That time of year is upon us. The temperature is rising, the snowbirds have migrated back to the midwest. Summer is quickly approaching and it’s getting hot.
We year-rounders (the folks who have just one address and it’s in zip code 85390) have a few tips for the folks who might stumble into Wickenburg during hell season. (Can I say that? Well, I’m sure someone will tell me if I can’t.) Or for the folks who recently moved to town, after being assured by a Realtor that 105° doesn’t feel as hot in Arizona as it does in Wisconsin, and are wondering whether they can buy back their old house.
The first tip is this: when it’s too hot outside, stay inside. Most homes have air conditioning and if yours doesn’t (please accept my condolences), make a day trip to the supermarket. You won’t even have to stay in the frozen food aisle; the whole place will be plenty cool for you. Want something to keep you busy? Find the Caviar (they really do have it) and the paper lace doilies without asking for help. (If you find the doilies, please tell me where they are.) If you find yourself spending a lot of time there, apply for a job. They probably won’t need you (with the population cut in half by the snowbirds’ annual exodus), but if they do, you’ll have a good excuse to be there and a paycheck, too.
If your car is air conditioned (and I pray that it is, for your sake), you may want to drive around and take in the sights from behind its tinted windows. Well, on second thought, with gas prices they way they are these days, driving around probably wouldn’t be a good idea unless you’re independently wealthy or have stock in MobilExxon or some other oil company. If you were independently wealthy, you’d have at least two addresses and you’d be at the other one right now.
But seriously, here’s what I do when it’s too hot around Wickenburg and work doesn’t keep me in my air conditioned office: I leave town.
Check out the Day Trips articles for some cool destination ideas. My favorites: Harquahala Peak Smithsonian Observatory (at an elevation of 6000 feet), Granite Mountain Park (near cool Prescott), A Prescott Summer Weekend (especially enjoyable when there’s an art show in the park), and Tower Mountain Lookout (high in the Bradshaw Mountains).
If you happen to have out-of-town guests who insisted on visiting during the summer (despite your warnings), you’ll be glad to take them someplace you may have been a thousand times: The Grand Canyon. I have a place up near there and spend as much time there as I can. I can tell you that it’s plenty cool there during the summer months. If you want a special trip to the Canyon, take the long drive to the North Rim. There are fewer tourists and that extra 1200 feet of elevation makes things even cooler.
Flagstaff is also a nice cool destination. Its downtown area has a lot to offer in the way of shopping and restaurants. Even Williams is a lot of fun. With nightly shootouts, Route 66, and the Grand Canyon Railroad, it’s a tourist town that offers more than just tee-shirts.
If long distance trips are out of the question, here are two closer-to-home suggestions for keeping cool. Box Canyon is our local “beach,” with a year-round flow of water through its narrow slot canyon. A perfect place to take the 4WD, kids, dog, lawn chairs, Smokey Joe, and hamburger patties for an afternoon of splashing in the shade. If you don’t mind burning a bit more gas, Lake Pleasant certainly can be pleasant. Even if you don’t have a water vehicle (boat, etc.), a couple of pool noodles or a rubber raft can give you just the excuse you need to hop into the cool water.
If you have some other suggestions for keeping cool this summer, don’t be shy. Consider becoming a wickenburg-az.com content contributor and writing it up to add to this site.
One thing you don’t want to do: take a helicopter ride when it’s 100+° out. Heck, even I don’t want to do that.