Driving the I 10 through Phoenix, AZ

hot drivingThe I 10 in Phoenix in no joke in the middle of the summer, and the locals know it. What I mean by that statement is you can end up in a world of hurt out there in the interstate if your not prepared for the Arizona sun. On thing smart to do is to check the local weather station out here to get a good feel for the conditions before you head out the door. I check http://az511.com/ for my local road reports.

YOU TOO MIGHT FIND IT A BIT BENEFICIAL. I once thought it might be a good idea to just go as I pleased. Boy was I wrong.

To thing’s to remember when your on the I 10.

  • If the time of day is approaching rush hour forget it. Wait till a more appropriate time and you will not be dissatisfied. For all the beauties of state is why people love it here. Lots of people lots of traffic.
  • Heat. Plan and simple. It is so hot in the middle of the summer here its down right dangerous. I would at all costs try to stay out of the extreme weather when you are driving. Meaning stay in till the sun goes down or leave before it becomes too intense. I like to travel in the late evenings around here myself.

There was a time I did not realize what I was doing. I was just so exited to be in Arizona.I would go anywhere anytime. It was not smart. What would you imagine happens when it gets too hot down here? Tires pop,and engines overheat. trust me it’s not so good to get stuck in the sun when you have no A/C and that can happen to you like it did me if your not careful.  Thank goodness for a towing company in Gilbert, AZ that saved my butt.

I never really realized how important that might be if you got caught in the sun. Thank goodness these towing guys outta Gilbert Arizona were fast. I really feel like I could have died out there. Just saying maybe you should learn from my mistakes, be smart about it. If it’s 120 degrees you really shouldn’t be out there on the roadways. Plus your just making it unsafe for the rescue crews.

One thing you never think of, but is always good is you should be considerate of our emergency crews. Just imagine being out of the highway when it’s 120 degrees stuck on the road like i was. And imagine trying to work on it because someone else decided they were going to go out there and risk themselves and now you have to save them. I was one of those people that did not think of this but now I am aware of the dangers. 

Arizona is a beautiful state, but not one to be messed with in the middle of the summer. You all be safe out there, and try to remember a few of these tips to make your time in Arizona a great time.

Page Arizona

Page, AZ

Have you ever seen these rock formations and wondered where they came from? Page Arizona! That is where you will find these rock formations. I’ve always been awestruck, and amazed by these formations. So the question remains how did these caves / canyons / formations become what they are today?

 

Basically these canyons are made up of  sandstone and they’re created by Massive flood waters that tear through the canyons and carve them out. what you’re looking at is Antelope Canyon. And if you’ve never been there it is an amazing experience. There is literally a photogenic moment and every bend.Some see the pictures can’t even do it justice. That should be amazing to you just look at the pictures and try not to be awestruck. So if it’s better in person and pictures and videos don’t do it justice wouldn’t it warn’t a trip there? I would think so.

 

So how do you prepare for a trip into Antelope Canyon?This is kind of a beginner’s hike, or maybe it’s not really a hike at all it’s more like a walk so if you’re not much of a hiker this one’s perfect for you. I would definitely bring water, good shoes, and don’t forget your camera! You’ll definitely need your camera you’ll be mad at yourself if you forget to bring it. Also there’s one other thing that you don’t want to forget and that is money. Don’t forget this is a national park and you need money to get in it’s normally anywhere from 30 to 60 bucks but that’ll give you a day pass to all the parks in Arizona.

 

Oftentimes people make a day trip out of 3 of Arizona parks on the same day. so first stop would be Antelope Canyon, next would be Horseshoe Bend, and after that would be the Grand Canyon. this way you’re able to make the most of your 30-60 bucks for your entrance fee into the park.

 

If it’s cloudy or looking like it’s going to rain just remember there’s a good chance that the shutdown Antelope Canyon. You really don’t want to miss Antelope Canyon so I would just keep it that day all together I would heading to Phoenix and maybe do some shopping and wait for some better weather. The reason that they closed down Antelope Canyon when it’s going to rain is for flash flooding. You do not want to be anywhere near Antelope Canyon when the flooding goes on. it’s a very serious and dangerous place to be whole Canyon fills up with water and the water moves at ridiculous speeds. Nature has a crazy way of making beautiful things. Just make sure you’re not there when Nature is deciding to chisel away at her Canyon.
One more thing I’d like to add before I am this is the best time to go into the canyon is 12 o’clock noon. and the reason is is because the light is directly overhead and allows for the most beautiful pictures. The Canyons light up in a reddish color at noon. Just the way the walls are the light shards coming through a really cool at this time of day. Make sure there’s no cloud cover and to see the light rays coming through and bouncing off the canyon walls.

Route 8

Driving from Arizona to California along the Route 8 seems like a long and not so beautiful road to follow. But much to my surprise there were some interesting things to see. First we began to notice the cactus alongside the road. The interesting and unique Saguaro cactus. Those great big tall plants that we found were unique to Arizona and the Sonora Desert. Then an assortment of smaller cacti. Some that were beginning to bloom. The yellow and red flowers blooming from a not so beautiful plant are amazing to see. The contrast makes the flowers seem so much prettier than they actually are. So against the quite barren desert these plants were splendid. But now to continue on our journey on Route 8. It is a long distance before there is any place else to stop and enjoy some beauty.
There are a few rest areas that are put together very well and invite you to stop and stretch for a good amount of time. There are a few information boards so that you can become a little bit familiar with the area.
Then on to Yuma Arizona. From the first glance it looks like a place that you would just want to keep driving past, but since we were hungry we decided to stop for a bite to eat. We decided to venture into the town which is a few miles from the Highway. But we were very impressed to realize this town is quite a nice spot. We found a good restaurant and walked around one of the downtown malls for a while. There is much more to this place than meets the eye. It is a military town. There are many branches of the military located here. So there is a lot of Air traffic around the area too. It’s very interesting here and I would like come back to this part of Arizona and spend a little more time. Quite a few RV parks for the snowbirds as well.
It isn’t far from Yuma that you run into the Imperial Sand Dunes National Recreation Area. This is one of the nations largest mass of inland sand dunes. Quite a contrast to the desert that we just passed through. Very neat to see so many recreation vehicles out and people having a lot of fun on the dunes. There are places you can rent ATV and other sand worthy vehicles.
From this part of Southern Arizona, you can see the Mexican border and the floating fence. And before you realize it you have passed out of Arizona and are now into California. As you drive and get closer to the coast there are Mountains of round rocks that are precariously sitting on top of each other. But that is only for a few miles. The winding and hilly roads begin and you come into the beautiful California foothills. There are a lot of miles between Arizona and California that seem pretty desolate but as always, if you pay a little attention there will be something that catches your eye and you can feel like you’ve experienced something new.

Water in The South West

One of the biggest concerns in the Phoenix Arizona area, also known as the Valley of the Sun, is water. If it wasn’t for water there would be no ability to live in the hot desert. People are dependent upon water and access to it. That is especially noticeable in the middle of a hot desert. No life can survive for long without water and no city can continue to grow and even become one of the top destinations without a good water source.
Luckily for the Valley of the Sun, there are amazing canals that run throughout the valley. Water is diverted from the Colorado river over 200 miles away and is used to irrigate the otherwise dry and barren lands. The lands that now produce some of the best citrus crops in the world. Grapefruit and Oranges and Lemons and Tangelo are some of the sweet and juicy fruit that is grown in abundance in the valley. In addition to the water from the Colorado river, there are vasts reserves of runoff from rain and snow stored behind the great Roosevelt Dam.

Water supplie
You might wonder where your drinking water comes from if you live in Phoenix. That is a very important topic and most people don’t know that answer. There are about 3 sources of drinking water in the area. The first is Groundwater. Groundwater is can either be a private well or one that is operated by the city or some other company. So some areas are lucky enough to dig down into the earth and find an underground source of water. The next source is either the Salt or Verde River. Now I’m sure there must be a really good filtration system on this source before it is piped into your kitchen. Although I feel the need of re-filtering my water as I’m not sure of the process. And, of course, the Colorado river is the other water source. Because of the drought of these past few years there have been a lot of worry about having enough water to go around.
We continue to hope for rain and lots of snow in the Mountains to keep us supplied with water. We often take water for granted. But, it is a basic essential need and should not be taken for granted. It is wonderful that there are people that are focusing on how to supply our great community with water. We also begin to really appreciate the modern ways of filtering out the impurities in our water supplies as well as having enough water. There are so many things that we can be thankful for but the basic need of water has got to be one of the top things on our lists of things to appreciate every day. When we live in the desert and don’t have more than 9 inches or rain in a year than we must stop and say Thank you for all the amazing work put into providing us with the necessary water we need for our existence.

Arizona Climate

    The climate in Arizona is perfect for growing citrus fruit.  It is some of the best fruit you will ever taste.  They grow it commercially in Southern Arizona, but you will also find it in nearly every back yard that has any space for trees.  If you happen to be lucky enough to live where you can pick an orange off the tree and eat it right away you may never enjoy another orange from the grocery store again.  The juiciness and freshness of a just picked orange is amazing!  Not only do they grow oranges in Arizona, but also grapefruit and lemons and tangerines.  All of which make my mouth water just thinking about them.  I remember my Dad telling us about the sweetness of a fresh picked grapefruit and I will admit that I really could not understand that concept.  Sweetness and grapefruit.  But now that I’ve experienced a fresh picked grapefruit I know exactly what he was saying.  No need for a sprinkle of sugar on top of these lovely pink dandies.  They are wonderful just eaten with a spoon.  Then there are those wonderful tangerines.  Now we are talking juicy and sweet.  Those are best eaten with a napkin nearby to catch the drips. Yum!  But about the lemons…Now I wouldn’t suggest peeling and eating them fresh of the tree.  Sour!  But oh so good when made into lemon juice or squeezed over a papaya or mango.  And there are more lemon recipes floating around out there than you can imagine.  Lemon chicken, lemon crusted fish, lemon bars, lemon cakes and on and on.  No end to using up your fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Sun in AZ

  Just the pleasure of having fresh fruit in its season is a great benefit to living in Arizona.  There is something so healthy about being able to enjoy these sun ripened fruits.  And of course there are some health benefits to the four fruits I’ve mentioned above that may or may not be news to you.  For instance, besides being one of the three most popular flavors in the world, oranges are full of Vitamin C.  And Vitamin C helps promote healthy skin and hair.  It’s also an antioxidant  for supporting the immune system.   And grapefruit…which is actually a hybrid fruit (orange and pomelo) is one of the best fat burning foods out there.  It improves the blood flow and helps to metabolize the fat.  Seems like it would be a good food for helping to remove cellulite.  Now tangerines also are loaded with Vitamin C  which helps in the vital role of collagen synthesis and wound healing.  It’s also good for the immune system and is anti-viral.  And lastly that tangy tart lemon is packed full of goodness and health benefits.  A lemon a day may just keep the Doctor away.  One lemon has enough Vitamin C in it for a full days supply…well… you do need to include the peel to get the full punch..  Some have used lemon in water to help dissolve kidney stones.  For myself, if I don’t start my day off with a warm glass of lemon water I don’t feel like I’ve started my day right.  So if you ever get the chance to try some of these fresh fruits when visiting Arizona, remember that the taste is only the half of it. There are magnificent health benefits as well.  Come enjoy!!

Beautiful Desert Drive

  1. Today was a beautiful day for a drive away from the business of the Phoenix area.  Did you realize,by the way, that Phoenix is now considered the 4th  largest city in the U.S. A.?  But to get back to the subject of my drive I had to first get out of the city.  So I had to drive on 2 different freeways through semi-heavy traffic(only occasional stop and go) to even get to where I could start my drive to the desert.   As I made my way North from the city I felt the tension of these past few hectic weeks begin to drain away. The noise of the traffic and the business of life began to fade into the distance. The beauty of the desert began to come alive in front of my eyes.  And seriously there is a beauty to the desert that cant be equaled. Well..maybe that is a little unfair but today it seems like the whole truth.  With desert plants in bloom it’s hard to imagine a more beautiful location.  And yes, I stopped along the way to meander around and take pictures of some of the cactus.  I don’t know my way around the desert very well yet but I plan to learn more about the plants and animals that live in this areas. I had heard that this is also rattlesnake season so be careful where you walk.   I have to admit that made me a little nervous but none-the-less when I have more time I do plan to go back and walk on some of the trails near Cave Creek.  Beautiful Desert Drive

As I continued my drive I came into a very cute little town called Cave Creek.  There was a lot of roadwork going on but you could see that it would be a really fun town to check out someday.  It has the old west  feel to it with a lot of interesting looking shops to look into.  And then on to Care Free..now where does a town get a name like that?  Could it be a retirement community?  Complete with “easy street”?   It also looked like a good place to check out but make sure you give yourself lots of time. I did see a very large sundial that I had to stop and look at.  I found a beautiful cactus garden and fountain there as well.  It had a feel that pulls you in and makes you want to bring a friend and a cup of coffee for some nice easy conversation.  Very quaint towns with that small town feel that makes you wonder why you live in the city.  

              There is something about a drive outside the city limits that calms the mind and ease the tensions of life.

 And it’s also wonderful to stop and take a moment to look at where  it is that you really live.

        The  natural part of where you live and breath.  So with much appreciation for what I saw today and for what I hope to see another day I sigh a happy sigh as I merge-

            –  back onto the freeway headed for my city home.

Welcome to Arizona

Welcome to Phoenix… And “oh hey” just be careful where you step because there are enough scorpions here to make the incredible Hulk shudder.  So my question is How does a person coexist with this venomous little critter?  They evidently don’t get discouraged if you happen to build a house smack in the middle of the scorpion highway…instead they just climb over or between or under or around and just keep on coming.  Another words they have a one track mind and don’t like to change habits or maybe even don’t know how to change.  How do the locals deal with this problem.  What if I don’t want to spray poison around my house and inside my house once a month?  Well here is a little tip…and it turns out that it’s also entertaining.. 

az cactus

 Get a couple of good quality LED flashlights…you know the kind that has blue lights… and a Blow-torch.  That’s all you need other than a little bit of courage and a good sense of adventure.  Go outside after it’s dark. I might suggest some close toed shoes…just in case.  Shine that nice bright blue light around the edges of your fence and foundation of your house.  When you see something light up florescent green…get excited because it may be a scorpion.  At that point…aim your blow-torch and let go with a round of fire.  The scorpions sure can’t survive that and it will help keep the population down if you go “hunting” on a regular basis. Our first night of scorpion hunting yielded a grand total of nine.  I thought that we wouldn’t see anymore for a long time after that…but I was completely wrong.  The next few nights we’ve gotten between 5 and 10 every time.   It was amusing the first night we tried this out because there are more things that become florescent than scorpions.  Maybe it isn’t green and crawling but blue and very lifeless…like a piece of candy wrapper.  It can create a  moment of panic though until you get the hang of what you are really looking for.  

AZ scorpion

 I suppose this isn’t the only method but it is a good way to get rid of a few of the pesky critters.  Now doing this on the inside of the house isn’t recommended.   Although I have heard of a few people that use the same technique of going after  dark to find the critters around the baseboards and walls of the inside of the house and when found using a squirt of brake fluid.  Yikes!!  That stuff stinks but it does kill the scorpion.  And I suppose the brake fluid evaporates fairly quickly.  But because I’m so sensitive to that kind of vapors I’m still looking for a more environmentally friendly route.  When I come across something that actually works and won’t be hard on my lungs I’ll let you know..likewise if you hear of anything I’d sure be interesting in seeing if it works.  Who knew that scorpion hunting would become such a big part of my life!!