ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The South Arizona Winter

Updated on February 24, 2016

The Sonoran Desert Blooms in Concrete

Way out West.  Also, Down South.
Way out West. Also, Down South. | Source

The Thermometer Factor

True enough, when the thermometer hits ninety, in late February, there is not much wiggle room. Obviously, I'm talking about Phoenix. It's a large, trafficky city -- plenty of downside there. But you put on a shirt and walk out the door. That's enough on the nicer side of the ledger. Still, I cannot disagree with those sensitive to intense heat. Last night, after a flight from Milwaukee, I felt as though I might collapse from dehydration on the way to the hotel. I could not remember ever having been so thirsty without being on a trail with a merciless sun beating down. This was the dead of night. I was pushing it. I could not find my equilibrium. I might have stopped at a gas station for a simple bottle of water, the best remedy. But I was revved up, trying not to get lost, and afraid to lose momentum.

After a while, I also felt that nobody appreciated the fact that you could go without ten layers of clothing as well as covering one's face. The winters up north are harsh. They can be tiring and repetitive, one gray day after another. But I can also say how perfect blue skies without interruption have almost the same effect. You get used to them. You know what they say about familiarity. Most of these remarks, I'll admit, are purely personal. There are those who like overcast skies. I am a bit of a cloud fan myself. Thus far, for me, climate change has not been so very effective. At least not from where I came from and went to. It is still cold in Chicagoland and hot in Phoenix in the winter time.

From New Mexico to Arizona or East to West

Uncluttered but Dry and Landlocked.
Uncluttered but Dry and Landlocked. | Source

The Unreliable: Tourism and Word of Mouth

I'm no longer as thrilled as I once was to have the wherewithal to spring for a Holiday Inn. I recall having done so in order to traipse around the trails of the Blue Ridge Mountains without altogether roughing it. I recollect being as high up the ladder of the general scale of success I had ever yet gone. Then, skipping a few decades, I moved to the West. That is how I discovered, as if nobody knew, a giant, whole, though not entirely wholesome, up-to-date, city (or Colossus, what-have-you), in what was once, if not now, the truer West. Among the best photos I have ever seen on Facebook are from Arizona. On average, it feels better to be in Arizona, and it looks better as well. Hotels are for those who do not or cannot make other arrangements. I wish I could say more about them, but they are a business I encounter only every now and then. The element of chance can never be fully eliminated.

I sometimes wish people were not so down on the place. One hears rave reviews of Colorado or California, as if the latter, at least, were, like NYC, the only place on earth. But bad times in Arizona, apparently, are not scarce. I had one myself, but came back anyways, at a later date. The idea of moving there hangs like a threat over one's head. People do not as a rule badmouth Indiana, Iowa, or Ohio. But some will not give in to any debate on the merits of Arizona against other western states to either visit or live in. By the way, read the news coming from mid-America. It can chill your bones. As God is my witness, I had no idea a Michigan man, another lone wolf, would go on a deadly rampage while I composed a simple travel essay.

Golf Courses attract Professional Golfers

Take your clubs.
Take your clubs. | Source

Alternatives to Arizona

The West is large and winter warmth is not the only lure. Not to be forgotten, most people who live in the cold are strapped to jobs and budgets that do not allow for much, if any, experimentation. For those who live in the warmer realms, I wish they could experience, if only for a season, how the folks up north get by. They manage every single year, no matter what. But it does not happen without an excessive amount of auto body work, broken fingers and wrists, and frost bite. Sometimes home insulation is less than par. Sometimes the thermometer rises only to capture frozen rain. It can be an ordeal to so much as gather one's mail. How slippery is it? No joke. Motorists suddenly total their cars without a clue.

There are quite a few additional states that are interesting and relatively warm. For me, getting up to fifty in the daytime, as is the case in New Mexico, is good enough. But some like it hotter. This reviewer cannot suggest Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, or Florida. The latter is well-known and has many advocates. It is the winterland of choice for the masses. The passing of Harper Lee causes me to think a bit more than usual about Alabama. I only see it in the movies. Harper Lee and Truman Capote come from an Alabama small town. Faulkner comes from Mississippi. Walker Percy and John Kennedy Toole hail from Louisiana. You have to feel the calling. If you do, why not? The south has always been known for belle lettres. The southerner has always had more ways with words than his or her northern counterpart. It all depends upon how much importance one places on such oddities. In Arizona, you will not likely encounter far-out, deep-fried accents.

Old Postcard

Still the Same.
Still the Same. | Source

Spiritual Factors

I only just learned that the metropolitan Phoenix area is going to be packed during Spring Training, starting in a week or so. But that was not what I had in mind. The earth has provided great natural riches, such as rivers, mountains, and canyons that human society has spiritualized. No, one does not have to be a Native American to partake. Of all natural phenomena, however, the desert is very appreciated in terms of spirituality. America has desert. It gives the Southwest a special status. There are any number of biographies that link notable figures in the early church with prolonged desert retreats. Antioch in Syria spawned quite a few. Deserts have been known to change lives, turning non-believers into the faithful. Only think, under the sun, how much more valuable a few ounces of water becomes. Then think of those waters mentioned in scripture, from which, afterward, no thirsting will ever again return. The analogy works, if you leave scorched earth hungering for the Word of God. Well, nothing can be taken for granted. It is always possible the desert will have no religious impact whatsoever. Open-minded or close-hearted, the curious can travel by car into the more desolate regions and commune however best he or she can on or off well-marked, well-trod trails.

High Rises & Condos

How hot is it?  Hot enough to crave air-conditioning.  Where is everybody?
How hot is it? Hot enough to crave air-conditioning. Where is everybody? | Source

The Movies

In this regard, Arizona and California weigh in at just about the same time. In retrospect, it was inevitable that moviemaking would leave the East Coast and take up residence on the sunny West. Before this shake-up took place, Westerns were already being filmed. The Great Train Robbery comes from 1903 New Jersey. The movies were not even ten years old at the time. In only twelve years time, D. W. Griffith would direct Birth of a Nation (1915), controversial to this very day. But it changed the future of movies. They would no longer be frivolous, fanciful, more technically complex nickelodeon fare. The point for the traveler is that Arizona was a highly prized location for literally thousands of movies, mostly Westerns, now well out of style. It is a small, humble point for tourism, but getting out of the snow and ice is not the only attraction. One can improve one's mind. Movie history is history, too, and much more to the lighter side than records of Indian Wars and frontier hardships.

Hopalong Cassidy

All the cowboys have been there.
All the cowboys have been there. | Source

National Anthem at Chase Stadium, Downtown Phoenix


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Wonderful. I miss my old home state. But I come from the north with 200 inches of snow a year and it is currently 19 degrees.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)