Archive for the ‘Specials & Packages’ Category

Cochise County Birding

September 28th, 2014 by Mike Hug

Cochise County Birding- Best in the West but I’m Prejudiced

Goldfinch feeder picture

Goldfinches flock to the feeders at Down By The River B and B.

In Cochise County birding is a major tourist attraction. The county and in particular, the San Pedro River Riparian area is one of the 5 main flyways that is used by birds during their migration from north to south and visa versa. While there are birds that spend all the time in this area, there are many that spend the winters here. In previous blogs I have written about the San Hill Cranes that spend the winter at the Willcox Playa and also at White Water Draw.

The Cochise County birding migration takes place during the months of September and October for the birds that are heading south. The birds return in March and April as they head north to find mates. Last year the migration was finished by early October. This year we had the Rufous Hummingbirds here at the end of August. There have been many birds that are here in mid and late September. It could be that the birds are heading south in greater numbers because they know that winter is coming early. Time will tell.

Cochise County birding picture

Cochise County birding migration always has the Rufous Hummingbird showing up and taking over the feeders for a couple of weeks.

With up to 400 different species that can be found on Cochise County birding lists, it is a small wonder why there are so many bird watchers that frequent the area at all time of the year. Migration times do provide the best times to sight birds, but summer and winter also provide many opportunities to ply your skills at finding and identifying that elusive bird.  In fact summer time can be the perfect time for Cochise County birding because that is the time when the birds are on the nest. We have been informed that this part of the San Pedro River is a nesting area for the Black Throated Hummingbirds, Gray Hawks and also some Mississippi Kites.

Cochise County Bird Photography example

Lady Luck allowed me to spot this Gray Hawk and take a photograph of him before he took flight.

There are sites that will give you some forecasts of the birds that will be migrating. Here is a link to one.  But don’t take my word for it. We had one guest here in April spot 53 birds from the property and while walking in the river bed to the east of the house. Here viewing effort started our list of birds that were seen here at the B and B. Make plans to head to The San Pedro River Valley and spend time at Down By The River B and B to experience Cochise County Birding at its best.

Photography Contest at The River

April 1st, 2014 by Mike Hug

Enter the Photography Contest at The River and you have a chance to win a great prize.

San Pedro River Bird Watcher

I am Eightball and you can address me as Your Majesty.

I am back. I guess that my last guest blog for Down By The River was such a hit, that my servants decided that I should tell you about the “Contest at The River”.  I will reintroduce myself – I go by Ditz but I am more formally known as Eightball. So long as they don’t let my food and water run out, me they can call me whatever! I get them back at night when I wake them up running across the bed with my stuffed mouse.  Gotta love it when I wake them up in the middle of the night. Hee hee, I laugh all the way to my hidie hole. But anyway I need to get on with this, as it is cutting into my nap time.

I suggested that the hired help put this together so that I can see more of the property that I let them occupy and keep up. They won’t let me out, prisoner in my own house so to speak, even though I know that the birds would fear me. Especially the hawks – They got nothing to compare with my sharp claws. And the woodpecker – His bill would be dented if he tried to use that on me. But there I go again off on a tangent. They did do a little work on this contest, very little actually. Mostly it was my idea but they just had to fill in the details. The contest is to send in entry photos of the b and b or pictures taken on the property of the b and b and its surroundings. That way I can get to view the place without sneaking out and interrupting my nap. You have until April 29 to get this submitted.

at the door picture

I only get to watch the San Pedro River Birds. Can’t hide in the juniper and leap out with my frightening MEOW.

The rules are simple and we have them posted at this link and we also tell you where to email your entry. You just need to be a fan of our Facebook site and send us a photograph that was taken on the property. If you aren’t a fan then click on this link and like us. That way you are a fan.  The photograph needs to be a certain size but it can be of anything. The more unusual and creative the better to keep me awake while I am judging the pictures. The hired help think it is their job to find the winner but I will tell them the one I like.

I also told them to post the winning photograph on the Facebook cover for the month of May and to put it on the website. I will have them give you credit for the great work you did. They thought that this was a great idea all by itself but I told them to give away a $50 gift certificate for use at the B and B as the main prize. I have to do all the thinking around here. It just tires me out. Well time to eat and then go catch a few hours of shut eye. Got to be ready for tonight’s bed bouncing episodes. Oh and good luck on your entry.

Goldfinch feeder picture

Goldfinches flock to the feeders at Down By The River B and B.

Southeastern Arizona B and B Specials

November 30th, 2013 by Mike Hug

Southeastern Arizona B and B specials are found at Down By The River.

B and B pictureAre you looking for Southeastern Arizona B and B specials? I suggest that you take a look at Down By The River B and B. Our Cochise County B and B has partnered with local businesses to give you a little more for your dollar and add to your enjoyment when you stay with us.  Check out our Southeastern Arizona b and b specials  page on the website to find all the offers that we have and any requirements to use the discount.

flower pictureOne of the businesses whom we work with is Arnold’s Flowers in Benson. We use Arnold exclusively for our floral arrangements and our guests have always been thrilled with the results. We currently have two specials running that incorporate Arnold’s talent. One is for Valentine’s Day and another is for Mother’s Day. When you reserve a room for two nights, our Southeastern Arizona B and B will have fresh flowers placed in the room prior to you checking in. Surprise that special someone with this treat.

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New Year’s Eve Get Away

September 30th, 2013 by Mike Hug

The New Year’s Eve Get Away is at Down By The River B and B

Snacks Picture

New Years Eve we provide a variety of snacks for our guests to enjoy

Every year Down By The River has hosted a New Year’s Eve Get Away celebration. Prior to the last two years the celebration was offered as a special on our website and we invited guests who stayed  at the B and B on that evening to attend. It was sort of an extra something we did with our guests as a thank you. The evening has always been memorable. Our New Year’s Eve party has it’s origins back to the 1980s when we lived in Phoenix. We invited friends and neighbors over to ring in the New Year. After we opened Down By The River B and B, we decided to continue the celebration at the b and b. We also invite our old friends from Phoenix down to the b and b.

The celebration gets underway at about 8:30. Down By The River provides different finger foods and hors d’ouevres for our guests to snack on during the evening. Guests are asked to bring their own beverages for their enjoyment. We have music playing in the background and there is always the pool table for those who wish to demonstrate their expertise. We do have a new twist this year that involves some entertainment but I won’t tell you about that because it is a surprise. (We had some guests demonstrate this during their stay and it was a real hit.) We thought it would be a good ground breaker for the guests to get to know each other. At midnight we watch the ball drop at Times Square on TV, naturally tape delayed. As the ball drops, we toast in the New Year at Down By The River with some sparkling wine that we provide from an Arizona Winery. Noel Candle Picture

Down By The River B and B invites you to consider this event. There is no need to drive home after the party since you already have the room for the night and as always we do provide a fine breakfast for you to enjoy on New Years Day. There are a few restrictions that are in place because of the costs that we incur for this event (we do not charge more than our normal rate) and because we have a limited number of rooms. We will keep a wait list in case of cancellation.

There are a few rooms already booked so make your reservation now so that you will be able to be At The River for the New Year’s Eve Get Away!

Southeastern Arizona Stargazing

September 3rd, 2013 by Mike Hug

Southeastern Arizona Stargazing Will Improve Soon.

Planet Alignment Picture

At the end of May the three planets aligned at sunset.

Southeastern Arizona stargazing will soon be back as the monsoons will be ending and the night skies will be clear. With the end of the monsoons, the view of the Milky Way will be unobstructed by clouds and directly overhead in all its glory. The late summer and Autumn constellations are full of nebulas for the Arizona stargazing astronomer to see. We have many options for the amateur or avid astronomer who wants to view planets or objects in the night sky while being guests at Down By The River B and B . One option is to bring your own telescope; some of our guests have done exactly that. Another option is to use the Dobsonian telescope that is available to our guests here at Down By The River. Another option is to make a reservation at San Pedro Valley Observatory in Benson. If you want to do some night photography like David did at our b and b, then you can set up your camera and tripod and give that a whirl. David has a website  where he posts his blogs and pictures. He does some outstanding things with a camera and a telescope. I am hoping to take some of the lessons he taught me and try my hand at this type of photography in the coming months.

References for Southeastern Arizona Stargazing

Dobsonian Telescope picture

Our Stargazing B and B has a 13″ mirror Dobsonian Telescope

There are numerous online sites that are good references for stargazing. One is Star Date which will give you information on planets, constellations and events during the year. I did find one interesting site on line which is a YouTube video that compares the size of many of the planets and stars. This video is from 2009 and is a little out of date since larger stars have been discovered but it is interesting to view. It is amazing just how big things are and how small we are in comparison.

Viewing the Arizona Night Sky

In September, Venus, Mars and Jupiter will all be morning stars. I took a photograph of the alignment in June. Saturn will be setting early in the evenings and Uranus will be up all night. Uranus is the hard one to spot. You need a telescope and there are no good reference points at this time to help sight the planet. I have seen Uranus and Neptune before but not with a Dobsonian Telescope. I was lucky because these two planets were close to a brighter reference point at the time. February 8 to 10 will be the best time to see Uranus, since it will be close to Venus. The best time to view Neptune is now but with monsoon clouds the chances of clear skies may not be good. Also there is not a good reference to help spot the planet.

San Pedro Valley Observatory

Arizona stargazing picture of Saturn

Saturn to the naked eye doesn’t have much color through a telescope.

I wrote a blog about the San Pedro Valley Observatory. It was originally a B and B called Skywatcher’s Inn and then changed to Astronomer’s Inn. It no longer is a B and B but we do work with the observatory and give discounts to people that go to the SPVO for Arizona stargazing. Angie got her first real chance of Arizona stargazing on her birthday. The astronomers are very knowledgeable and gave us a great experience. At the end we saw Saturn and we left with a picture of Saturn and its rings. Angie had never seen that before and moons too!

As a special, we will give a 10% discount for a one night stay to guests that have a one night reservation at the observatory. If they have reservations for 2 or more nights at the observatory we give a 15% discount on each additional night, This is all subject to confirmation of the SPVO reservation.

If you want to view the stars and see what Arizona Stargazing is all about, take some time and head for our San Pedro River B and B for a night of fun. Down By The River is out in the country and it has dark night skies. Leave the lights of Tucson and Phoenix behind and see what it is like to see the Milky Way in all its glory while staying in comfort at Down By The River B and B.

Great Coffee is served in our B and B Coffee Cups

August 28th, 2013 by Mike Hug

B and B coffee cups for our guests are now being offered.

B and B coffe cups picture

Down By The River B and B coffee cups are made at a local artisan so that we can offer them to our guests as a memento of their visit.

Down By The River is know for the great coffee and teas served in the B and B coffee cups. The B and B coffee cups are decorated with different birds on them. But a different design for Down By The River B and B coffee cups are now available at the B and B for $7.50 plus tax. We have found a local artisan that lives near our B and B in Southeastern Arizona. He has taken our artwork and applied it to the cups that you see above.The cups hold 11 oz of coffee like our normal cups we use here at the b and b. They are dishwasher and microwave safe for every day use.

Just think about having your own b and b coffee cups when you are at home. Then you can think back on the great time you had at Down By The River B and B. Of course if you prefer, the cups will also work for tea or hot chocolate on one of those cold nights. You may start thinking about going to a warmer location for a break at mid winter. You will have people ask you about where and when you purchased the cups and that will give you a good reason to tell them about the exploration and adventures that you had here in Southeastern Arizona. That way you can relive the excitement again when you Southeastern Arizona and Down By The River.

 Mike and Angie at Down By The River B and B, the Lodging Hub of Cochise County, are looking forward to greeting you as new or returning guest this season. We are working on having a few new things for our guests to participate in on their trip. The B and B coffee cups are just one of the items that we are offering. So watch our Facebook page, where we make offers first. We will also place things on our specials page and the events page on the website after they have been on Facebook.   But in the mean time go back and enjoy another cup of coffee in your mug and think about how much better it would taste in one of our new b and b coffee cups.


Arizona Wine Challenge at Down By The River B & B

August 18th, 2013 by Mike Hug

The Arizona Wine Challenge at The River

Glass of wine picture


Announcing the “Arizona Wine Challenge at the River” on November 2, 2013. We have put it up on Facebook for all of our fans for about 3 weeks so that they had the first chance to sign up. Now we are opening the special up for anyone that would like to participate.

What is the Arizona Wine Challenge?

Well let me explain the highlights for you. Angie and I believe that Arizona Wine can stand up to wines that are made anywhere else in the country or in the world for that matter. So we decided to have an Arizona Wine Challenge at Down By The River B and B. Each guest will be able to sample different wines and to rate each. We want to have a fun evening with wine tasting and some finger foods for pairings with the wine. The event should be fun for everyone and you will be able to taste some wines from wineries that you may have seen but never tasted.

We have a pdf with the information that you can download here. But I will give you the simple synopsis right here. The event will start at 6 PM on Saturday, November 2. Each guest will bring a bottle of their favorite NON-ARIZONAN grape wine ie 2 bottles for a couple. Couples should not bring the same wine so that there is a variety, besides you have 2 chances to win then. The bottles will be given to Angie or me upon arrival and preferably in a bag to conceal the type of wine from the other guests. Angie and I will provide two bottles of Arizona Wines.

Prior to the contest, Angie and I will open the bottles to let them breathe and we will number them for the taste test. Rating sheets will be given to each guest. We will begin with the first wine and everyone will taste that wine and rate it. Then we will move on the the next and rate that. This will continue until we are done.  After the rating sheets are turned in we will reveal the wines that are in the taste test for everyone to examine. The remaining wine can then be sampled again by everyone. We will then take the rating sheets and determine the winner.

The person that brought the winning non-Arizona wine will be given a bottle of wine from an Arizona Winery.

This will require a 2 night stay for the guests and only guests will be allowed to participate. There are special rules that you will find on the pdf that you can download. Reservations for this event can only be made by phone but you can email us your phone number and tell us that you want to attend and we will call you back. We will not be allowing any online reservations for this event. Oh and one last thing – You have to be at least 21 to attend and we will be checking IDs.

Kartchner Caverns B and B has The Caverns News

July 24th, 2013 by Mike Hug

Kartchner Caverns B and B – Photograph the Caverns?

Kartchner Caverns Entry Sing picture

Kartchner Caverns State Park is the most pristine live cave in the United States.

Would you like to take photographs at Kartchner Caverns while staying at Down By The River, the closest Kartchner Caverns B and B? Maybe you would enjoy the view out the west windows of our Kartchner Caverns B and B. The view is toward the Whetstone Mountains and you can see the hill where Kartchner Caverns is located from the Prospector Room private patio. I have written about the Caverns before and you can read that blog by clicking here.

Kartchner Caverns has special events over the year beside their tours. They do stargazing at certain times of the year but there is a special one that they haven’t done before, to my knowledge. It is called Bug Night. Bug Night will cost $6.00 for a vehicle to enter the park. The agenda is for the people that come to view the insects that can be found around the grounds of the Park. Entomologists, insect experts, will be there to give information and show the insect world to the participants. The bat population at Kartchner Caverns in Southeast Arizona feasts on the many flying insects that are in the area. This should be an interesting experience for anyone that is a little buggy about insects. Bring a flashlight and water. But that really isn’t the big news.

With Bug Night there is also a limited tour of Kartchner Caverns specifically to allow up to 15 people to photograph the inside of the caverns. This special event may be a once in a life time opportunity for the lucky people that get their ticket. This will be a private tour of the Throne Room. During that tour, photography will be allowed. There are a couple of catches. One is that photographs that are taken must only be for personal use,  not for commercial use. Participants must be at least 18 years old. Photographers must be able to carry all their gear and tripods will be allowed. The last item is that this tour will cost $150 per person. The money raised will benefit the programs of the Friends of Kartchner Caverns State Park.

Kartchner Caverns news release stated that Bug Night will be held on Saturday, August 3, 2013 from 6:30 to 9:00 P.M., weather permitting. The photo tour will be held on the same night from 5:00 to 8:00 P.M. You must arrive at the Discovery center at the park by 4:30 P.M. to participate in this event.

The contact information for those interested, you can email or visit the Friends of Kartchner Caverns State Park website at  to make a payment. For more information about the photo tour call the Friends of Kartchner Caverns State Park office at (520) 668-7707.

If you wish to do a tour of Kartchner Caverns at a time other than on Bug Night you can make reservation by visiting the website or by calling (520) 586-2283 between 8:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. (Mountain Standard Time) seven days per week. And if you are staying at our Kartchner Caverns B and B, make that reservation after 11 A.M. so that you aren’t rushed at breakfast. The Throne Room tour is open all year but the Big Room tour is only open from October 15 until April 15.

Willcox Wine Region of Cochise County

December 14th, 2012 by Mike Hug

Grapes on the Vine Picture

Petit Syrah Grapes on the Vine at LDV

Down By The River Bed and Breakfast is centrally located to many attractions in Cochise County and in particular to the two wine regions here in this part of Arizona. That is why we are recognized by our guests as the “Lodging Hub of Cochise County“. The last blog was about the Sonoita area wineries and how they are working with the Knights of Columbus Charity Golf tournament. The golf tournament proceeds go to the University of Arizona Cancer Research Center and to a High School Scholarship fund for graduating seniors. This is the 7th Annual event and Down By The River B and B is one of the sponsors for this golf tournament. You can read about the special we are offering for guests that “Stay n Play” during that weekend at the bnb. After that blog was published Angie and I went over to the other wine region here in Southeastern Arizona and visited a few of the wineries in this part Cochise County. Actually many of the grapes that are processed for the tasting rooms in the Cottonwood area are grown in the Willcox – Sulphur Springs Valley. Many of the wineries help us out with the charity tournament over the years and we are most grateful.

We started our trek by heading to Zarpara Winery. They are located in Kansas Settlement, south of Willcox but we took a short cut through Texas Canyon and got off the Interstate to save some time. This route takes us past the Amerind Foundation which is a wonderful museum that was established in 1937. I will talk about it in a future blog. So back to what I was originally talking about.

Zarpara Picture

Zarpara Tasting Room is in the middle of the vineyard

Zarpara Vineyards has only been open since January. The tasting room is located in the middle of the vineyard and it must be beautiful during the summer with all the grapes hanging from the vines. We were there in December when the leaves have fallen and the plants are dormant. The nice thing about Zarpara is that the owners Rhona and Mark are there to greet you as you come in the door. Besides their own wines, the tasting room also has 5 other wineries that they represent. They have wines from Sierra Bonita in Graham County north of Cochise County, Gold Rule Vineyards, Sand-Reckoner, Arizona Stronghold and Gallifant. They don’t’ have tastings of all of these but we did get to sample a few and found many to our liking. We did leave a little lighter in the back pocket at the end of the tasting. Zarpara has agreed to be a T Box sponsor this year for the tournament.

Keeling Schaefer Tasting Room

Keeling Schaefer Tasting Room is in down town Willcox

We then drove into Willcox and our next stop was in the downtown area where Keeling-Schaefer and Carlson Creek have their tasting rooms. The downtown area of Willcox is home to the Marty Robbins Museum and the Rex Allen Museum. Carlson Creek’s tasting room is on the south side of the railroad tracks.  Keeling-Schaefer is on the north side right across from the Railroad Park where The Willcox Wine Festivals are held in May and October. Check out our events page for the dates of these events. Both of these wineries have some great wines and if you park at one location you can walk to the other. The owners weren’t there but again we were greeted by hostesses who were very knowledgeable about their product and thus enhanced our experience. We also took some time to stop by our friend Rodney at his Cajun-style restaurant near the museums. Rodney serves some great catfish sandwiches and we also like the gumbo. Big Tex Barbeque is also nearby. The restaurant serves barbeque pork, brisket and chicken to name a few things and it is located in a train car at the intersection of Railroad Avenue and Maley St. (Route 186). Try it during the week or Saturdays but they aren’t open on Sundays.

Our last stop was at Coronado Vineyards located on the east side of Willcox. Coronado has been a sponsor of the golf tournament almost from the start. We enjoy going to see Terry and Jacque when we get to Willcox. Coronado has a kitchen and at certain times will serve items while you are tasting wine, thus giving you a Coronado Winery Enterancechance to pair food to wine. This is a nice concept and you can see how the food and the wine blend to make your tasting so much more enjoyable.

We didn’t get to the Laurence Dunham Vineyards because Curt and Peggy were up in the Fountain Hills tasting room and they were getting ready for their Christmas Event. The winery and tasting room in Cochise County is south in the area of the Chiricahua National Monument and they do events at various times of the year also. LDV was a T Box sponsor last year for our tournament. Another winery we didn’t get to because of time and distance was the Bowie Winery in Bowie, AZ. This tasting room is about 20 miles east of Willcox at the town of Bowie. If you go to the Fort Bowie Historical Site then you are close to the tasting room. After hiking at Fort Bowie you may consider taking a break and stopping for  a little wine tasting. They also have pistachios and pecans for sale.

Now you have heard about both of the Southeastern Arizona wine regions and have been told about the central Arizona wineries Cochise County connection. So plan your visit to take in some of what the wineries have to offer and when you do thank them for their civic contributions to the charities that they work with. If you are looking for a wine country b&b, then consider that you want to find a nice place to stay during your visit and reserve your room at Down By The River B and B for a comfortable stay and wonderful breakfasts.

Stay ‘N’ Play

November 20th, 2012 by Mike Hug

Stay ‘n’ Play

Charity Golf Weekend


Down By The River B and B


The Knights of Columbus has scheduled their 7th Annual Marie Lovell/ Barbara Hug/ Paul Padia Memorial Golf Tournament for February 23, 2013 and the San Pedro Valley Country Club. This tournament is a shotgun best ball start with most of the proceeds going to The University of Arizona Cancer Research Center and to the John Lodzinski High School Scholarship Fund.

Marie, Barbara, Paul and John were all victims of Cancer and were either married to Knights or were Knights. Barbara with her husband Mike were co-owners of Down By The River B and B. Mike has worked on the Tournament Committee since its inception and the B and B has contributed to the Tournament in various ways. Nearly 100 golfers played last year and because of the sponsors, and golfers, the tournament was the most successful ever.

This year the tournament is offering a $10,000 hole in one shot, The Dixon Golf Challenge, longest drive for

Golf lie

Golf on Benson’s Course

men and women, closest to the hole for men and women, raffle tickets, auction prizes and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes. The tournament includes cart, green fees and lunch for $45. Last year’s raffle prizes and auction items included Diamond Back Tickets, U of A /  UCLA basketball tickets, and wine tastings to name a few. We don’t know what this year will bring.

This year Angie and Mike decided to offer a Stay ‘n’ Play weekend at Down By The River for golfers who wish to participate in the tournament this year and stay at the B and B. Because of the early start on Saturday morning, a two night stay is required. Saturday night Mike and Angie will serve dinner for those guests taking part in the golf weekend, free of charge, as a thank you for your participation in the tournament.

A non-refundable charge of $45 will be taken for each golfer via credit card to reserve your spot in the Tournament at the time you reserve your room. The room charge will be at the multi-night discount rate and will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Breakfast on Saturday will be early so that the guests are at the golf course prior to play.

Mike as a Tee Box Sponser

  Down By The River was a Tee Box Sponsor last year 2012 and will be for the 2013 Tournament.

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