Meet out Muralist: Sam Casados

Sam Casados was born in Colorado, and began his career as an artist early. By grade school, Sam was winning awards for his lifelike paintings, iron work and sculpture. He became certified to teach ceramics when he moved to New Mexico in the 1980’s, and there he also taught fine art to children as well as adults. He started painting murals when he relocated to Delaware in the 1990’s, as well as putting on one-man art shows. His work can be seen all over the east coast, in both private residences and public spaces. He finally decided to settle down in Tucson, where he was a instructor and resident at multiple museums and galleries.  He is also painting murals, which can be seen all over Tucson and the surrounding areas. Sam has been a fixture at Cat Mountain Station for many years. He first started out painting the mural on the front of Coyote Pause Café. He used the surrounding Sonoran Desert as inspiration, accenting this mural with coyotes, bunnies and birds that look like they are living within the painting.   FullSizeRender (37) A few years later, Kerstin asked him to paint a mural on the front of her new business called Spencer’s Observatory. She wanted this mural to showcase the beauty of space as seen by the telescope. The richness of the dark color scheme brings out the starscape he painted. FullSizeRender Next he did a series of western cutouts. He was inspired by John Wayne and Dale Evans as well as the movies they starred in. These paintings are the favorite of our patrons, because they can interact with the pieces and take the pictures home with them.   FullSizeRender (38) The most recent mural he made at Cat Mountain Station was to disguise the Observatory from the view of our Labyrinth. He once again used the surrounding desert as inspiration and painted with multiple green hues to soften the edges of the building and blend it into the surrounding vegetation. FullSizeRender - Copy Sam is a very important part of the operations at Cat Mountain Station. He takes on many special projects and executes them seamlessly. His artistic eye has helped in many ways to heighten Cat Mountain Station into what it is today!

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The Cat Mountain Lodge Labyrinth

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Lots of new items have been cropping up around Cat Mountain Station lately. The most recent project that has been completed is the Cat Mountain Lodge Labyrinth. In Greek mythology, the Labyrinth was an elaborate structure designed and built to hold the Minotaur that was eventually killed by the hero,  Theseus. It is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness, and a journey into a labyrinth promotes a physchological and spiritual transformation and meditation.

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It is a 6 circuit, left-handed classical labyrinth. Designed by our landscape architect, Doug Larson, the labyrinth is shaped as a turtle in honor of the resident tortoise, Juan Wayne.

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We started construction 8 weeks ago. After selecting the physical location, Doug graded the land to make it as even as possible.

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All the materials used to make this labyrinth were locally sourced from quarries and the local desert. The laybryinth was designed to look like it fits in with the surrounding nature, yet is also distinctive. The most distinctive part is the finishing touch: the turtle statue with a bright blue gazing ball shell.

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We hope that you come to Cat Mountain Lodge and enjoy our one-of-a-kind labyrinth!

Chulucanas at Buffalo Trading Post

IMG_0380 At Buffalo Trading Post, there is always something new and fun coming in through the door. Recently, a shipment of Chulucanas pottery came in directly from the Piura Region of Peru. The pottery that comes out of this region is hand made and the style and technique dates to the pre-Incan days. The designs on this pottery varies, but is traditionally made in back and white. The clay is cultivated from the ground, and is hand kneaded to let all the air pockets disappear before the clay is shaped into works of art. IMG_0382 After the clay is shaped and smoothed, it is fired twice in a special kiln. After the first firing, the darker areas are painted with a liquid clay and is fired again using mango leaves to smoke the clay and leave the charred residue on the dark areas, thus adding more black pigment to the clay. This process takes several days, and the smoking process is repeated four times. The end result is a lustrous piece that is packed and shipped around the world. Our vendor comes twice a year from Peru to Buffalo Trading Post with new and interesting designs that we buy on the spot. All pieces are one of a kind. Come to Buffalo Trading Post and pick yours out today! IMG_0381

New Menu Items at Coyote Pause

Changes are being made to the menu at Coyote Pause Café. The restaurant is incorporating some of the beloved specials into items that will be cooked to order on a daily basis. Here is a list of just some of the delicious dishes that are added to the Coyote Pause wheel house:

1. Chilaquiles

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A layer of crisped corn tortillas are doused in a chili verde sauce and topped with cotija cheese and fresh cilantro. Accompanied with eggs any style.

2. Avocado Tacos

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Beer battered sliced avocado fried to perfection, over a bed of shredded cabbage, topped with cheese and lime. Served with a small salad and black beans.

3. Steak Sandwich

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Hand carved sirloin steak is marinated overnight before being grilled to perfection and placed on a French roll. Topped with grilled onions and provolone cheese, this sandwich is matched perfectly with a side salad or our famous mesquite fries.

4. Pancake Special

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Our ever changing pancake special is a crowd favorite. It changes with the season, so ask your server for the description of the latest special. Here we have a banana pancake topped with fresh bananas, pecans, cream cheese sauce and house made caramel.

5. Weekly Salad Special

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The salad special changes weekly, so check with your server for a description. This week’s special was a grilled chicken and mandarin salad topped with sunflower seeds and accompanied with gluten free crackers and strawberries.

The 5th Annual Cat Mountain Station Pet Fair

Glenda the Good Witch was part of a Wizard of Oz group costume that won best in show.

Glenda the Good Witch was part of a Wizard of Oz group costume that won best in show.

Cat Mountain Station had its 5th Annual Halloween Pet Fair on Sunday, October 26th, 2014. Every year, pets and their companions come out to this event decked out in their most creative costumes and get a chance to interact. There was a raffle, a wheel spin, a face painter, and a pet psychic with all proceeds going to benefit the Hermitage Cat Shelter. We raised $142.00 for this charity!

Our resident face painter showing off his skills to a very happy customer.

Our resident face painter showing off his skills to a very happy customer.

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A pet psychic came to spread Halloween cheer to our four legged friends.

The biggest draw to our fair was the actual costume contest! Cat Mountain Station had 14 constants, all of which deserved the grand prize.

A Poodle Angel.

A Poodle Angel.

A Yorkie Picnic Table.

A Yorkie Picnic Table.

A Cute Little Devil.

A Cute Little Devil.

A Skeleton Terrier.

A Skeleton Terrier.

We even had a cat dressed up as a Crayola Crayon! She was a very well behaved cat, considering there were 20 dogs having a party around her.

A Feline Crayon and a Crayola Box. This little girl has so much fun parading around with her cat.

A Feline Crayon and a Crayola Box. This little girl has so much fun parading around with her cat.

The wining contestant went to The Wizard of Oz cast. We had Dorothy, The Tin Man, The Cowardly Lion, The Scarecrow, Glenda the Good Witch, and even the Wizard himself!

Dorothy and her troupe getting ready to walk in front of the judges.

Dorothy and her troupe getting ready to walk in front of the judges.

The Wizard, The Scarecrow, The Cowardly Lion, and The Tin Man all of which are rescued dogs.

The Wizard, The Scarecrow, The Cowardly Lion, and The Tin Man all of which are rescued dogs.

Dorothy even had the Wicked Witch of The West following her!

The Wicked Witch of the West following Dorothy and her cast.

The Wicked Witch of the West following Dorothy and her cast.

All in all, it was a very fun fundraising event. Hope to see you next year!