With more than two decades of airborne experience under their wings, Scott Johnson and his wife Terri teach students the fundamentals of sport piloting during tandem paramotor and trike flights. After mastering the helm of a trike or the cords of a paramotor on the land, pupils and teachers soar over the stunning vistas of southern Arizona's expansive landscape for hands-on experience. Scott draws from his time spent helping film nature documentaries for the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet to help students identify shorebirds and sandhill cranes midflight. Arizona Trike School also deals in new and refurbished sport aircraft as well as piloting necessities such as parachutes and headsets that play the Top Gun soundtrack on repeat.
Anti-aging and weight-loss specialist Dr. Frank Comstock designs diet plans that use locally made, healthy food to kick-start clients' weight-loss efforts. Dr. Comstock's interest in anti-aging techniques began during his residency in the ER, where he saw many patients whose ailments could have been avoided through lifestyle and diet changes. While keeping his skills sharp in the ER, he began to train at the Cenegenics Medical Institute and later received board certification from the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. His 7- and 28-day diet plans come in vegan and vegetarian varieties and can accommodate dairy, soy, or carbon intolerance.
Randy Brown was overweight and felt uncomfortable with his body. When a friend encouraged him to try boot camp, he reluctantly joined. Through hard work and with support from his instructor, he transformed his body and felt better than ever before. Today, Randy is a certified personal trainer and wants to help others do what his instructor helped him to do years ago: get in shape, gain confidence, and whistle Beethoven's Symphony no. 9. Through the years, he has grown Brown's Boot Camp from one class of 25 students to 14 different camps, and some of his students have gone on to become personal trainers themselves, which speaks to the success of his workout regimen and the camp's communal atmosphere. Randy's program focuses on improving total fitness, which not only includes strength, cardio, and flexibility but also nutritional counseling.
Catalina Cleaners' meticulous staffers continue a 25-year tradition of purifying patrons' garb with environmentally safe solvents. A member of four professional dry-cleaning associations, including the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute, Catalina Cleaners painstakingly rids customers' apparel of stains or Rorschach tests. Six family-owned locations are sprinkled throughout the Tucson area, providing quick access to pristine garments while ensuring that clients never again have to assemble suits of newspapers and duct tape.
A small group of explorers stands beneath an open dome of night sky as pinpricks of starlight glitter against the expanse's dark blues and blacks. Each spot of light even seems to look much clearer from here—likely because the group is standing 9,157 feet above sea level. At the Stewart Observatory inside Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter at the mountain's summit, scientists guide visitors through the use of gear such as a 32-inch Schulman telescope—the state's largest public viewing telescope—to probe the far reaches of space to learn about celestial phenomena and take in magnified images of the universe just above.
Days and nights at the center bring a slew of learning experiences to budding astronomers. Accompanied by University of Arizona scientists, Discovery Days lead explorations of topics such as tree rings, hummingbirds, and meteorology, frequently beckoning students into the surrounding outdoors. During nightly SkyNights programming, groups summit Mt. Lemmon for a five-hour evening of dining and stargazing at the observatory. One-on-one time with heavenly bodies comes courtesy of Astronomer Nights, wherein site staffers grant singles or pairs lodging, private access to the Schulman telescope, and the chance to contribute directly to the field upon discovering a supernova, nebula, or handlebar mustache on the man in the moon.
Periodically, the scientific team also expounds on specific topics, such as digital celestial imaging, with the public in multiple-day workshops. Each participant builds on the Stewart Observatory's list of achievements since 1970, which include furthering infrared astronomy, surveying the moon for Apollo lunar landings, and searching for near-Earth asteroids.