver Falls, you scramble over rocks and up and down the rocky slopes until the turquoise water of the creek swirls into the brown waters of the swiftly flowing Colorado River.

3. Battleship Mountain — Superstitions Wilderness

View looking southeast from the top of battleship towards weavers needle

Difficulty: 5
Route Finding: 4 Roundtrip: 11.96 miles
Accumulated Elevation Gain: 3,520 feet
Average Time Round Trip: 7-9 hours

Description: There are a couple of ways to get to Battleship Mountain, either from First Water Trailhead or from Canyon Lake. This is the route from Canyon Lake: You begin from the Canyon Lake marina parking lot heading south in a constant uphill battle until you reach an overlook of Battleship Mountain and Boulder Creek. You then descend into Boulder Creek and circle around Battleship Mountain and ascend it from the southeast side. There is some serious scrambling with major exposure on both sides in order to reach the top. This is not a hike for those afraid of heights. Vultures buzz lazily overhead waiting for someone to plummet to their dining room table. From the top you can see Canyon Lake and most of the Superstitions Wilderness, as well as Lower Labarge Box Canyon to the northeast, and Geronimo Head. The return trip takes you into Lower Labarge Box Canyon, which is a narrow granite canyon with cool pools of year-round water that you can jump into during the heat of the day. In the spring, the return trip will take you through hillsides of dense yellows, purples and white wild flowers. But you may not have the energy to enjoy them since the trail out will get your heart pumping.

4. Superstition Ridgeline — Superstitions Wilderness

Looking southeast along the rocky top of the superstitions ridgeline

Difficulty: 5
Route Finding: 3
Distance: 11.5 miles
Accumulated Elevation Gain: 4,480 feet
Average Time: 8-11 hours

Description: There are several routes and out-routes for his hike. This description is from the Flatiron side: Hike up the slick and smooth Siphon Draw passing the Flatiron, across the ridgeline, over to the pillar-shaped rock formations, called hoodoos, that fill Superstition Peak, down the steep, dusty, pulverized granite West Boulder trail to the old Carney Springs Trailhead. You finish on the Lost Goldmine Trail to Peralta Trailhead. A vehicle shuttle is necessary for a day hike.

5. Old Baldy Super Loop

Looking east into the clouds from the top of mount wrightson

Difficulty: 4
Route Finding: 1
Round Trip: 12.4 miles
Accumulated Gain: 4,210 feet
Average Time Round Trip: 6-8 hours

Description: Start in Madera Canyon of Mount Wrightson south of Tucson. This figure eight loop combines Old Baldy Trail up to the peak, and then follows the Super Trail No. 134 back down. Predominant vegetation consists of oaks, madrone, walnuts, pines and even a few sycamores. There are wondrous 360-degree views of the entire southern part of the state. If you go on a cloudy day, the hike will take you into the clouds, which is a pretty breathtaking journey in and of itself.

Canyoneer begins 70 foot rappel

Snapshot: Adventures in Canyoneering

The day started early — up at 4 a.m. and in the canyon by 5:45 a.m. Eight canyoneers headed out for a day of adventure. They wound their way through miles of red swirling sandstone slot canyon, with multiple rappels ranging from 15 feet to the Big Rap, which is more than 350 feet. After many hours and a few mishaps, they emerged at the mouth of the canyon to inflate their kayaks, which were back hauled earlier in the day. They then paddled the remaining four miles down river — against the wind — in the churning river to complete the very long day.

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