Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page > One Traveler's Opinion: Arizona When It Sizzles

One Traveler's Opinion: Arizona When It Sizzles

Reply

Jun 3rd, 2001, 08:09 PM
  #21
David
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
You forgot to mention the most memorable part of your ride today...there was a HUGE cool front that came through today and temps were in the 90s...a real cold spell!
Ostriches became popular several years ago (5?) as an alternative to beef.
The trees you refer to near Pacacho Peak (site of the most western civil war battle) were planted about 15-20 years ago as seedlings; they've grown into a grove of nut or fruit trees (probably pistachio)
As far as the irrigation, there are many farms on that stretch of road; most of the water comes from the Central Arizona Project (Colorado River water) The water flows into trenches near the trees and that is what you see.
I dont recall seeing commercial planes parked at the air park near Marana; If you really want to see planes go to the airforce base in Tucson and you see miles and miles of parked World War II vintage planes.
The road between Phx and Tucson is probably among the uglier routes in the State.
 
Reply With Quote
Jun 12th, 2001, 04:34 AM
  #22
steve
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
they are pecan trees
 
Reply With Quote
Jun 12th, 2001, 07:16 AM
  #23
mmm
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Those airplanes are commercial jets, that airfield you saw is a maintenance center, it's Pinal Air Park and I believe the company that does the work there is called Evergreen. And yes, it is a very ugly stretch of highway from Phoenix to Tucson!
 
Reply With Quote
Jun 13th, 2001, 05:03 AM
  #24
Peg
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I've lived in Miami all my life where the humidity is always anywhwere from 75% to 100% and I recently went to and stayed in Phoenix and Scottsdale for three weeks. On one day it was 120, I prefer to feel like I'm in an oven in dry heat, than in Florida, where I can't catch my breath at 90 degrees. To me, it was tolerable and more comfortable than Miami, just my opinion.
 
Reply With Quote
Jun 13th, 2001, 05:29 AM
  #25
ilisa
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Neal, this is so funny. I have a friend who just moved to Phoenix. I spoke to her yesterday and when I asked about hte temperatures, of course she gives me the "dry heat" line. I'm sorry, but after a certain temperature, it is just plain hot. She then went on to extol the virtues of her outdoor misting system which takes the temperature down at least 10 degrees.
 
Reply With Quote
Jun 13th, 2001, 11:31 AM
  #26
Melissa
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I've been going to Phoenix three times a year for the last 10 years to visit my sister, who lives in Scottsdale. Due to my class schedule, I go every January, May, and August. Hot, cold, or in between, I love every minute of it! There's absolutely nothing to compare with it in my corner of Southern suburbian hell. Give me Phoenix any day!!!!!
 
Reply With Quote
Jun 13th, 2001, 12:39 PM
  #27
Neal Sanders
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
David, Steve, and "mmm", thanks for the answers to the questions regarding sights along the road.

As to whether I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson is ugly -- that's a matter of opinion. Does it compare with the stretches of open highway in the northern start of the state for sheer drama or majesty? Certainly not. But it certainly isn't ugly, at least not by my definition.

There's something to look at all the time -- mountains erupting from out of the desert floor, sudden stands of trees, ostrich farms, etc. Compared to the flat, arid stretches of highway in west Texas (just to pick one example), Arizona is "alive". There's always something to hold your interest.

Peg, I was born and raised in Miami, and so am a certified expert on heat and humidity (my PhD on the subject came via eight years in the D.C. area, where you need a machete to cut your way through the humidity during the summer). My strong conviction is that 110 degrees at 10% humidity is debilitating. The "Dry heat" emperor has no clothes. Take away the air conditioning and Arizona's population in the summer would dwindle to that of 1950.
 
Reply With Quote
Jun 13th, 2001, 01:43 PM
  #28
Al
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Well, Neal...yes and no. Yes, it can be hot out here in AZ. But no, one does not have to rely on A/C. Because the humidity is low, most folks start by using what we call a swamp cooler, or evaporative cooler. Costs about 1/3 the operating cost of A/C for electricity. Just a squirrel-cage fan that sucks air through a wet cardboard-like honeycomb membrane. Works like a charm. That is, until our monsoons begin next month when the humidity increases. Then we switch to A/C during the middle of the day on those days when the rains don't come to cool everything. Lots of us run our homes on solar power, too. You know -- that quirky power source run by the sun. But being from the NE, you wouldn't know what the sun looks like. Right?
 
Reply With Quote
Jun 14th, 2001, 04:20 AM
  #29
Neal Sanders
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
It's round and yellow and about the size of the moon, right? We sometimes see it during the autumn.

I recall Sedona as being up about 7,000 feet. That's high desert, where you don't get the same degree of heat. There's even snow in May on that mountain outside Flagstaff, if memory serves me right.
 
Reply With Quote
Jun 14th, 2001, 05:05 AM
  #30
Audrey
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
so that's what that thing is; thanks Al and Neal!
 
Reply With Quote
Jun 14th, 2001, 06:08 AM
  #31
Al
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Sedona is at 4,500 ft., Flagstaff is at 7,000 ft., and the San Francisco Peaks north of Flag rise to 12,600 ft. There is a fire burning up there now, but it looks as if the firefighters will have it under control shortly. We hope. Monsoon rains should start around the 4th of July, if they are on schedule.
 
Reply With Quote
Jun 15th, 2001, 12:23 AM
  #32
diane
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Audrey, sorry but I have to inform you that you can't have a "glorious fall" in Arizona unless you drive over to the White Mountains or up to Flag. You have to have lots of deciduous trees that turn glorious colors in the fall. And you can't have a "fabulous winter" unless you go to those same place so you can have snow. I married a 3rd generation Arizonan and we lived in Tucson for three years (graduate school at the U. of A.)--in a mobile home with a swamp cooler! One winter it snowed (probably 1964 or 1965), and we ran outside to take pictures of the cactus and tropical trees with snow on them before it melted (around noon).

I told my mother-in-law that I missed the trees of my home state, and she looked perplexed and said,"We have trees!" Yeah--one in the front yard and one in the back yard, each a little taller than their one-story house! I grew up in a two-story-plus-attic house with oak and tulip poplar trees towering over it. I'm not mentioning what state because we've moved back there into the high humidity and all of you would laugh at me. I feel bad dragging my husband away from Arizona when his father and grandfather were born there, but we've stayed in the east because of jobs. I keep telling him we can move back to Arizona as long as it's to Flagstaff.
 
Reply With Quote
Jun 15th, 2001, 09:49 AM
  #33
stella
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Ha ha I'm laughing at you. I'll bet you live in Virginia. When we visited Washington D.C. the humidity was awful!
 
Reply With Quote
Jun 15th, 2001, 11:37 AM
  #34
diane
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Stella, I confess--I live in Maryland (look at my address). I just said something to my husband about my e-mail and he reminded me that his great-grandfather was born in Arizona too. The reason I'm going on about the fourth-generation thing is that Arizona is one of those places where when you ask someone where he is from, it's usually somewhere else. The way the population in Arizona has been increasing there is probably now a higher percentage of people born there, especially youngsters (under 40).
 
Reply With Quote
Jun 16th, 2001, 12:20 AM
  #35
maggie
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I live in Maryland too. Are we neighbors, Diane? Just curious, I have visited Tucson in the winter and cannot imagine it snowing there. Nights were usually in the 50s. How often does it snow in Tucson or Phoenix, anyone?
 
Reply With Quote
Jun 18th, 2001, 05:38 AM
  #36
Shannon
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Maggie -

I've lived in Arizona my whole life (okay -I'm only 21 years old, but still thats quite a while), always around 15-20 minutes outside of downtown Phoenix and I can only remember it snowing once. I was in the 3rd grade and it was such a big deal that school was let out for about a half an hour so all the kids could go outside and see. I think it lasted about 15 minutes. It was a headliner on the evening news
 
Reply With Quote
Jun 18th, 2001, 06:25 PM
  #37
Robert
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Weather trivia for Phoenix:

Total episodes of trace snowfall since 1896: 27
Number of episodes of measurable snowfall since 1896: 9 (last was in 1990, when I assume Shannon was in 3rd grade).
Largest snowfall: 1 inch

Average number of days per year with temp below freezing: 32
Average low temp in January: 38 degrees.
 
Reply With Quote
Jun 20th, 2001, 11:17 PM
  #38
snarfle
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
It snows in Tucson at least once a year, if not more. The surrounding mountains maintain a sheet of snow on them for long stretches of time, the snow reaches quite low during the winter nights. This past year it snowed probably 5-10 times (I live in foothills, so maybe it snows more where I live, but I don't think so)

Also 50 degrees low during the winter? I don't think so, it gets pretty cold most nights right around freezing almost evrery night..

Some of these stories about the heat are amusing, exaggerated to say the least. 120 degrees? Not in the last 5 years, even in PHX, it is very rare even to get to 115. 110 is max for PHX during the hottest days most of the time, 105-106 in Tucson. These days do not last long, maybe a couple of weeks.

The cold winters in the east are much more opressive and last much longer. The humidity is unbearable.

I think so many people take shots at Arizona's heat to justify their lives in other places. I think they do it to make themselves feel better about living in a crowded freezing, dirty icebox during the winter (7 monthes), which turns into a muggy, humid, wet dirty sauna in the summer.

No thanks, but whatever floats your boat...
 
Reply With Quote
Jun 25th, 2001, 04:35 AM
  #39
steve
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
It was over 120 for three consecutive days a few years ago in Phoenix. Prior to that the high was 118. The difference is probably that the location of the weather station at the airport was moved - temps generally went up after the move.

110 is not uncommon in phoenix during the summer, but 103-105 is much more typical. About 25 years ago, there was a stretch of 2 weeks when it was 110 or more - 115 for 6 of the days.

It is very important to keep out of the sun. As the sun start to go down, it isn't bad.
 
Reply With Quote
Jun 25th, 2001, 10:29 AM
  #40
getty
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Wow, some people are so defensive. I don't see why someone's criticism (or observation) of the weather in AZ and how the locals cope should be seen as an attempt by an easterner to justify why he lives where he does. I don't follow that logic at all.

AZ is a desert. Deserts get hot. Get over it.
 
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:27 PM.