“For all of its sustainable features, it's like that the lodge's number one preserved resource is the Sonoran desert itself. The stunning terrain is alive with indigenous plant life, which can be experienced by a walk through the meditation maze or a hike laong several surrounding trails. All of the suites open to a traditional courtyar featuring beautiful desert flora and a pollinator habitat that is a haven to hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. Bring your pup! Dog-friendly rooms are also available....” read the full story »
Spencer's Observatory was listed as one of the top 25 activities to do when vacationing to Tucson, Arizona. "...Experienced astronomers will guide amateur and pro astronomy enthusiasts alike at this custom-built observatory with its retractable roof and numerous telescopes. The Observator also has a private patio, which can be used by small groups for stargazing parties. Reservations are required....” read the full story »
"Through unfiltered glass, looking at the sun would have the same effect on an eyeball as a magnifying glass on an ant. But a special hydrogen alpha filter lets through only a fraction of the star’s glare, making it safe to view. [Robby] Tackett steps aside so that I can take a look. The burning orb in the sky is reduced to a dark red ball whose surface seethes with convection cells. “See those wisps along the edge?” Tackett says. “Those are solar flares....” Published at: http://www.presstelegram.com/lifestyle/20140519/tucsons-brilliant-night-skies-offer-great-stargazing .
"Clear desert air and light-pollution controls make southern Arizona a hot spot for astronomers. ... I decide to make a daylight trip to the Cat Mountain Lodge on the city’s western edge. The hacienda-style B&B (catmountainlodge.com) has five rooms around a plant-filled courtyard, but I’m here for the small attached observatory, where guests and visitors can book guided viewings...” Published at: http://seattletimes.com/html/travel/2021898036_tucsonarizonaxml.html .
"Robby Tackett, who runs the observatory, is already here, bent over a small white telescope in the kiln like heat. The former skydiving instructor and amateur astronomer personally picked out the big guns used for night viewing — a 14-inch Celestron SCT and a 10-inch Meade LX200 SCG — as well as the smaller scope that he’s currently aiming at the sun. Through unfiltered glass, looking at the sun would have the same effect on an eyeball as a magnifying glass on an ant. But a special hydrogen alpha filter lets through only a fraction of the star’s glare, making it safe to view. Tackett steps aside so that I can take a look. The burning orb in the sky is reduced to a dark red ball whose surface seethes with convection cells. “See those wisps along the edge?” Tackett says. “Those are solar flares.” Each tiny thread is a massive eruption of light and energy, sending a torrent of radiation into space. It’s strange to think that the raw energy prickling my scalp and wilting the hairs on my arms started out somewhere in that roiling mass of hydrogen and plasma and took eight minutes to sail across space and arrive here...” read the full story »
"Cat Mountain Lodge on edge of Tucson Mountains beckons with a Southwestern flavor. A golden Southwestern building fronted by iron gates opens into a tranquil courtyard surrounded by three rooms, two suites and the innkeeper's office. Steppingstones throughout the courtyard separate native plants, herbs and a stone water fountain. Wooden love seats and rocking chairs adorned with Native American blankets beckon guests. The bed and breakfast opened in 2010. It includes Cat Mountain Station, a complex where visitors can shop for art and other goods, eat at the Coyote Pause Café or stargaze at Spencer's Observatory... One of the lodge's missions is to be eco-friendly. It's "Certified Green Lodging" by the Arizona Hotel & Lodging Association in partnership with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and Arizona Office of Tourism. Rooms are stocked with organic shampoo, conditioner and body wash in refillable bottles. The bed and breakfast has rooftop solar panels, insulated rooms and a graywater system. Different rooms are pet-friendly, handicapped-accessible or able to be outfitted for guests with allergies. The combination of green living, individually decorated rooms, desert scenery and friendly customer service create a homey atmosphere that guests appreciate..." read the full story »
"Are you someone who prides yourself on living the 'green' life? Then next time you're in Tucson, you'll want to stay at Cat Mountain Lodge with eco-friendly features, "built into a friendly ranch setting"... Cat Mountain Lodge sits on 13 acres at the base of the Tucson Mountains, on the outskirts of Tucson. The lodge is just steps from Tucson Mountain Park West where guests can explore 62 miles of hiking and biking trails. Or if you're just looking to relax, retreat to Cat Mountain Lodge's Arizona Room and stretch out in front of the beehive fireplace with a cup of coffee and a good book. A computer is available to check out all there is to do near the lodge. There's plenty to do in the immediate area; shopping at Cat Mountain Station and you're just a few minutes from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Old Tucson Studios and Saguaro National Monument-West. But you'll want to be around Cat Mountain Lodge when the stars come out. Spencer's Observatory is located just outside the courtyard where guests and others can enjoy a three hour guided tour of the heavens...” Original story published at: http://www.abc15.com/lifestyle/travel/arizona-getaway-staying-green-in-tucson .
"When Kerstin and Spencer Block bought the piece of land adjoining a shopping center they owned, the plan was for Spencer to open a bed and breakfast while Kerstin ran Buffalo Exchange, the couple's other business. That plan changed in September when Spencer Block died from pancreatic cancer, leaving Kerstin Block to fulfill her husband's vision. "He pretty much conceptualized the design of the place and got it all started," she said. "I certainly was not going to give up on it, so I took it over. It is not in my nature to not finish things."... Inspired by a Mexican hacienda, the 4,000 square foot lodge is meant to allow people to experience Tucson's natural beauty firsthand, Block said. The bed and breakfast's "best attribute is its location," Block said. "It is in the desert right outside the Tucson Mountain Park and it is close to the Desert Museum and the Saguaro National Park." The project... is meant to make guests feel as if they are staying in a friend's home, she said. It is also built to be extremely energy-efficient. Bryck Guibor, owner of Brick by Bryck, built the structure. He said the building uses rainwater and gray-water harvesting, solar panels and individual in-room heating and cooling systems as a way to minimize the carbon footprint.” read the full story »