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Heard Guild Explorers

Heard Guild Explorers features day trips in and around the Phoenix area. Please contact to obtain more information or to suggest (or lead) an outing. Past outings include a docent led tour of the Museum of the West exhibits.

January 24, Commemorative Air Force Museum:  The museum, located in Mesa at the intersection of Greenfield and Brown, 2017 N Greenfield Rd., is a well-organized museum featuring beautifully restored vintage airplanes with a focus on World War II.

Most of the planes are indoors in a clean, heated hangar as well as a fully operational B-17 bomber that is parked on the runway. Those of us agile enough can climb into the bomber. A docent will give us a one-hour tour that will explain key features and some history of the various aircraft. After the tour we will have lunch at the Painted Mountain Golf Course restaurant about a five-minute drive from the museum.

I have visited this museum and the much larger Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, and this is of the same quality but a more manageable size for the causal viewer. We will meet at the museum parking lot at 10:30 with the tour from 10:45, then go to lunch.

The cost is $10.00. Please mail a check to Kurt Kahlenbeck, 1235 N. Sunnyvale #27, Mesa, AZ by January 20. I will pay for everyone when we check in.  My main departing impression from the museum is the level of courage needed to fly these planes in combat.

Questions? Contact Kurt Kahlenbeck at:

Guided Trips

The Guild arranges guided trips each year for Guild and Museum members only. Not only will you travel with people who share your interests, you will have the finest interpretive guides who are experts in their fields. Most trips are in the Southwest but sometimes we travel further afield. For more information about any of the Guild trips, contact

Heard Museum membership is required for all participants.  If you or your travel partner aren’t museum members, please visit and click on the support tab on the top banner of the home page for information on how to join. 

Upcoming Trips

Hopi Arts, Hopi Culture — May 10-13, 2019

In conjunction with Tohono Chul, we will travel to the land of the Hopi where culture and tradition are rooted in the land. We will be introduced to silversmiths, potters, basket weavers and katsinam carvers working in both historical and contemporary ways who will share with us their art, their lives, and their rich cultural heritage. Departure over the Mother’s Day weekend will improve our chances of witnessing the very special celebrations that may be taking place in many of the villages.

The itinerary will be posted when available. The registration form is here.

Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde — October 6-11, 2019

Come explore Chaco Canyon, an International Dark Sky Park, and the center of an ancient world. We will visit this mysterious canyon and surrounding areas to explore the architecture, culture, and history of the ancestral Puebloans who made this home. We will then visit Mesa Verde, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that protects some of the best preserved ancestral Pueblo’s archeological sites in the world.

Here are itinerary and registration form.

Past Guild Trips
  • Land of the Seri
  • First Nations/Gardens of the North
  • Northern Chihuahua / Mata Ortiz
  • Mexico’s Copper Canyon
  • Hubbell/ State Line Tour
  • Arizona-New Mexico Border
  • Tucson and Southern Arizona
  • Grand Canyon and Zion National Parks
  • Santa Fe Holiday
  • Apache Country
  • Navajo Reservation
  • Hualapai and the Grand Canyon
  • Kino Mission Trip to Northern Mexico
  • Mata Ortiz
  • Àlamos Music Festival

What Our Travelers Have to Say…..

The trip was of course wonderful, a sharing of knowledge, history, beautiful art and beautiful people.  But I thought I would share with you what I said without a moments thought when some one asked me what the best part of the trip was to me: hugging old friends and getting to know new friends.

Thank you for an amazing trip.  This trip was an immersion into the Hopi way of life, philosophies, artists, the land, etc.  Mark certainly shared his love and appreciation of all that encompasses Hopi!

Traveling to Mata Ortiz was on my bucket list and the recent Heard tour was even more spectacular than I could have ever imagined. First there was the Heard team…Shelly, Steve with South of the Border Tours and guides Greg and Bob. All were knowledgeable professionals who kept us informed, entertained, well fed and safe!

Then there were our fellow passengers…an interesting and diverse group whose common goal was to support these artists by buying lots of pots! Yes, we happily contributed to their struggling local economy.

But most importantly were the creative potters..both men and women who make beautiful pots from the local clay, natural pigments, and a simple firing process. We were most fortunate to meet the man who started it all, Juan Quezada and see firsthand how he and his family make the intricate beautiful pottery right in his own backyard. He inspired us with his generous teaching style and his simple but profound wisdom.

We were all changed by experiencing for ourselves the miracle of Mata Ortiz. Thank you Heard for this amazing adventure. ~ Jenny and John

I have been fortunate enough to take several Guild trips organized by Shelly. They are entertaining as well as educational: she chooses excellent drivers, knowledgeable guides, and locations that entice exploration. There’s always a variety of activities to please everyone, a balance between structure and free time, and pleasant but affordable accommodations.
I highly recommend these Guild trips! ~Donita Beckham

My wife and I had a thoroughly wonderful trip masterminded through the Heard and Tohono Chul Park by Stephen Bernier and Mark Bahti. Mark’s informative comments always added to and never interfered with enjoying the experience. Being able to have a direct and unfiltered experience is important to my wife and I and a reason we rarely travel in groups. Steve had an incredible knack of pulling off one ‘extra’ surprise after another. Whether it was an outdoor breakfast at Spider Rock at Canyon De Chelly or a BBQ at the Hopi Second Mesa, Steve did a marvelous job. Mark and Steve knew everyone and were able to get us insider looks at the Hopi Second Mesa, lunch at the Toadlena Trading Post, and a chance to talk to Billy Malone, one of the last of the old-time Indian Traders. You can never see enough but this trip opened up the possibilities. We have since taken two trips of our own to the Indian Nations and felt like knew what we were doing. ~ Bob & Joyce Veranes

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