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Central Park, New York
The Rocky Mountaineer
Johanna Beach, Australia
Hluhluwe Reserve, KwaZulu Natal
Tecina GC, on La Gomera island
Portuguese cakes, bought by weight
Kingsbarns’ entrance and clubhouse
Killeen Castle, just outside Dublin
Slieve Donard hotel, N Ireland
Nefyn GC, North Wales
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Gallery In The Sun
THE Arizona sun beat mercilessly down as I weaved my horse Oro between a maze of saguaro and cholla cacti towards the Panther Peak mountains, but despite the intense heat I felt like the coolest man on the planet.
In my mind's eye I was Clint Eastwood, riding into town as the Man With No Name – to the wrangler here at the White Stallion Ranch just outside Tucson I was Chris Stratford, the Man With No Horse Riding Experience. “Chris, give Oro a nudge – you're falling too far behind the horse in front.”
So, with more dialogue than Clint used in a fistful of scenes, I was swiftly reminded that I had only sat on a horse once before in my life yet by the end of one day's riding I felt competent enough to agree to head wrangler JC's invitation to take part in the guests' rodeo. And so it was I galloped towards the finishing line in the barrel race, dipping under the one-
Well, it was probably more of a fast trot than a gallop but was no less exhilarating for that and was testimony to the wranglers' ability to make even a novice quickly feel like an accomplished horseman. There was no equestrian magic at work; White Stallion Ranch is not a Hogwarts for horsemanship. But if you have ever wanted to ride – or indeed wanted to do nothing but ride – it is the place for you.
A visit is like a stay with family, the feeling of home accentuated at meal times by dining at long tables, shoulder-
From the first-
The vibrancy and colour of this cowboy life is captured wonderfully in the pictures of one of Arizona's most famous artists, Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia, whose vast collection of paintings, ceramics and sculptures is housed in the near-
DeGrazia, renowned for his work illustrating the native cultures of the Sonoran desert, built the gallery himself. It is an evocative setting for a provocative and spell-
His work helps open a gateway on to the spiritual history of Arizona's native people and its landscape; those with sufficient funds can leave with a DeGrazia original while others, like me, leave with a print which still exudes energy and dynamism.
While the Gallery in the Sun left me uplifted and pondering the spiritual dimensions of life, the Titan Missile Museum – just south of Tucson – forced me to contemplate man's tenuous grasp on mortality. During a one-
Our guide talked us through the elaborate two-
Tucson is associated more with missiles a fraction of Titan's size, those propelled from a six-
It is an active filming location which doubles as a tourist attraction, staging comedy stunt gunfights, saloon musicals, re-
If travelling by horse is too slow for you then maybe planes are more your thing in which case a visit to the Pima Air & Space Museum in tandem with a tour of the nearby “Boneyard”, an aerospace storage facility housing more than 4,200 aircraft at the Davis-
Finally, on the subject of air flight, should you visit Arizona – and you should – travel light. Chances are you may be asked to pay excess baggage on your return.
Arizona cuisine is as seductive as its scenery, with much of it nodding in the direction of its Mexican heritage, and to sample the latter at its best drop in at El Charro Café in Tucson.
But for the sake of your horse, order only a small portion of their home-
Published: January 8, 2011
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For Tucson picture gallery click here