Vote for Phoenix hiking tours fun

Vote for Phoenix hiking tours fun

by Laurel Darren, Wild Bunch Desert Guides • November 01, 2022

“We were in Fountain Hills for a wedding, and as a birthday gift, my wife bought us a (Wild Bunch Desert Guides) mountain bike tour. We have very different experience levels, and despite that, the guides were able to select a loop of trails that not only bridged our experience gap and gave us both good excitement and challenge, but also showed us some of the prettiest parts of the Sonoran Desert. They were a bunch of fun to ride with and knew the trails like the back of their hand. Good equipment, great guides, awesome experience.” – Billy Lee on Facebook, Dec. 6, 2019


A three-generation family -- a grand mother, two parents and a baby -- soak in the sunshine of a gorgeous Arizona sunset during one of the Phoenix hiking tours from the Wild Bunch Desert Guides.
(TOP) A three-generation family -- a grand mother, two parents and a baby -- soak in the sunshine of a gorgeous Arizona sunset during one of the Phoenix hiking tours from the Wild Bunch Desert Guides. (COVER) A smiling couple pause for a picture together during one of the recent Phoenix mountain bike tours with the Wild Bunch.

 
Like a lot of you, I love screw-ball comedies.

So, I absolutely treasure the truly funny film “Napoleon Dynamite.”

But in all due respect to football-throwing Uncle Rico, “wanna-be playa” Kip, and even the hidden dance talents of Napoleon himself, the best part of this quirky movie is “Vote for Pedro.”

The simple protest candidate and hilariously hyperbolic message – “Vote for me and your wildest dreams will come true” -- makes me think hard about today’s real-life campaigns with Election Day 2022 coming up Tuesday, Nov. 8.

For those not opting for absentee mail-in ballots or early voting, this is the day to make our voices heard for races affecting us either locally or nationally – and sometimes both -- for all sorts of offices except President of these United States.

And that is frighteningly unfunny. This is no time to embrace anarchy. This is serious business.

Electing our lawmakers and leaders is a solemn American duty because our forefathers fought for this right rather than be ruled by royalty an ocean away.

Thousands of American soldiers also have sacrificed themselves over the generations on battlefields around the globe to overcome tyranny and maintain the freedoms we all enjoy.

So, the absolute least we can do now is take whatever time necessary to step into that voting booth and cast our ballot – whatever our opinions or party affiliations.

But while we have a responsibility to those countless patriots in our past to participate every Election Day – whether it is the mid-terms like this November, or a presidential selection year, or even a special runoff or local election – count me among the millions turned off by the negative campaigning and venomous political rhetoric.

Thankfully, my Wild Bunch Desert Guides keep me out of earshot of the radio and away from the TV for most of the day.

With my small mom-and-pop specialty shop offering Phoenix hiking tours and Phoenix mountain bike tours, the desert is my sanctuary during campaign season.

Our guests are my “constituents,” and as any good politician would say, I am 100-percent devoted to giving them my best every single day.

However, that is hardly lip-service by me.

From sun-up to sun-down, the Wild Bunch works for your vote by trying to deliver once-in-a-lifetime memories on our Phoenix adventure tours.

With an old southwestern backdrop and a gorgeous Arizona sunset on the horizon, a family of three pauses for a memorable vacation photo during one of the recent mountain bike tours from the Wild Bunch.

With an old southwestern backdrop and a gorgeous Arizona sunset on the horizon, a family of three pauses for a memorable vacation photo during one of the recent mountain bike tours from the Wild Bunch.

 
Phoenix hiking tours: After election selection
Unfortunately, there is just enough down-time in my day to allow the political jibber-jabber to seep into my consciousness.

How could it not?

Whether catching a newscast or sporting event -- or trying to unwind with a TV show, radio program, or Podcast – the campaign ads come at you in a seemingly endless avalanche of insults and innuendos, one after another, over and over and over again.

The assault on the senses is truly inescapable.

Many of the campaign commercials are negative “attack ads” meant to tear down an opponent rather than extol the virtues and build up the electability of a candidate.

They are both truly annoying and despicable in one fell swoop – and as a thinking person, I believe that only makes a weary electorate reluctant to vote for anybody instead of deciding who will best represent them and their wishes.

And of course, there is plenty of dirty money in the system, too, with special interests allowed to either buy our vote anonymously (they call it “dark money” with cheerfully-named political action groups disguising their agenda) – or buy our chosen representatives with massive “donations.”

I wish I had a quick and easy answer to clean up our political system – but I really don’t.

However, there is one thing I can do – and it is the thing I do the best.

The sure winner this election season is for people to plan their next family vacation or weekend couple’s getaway to the Valley of the Sun.

That way they can get past all the negativity by getting back to nature with their loved ones with Phoenix hiking tours or Phoenix mountain bike tours with my Wild Bunch Desert Guides.

A female guest takes a picture of another memorable Arizona horizon during one of the Phoenix hiking tours from the Wild Bunch Desert Guides.
A female guest takes a picture of another memorable Arizona horizon during one of the Phoenix hiking tours from the Wild Bunch Desert Guides.


Campaign pitch for Phoenix hiking tours
For those already exhausted from a withering “election season,” they should be delighted to know there is no need for me to go negative against any of my competitors.

Instead, I can assure you there are dozens of great Phoenix adventure tours companies – who all provide a great service for our visitors -- and have even recommended several of my favorite peers in blogs like this one for an “Elite Eight” to celebrate March Madness (read here).

I also don’t need to go to any extremes to draw a distinct difference between the Wild Bunch Desert Guides experience in contrast to the cattle calls and cookie-cutter bus tours I oppose from the “Big Box” operators.

Simply put, those bigger corporate competitors work on quantity – big numbers of customers -- while Wild Bunch focuses on delivering high quality, individualized experiences to a select few.

And that is perfectly appropriate for all sorts of people – but as I say all of the time – you can always get ice cream in bulk at Wal-Mart and other department stores offering groceries – but if you want a real treat, you seek out a small mom-and-pop specialty shop like the Wild Bunch to find something truly special.

For example, our Phoenix hiking tours and Phoenix mountain bike tours are completely private – geared only to you and your significant other -- or family or travel party.

Never will we ask you to share your outing with Ned for Nantucket and Nancy from New Haven. We never throw strangers together to fill up a group around one guide to maximize our profits.

The Wild Bunch guides are totally devoted to your journey – aiming to show you the best time and amazing scenery, as well as reveal the best places to take unforgettable vacation pictures.

Our guides also are medically trained to help keep you safe during one of our Phoenix adventure tours.

Those Wild Bunch pathfinders are equipped to fight everything from dehydration and other heat illnesses and medical maladies to something as simple as first-aid -- with skinned knees and elbows happening from time to time, especially when traversing rocky terrain on a mountain bike.

And because we are a small business focused solely on you, the Wild Bunch offers homespun hospitality to assure your experience is customized to your personal preferences or completely tailored to your physical skills and needs.

Are you celebrating a birthday or anniversary? Tell us about it during the booking process so we can make sure your milestone is extra special.

Is there anyone in your travel party with special physical challenges or needs? Let me know because there are handicap accessible ADA hiking trails in Phoenix we can use, as detailed in this blog (read here).

Also: Kids are ALWAYS welcome to join their parents on our Phoenix hiking tours and Phoenix mountain bike tours, as discussed in this blog (read here).
 
And if you have your dog on your trip to the Valley of the Sun, don’t forget man’s best friend when seeking some outdoor fun in Phoenix, as this blog reminded (read here).

Indeed, the Wild Bunch Desert Guides are the most important election of your family vacation, weekend couple’s getaway, corporate outing, or business trip because we take the time to pay you the personal attention you deserve – and we do that to make sure you have a once-in-a-lifetime memorable experience with us.

And that is a campaign promise we aim to keep with every voter.


About the Author

Laurel Darren is the founding owner of the Wild Bunch Desert Guides, a 5-star rated adventure tour company that offers guided hiking tours and guided mountain biking tours in Arizona’s picturesque Sonoran Desert in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Arriving in the legendary “Valley of the Sun” in 2012 -- from the home of John Deere in the Quad Cities of Eastern Iowa/Western Illinois -- this corn-fed Midwest girl brought 30 years of athletic chops under her chaps. A 3-sport high school standout and former college softball player – who won her conference’s Athlete of the Year award as a prep senior – Darren has graduated to competing in many races as an adult, from road running and cycling, to cyclo-cross and Mountain Bikes, and even Duathlon and Triathlon “Ironman” competitions. Darren was a popular, top-rated senior mountain bike guide at Arizona’s Outback Adventures before branching out to start her own small adventure business in 2016. To book a guided mountain bike tour or guided hiking trip – or a combination of the two adventures – please visit the home page www.wildbunchdesertguides.com or call 602-663-0842.



 

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Based on good reviews here, I signed up for a half day hike with Wild Bunch. Signup was pretty easy on their website and Laurel, the owner, reached out quickly to confirm and to chat about what kind of experience we were looking for. They will cater to your needs and interest. Met our guide Matt at the trailhead. He was a great guide - knowledgeable, personable and easy to talk with. All important traits especially as we were together for almost four hours. Learned a lot about the desert, the vegetation, animals, etc. Plus got in a bit of exercise. I recommend and would utilize them again!

- Att W.

The owner Laurel Darren is awesome -- best guide around. If you want to do Camelback, which is really, really, really hard (Double-Black Diamond). Call Wild Bunch and listen to Laurel. She brings backpacks with water and treats. Great guide that we have used several times and we will call her when we come back.

- Big T.

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