You Will Love It Here
Hot, Dang Hot!
If one is in Arizona during the summer it does not take long to discover that it is about as enjoyable as a fly in your soup, more like a bug in a convection oven], to be outdoors when it is 68 to 98 C (100 to 130 F) degrees.
Antsy in the AC
There is an escape --besides the obvious one to the air conditioning-- or swimming pool, and it is one only 30 minutes from Tucson, and an hour from Phoenix, and that is at an alpine paradise aptly named, Summerhaven. The directions call for one to climb to 4000 feet off route 77 and then turn right at 8000 ft., because it is up near a spine of the 9157 foot Mount Lemmon.
I'm climbing Up...
Besides the increasing greenery, one notices the 20 to 30 degree drop in the air temperature, and the canopy of trees add a wonderful respite from the angry sun. The charming little village of Summerhaven has only a few lodgings and eating establishments, and the assorted log cabins, chalets and other little Aspen or Swiss inspired edifices give one a feel that they have indeed been transported far away from the Southwestern desert environs. You, too, will be infatuated like the happy folks that live here year-round and want to stay. Vistas of the mountains, the sound of eagles, hikes in the forest, seeing the squirrels and deer...but, wait, besides the fact that there is no grocery store, and no gas station, (that seemed quaint a minute ago) one had better do the math.
How Much Snow?
Now, that 25 some-odd coolness differential sure felt good in the summer, and maybe even the spring and fall, but what effect will it have on commuting to Tucson in the winter. The worries were not exaggerated, they get double and maybe triples of hundreds of feet of snow a year, so high that it reaches up towards the top of the windows. It was an hour away to get groceries on a good day, let alone three feet of the cold white stuff!
Bottom Line: Nice Place to Node about, not Live
Update: In the waning days of Summer of 2003 fierce forest fires in the region caused the evacuation of 500 residents, as this community made the national news.
Source: Arizona Highways in dentist office...from memory.
USA News, June 20, 2003.