5 Things You Should Know About Phoenix, AZ
When my wife and I decided to move away from our hometown our first choice was Phoenix, AZ. I had visited several times throughout life, but it was my wife’s first trip to the Southwest. We’re originally from the North East, so the Valley of the Sun was like a new world to her.
If you’ve never visited the desert cities of the North American Southwest then it is very much like a different world. The beauty is breath taking, and there are many dangers that don’t exist around the rest of the country.
Phoenix is an extra special city for me. Of the many I have visited, it is by far my favorite, and where I plan to retire. I can never get tired of the stunning red rock surrounding ambience. Here are 5 things I think everyone should know before they visit.
#1. The Heat Is No Joke
When people talk about the heat of Phoenix they often say,”but its a dry heat,” or “The humidity isn’t as bad,” or “you get used to it.” I find none of those statements accurate to describe Phoenix in the summer time.
On our first day there it was a record high heat for that summer day. After checking in we decided to take a walk to explore. I advised my wife not to wear her flip-flops, but she ignored my wise advice. About half a block down the street her flops started to melt. She turned around and made a B-line back to the hotel screaming the whole way.
I don’t care what they say about the humidity or dry heat. It gets so hot the news is filled with stories constantly about people getting stuck outside and dying in the heat. If your white expert to get burnt in minutes even with sun block. You pray for night time all day long, then when night time comes the heat from the sun still sticks around until the middle of the night. The Heat Is No Joke!
#2. Take Wild Life Warning Signs Seriously
You always hear about the creatures slithering around Phoenix, but until you get there you don’t really know how serious it is. As soon as we got there we heard warnings on the radio about an outbreak of Africanized Killer Bees from Mexico. A new bread of bees that are named Killer for a reason. Their instructions for if you should encounter them. RUN!
We found a room to rent with a really cool group of hippy massage therapist. We didn’t get moved in until night time. One of our roommates offered to go to the pool with us. Before leaving I said, you should put some freakin’ shoes on man. He claimed to always walk around barefooted because hes from there.
While walking down the dimly light sidewalk surrounded by rocks and cacti he stops and thinks he stepped on a rock. Nope! Second time in 2 days my shoes warning was ignored at someone’s expense. As we held our lighters up examining the bottom of his foot for a rock puncture, it turns out a snake bit him on the top of his foot and it was just numb.
What made it worse was we couldn’t identify what kind of a snake it was. I rapidly shifted to survival mode and offered to suck out the venom. Hes like its okay, lets just keep going. I’m like screw that, if you pass out I don’t know the way back. I put things in a really scary North Easterner perspective, and suddenly this tough desert kid is freaking out with us. We got him back, and he went to the hospital to realize he was fine. Better safe then sorry though. Wear shoes everywhere. Seriously!
Within the city its not so bad in most areas. You will see some creepy crawlies your not used to there. When you see signs in front of desert looking areas warning of venomous wildlife, their not kidding. I’m an explorer and will walk strait through the desert if I have supplies. If you decide to try to adventure in desert areas, be prepared.
#3. Scottsdale Should Be Renamed Hotsdale
My wife and I have never been rich. Quite the opposite actually. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air Will Smith grew up a little over an hour away from us. We lucked out and found someone renting a room off of Camelback. For us Scottsdale was pretty much the Beverly Hills of AZ. The rest of Phoenix calls it Snobsville.
We didn’t find it snobby there at all. Instead everywhere we went most people seemed really open minded and friendly. They claim that Scottsdale has the most beautiful women out of anywhere in the country. WWE’s Bella Twins are from there just for an example. If your a single guy you may wanna add hanging out in Scottsdale to the to do list.
#4. The Roads Were Designed At A Tequila Bar
Something there is no preparing for is the insane designs of the roads. During rush hour you feel lucky to escape the roads with your life. Its really that extreme! In 2 months we witnessed 3 accidents literally right next to us, and several from a distance. Traffic jams are an everyday part of life for Phoenix residents.
#5. The Weather Is Terrifying
The heat isn’t all you have to worry about. Since I hadn’t ever visited for more than I few days, I was unprepared for the terrifying weather conditions. First of all as soon as we hit AZ on route 40 we seen our first 2 twisters ever in the distance as a black storm that looked like The Nothing engulfed the scenery in my rear view mirror. I floored that 4 cyl Sante Fe for about 10 minutes strait and beat it. It was intense like a scene in a movie.
When it rains in Phoenix, it pours. It didn’t seem like I ever witnessed a small drizzle. It was always either all or nothing every time. When the hot air meets the stormy air it produces scary effects. At one point the clouds touched the ground and I was freaking out. Our roommate was like, that’s just a micro storm, its normal. The hell if that looked normal to me! I felt like my black friend Chris every time he went in the woods with me.
Tornado’s and Micro Storms aren’t the worse thing either. We had never experienced a real dust storm before. They are very dangerous. If you get stuck outside in one you can very easily die of what they call desert sickness. We experiences 2 small dust storms. Not long before we got there our roommate had a video of him at a red light when the Haboob hit. It looked very much like the soot storm when the towers fell during the 9/11 attacks, only in dust form. They are rare, but something we do have in this country.
Video Source – TVNweather
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