Tag Archive: Arizona

Ithaca yardThe sun rose in North Pole at 8:50 this morning, and will set 7 hours 27 ½ minutes later at 4:18, never rising more than 9.6° above the horizon. There is only a trace of snow on the ground, but this time of year even a little change in the reflectivity of the ground keeps the temperature down. Cloudy skies and occasional snow or freezing drizzle seem to be all that is forecast until I return home. I hope the snow isn’t too deep by the time I get back, though temperatures are still forecast to be above 0° F.

In Ithaca, New York, where I am right now, the sun rose at 6:43 this morning and will set 10 hours 13 minutes later at 4:55 after a maximum height above the horizon of about 32°. It was in the 50’s last week, but Sunday was snow (non-sticking) with temperatures in the 30’s. Today it’s supposed to be sunny, with temperatures in the 40’s. Sadly the leaves are well past their peak, but there is still enough color to enjoy.

me 11/2/13It’s still quite a change from Sierra Vista. Sunrise there was 6:44 am, sunset will be 5:31, and the day length will be 10 hours 47 minutes. The sun has a higher arc, too, reaching 42.2 minutes, and the temperatures should be in the 70’s today. North Pole is really going to seem cold when I go home.

And my hair is still coming back from chemo.

San Pedro River

San Pedro River

The sun will rise in North Pole this morning at 9:04 and set 9 hours 2 minutes later at 6:06 pm. At its highest, it was 14° above the horizon. It’s still above freezing in the daytime, though it’s freezing nights. And most precipitation is still liquid – a rarity at this time of year. As of 7:30, the temperature was 25° F and the high was expected to be 41. But I’m not in North Pole today.

Here in Sierra Vista, Arizona, the sun rose at 6:32 and will set 11 hours 12 minutes later at 5:44 this evening. It’s in the high 70’s in the daytime, and barely below 50 at night. We had a picnic at the San Pedro River Saturday – a little hot in the sun but just right for shorts in the shade. The river is completely hidden by the tall dead grass; those trees are on the far bank. Not too many birds, the summer visitors have headed back south and the Alaskans aren’t here yet. But the place was jumping (literally) with grasshoppers.

We had lunch Sunday on the patio, but it got almost too hot.

We had lunch Sunday on the patio, but it got almost too hot.

Tombstone and Bisbee, Arizona

Last Friday we drove up to Tombstone, AZ and Saturday we visited Bisbee. Both are “tourist attractions,” but with somewhat different angles on attracting tourists.

Tombstone is the site of the famed shootout at the O. K. Corral. It started out as a silver mining town, and even today the ground beneath the town is riddled with old mines. But like the dwarves in Moria, the miners delved too deep, encountering the water table at 520 feet. The mines flooded, and it became too expensive to keep them pumped out. The “town too tough to die” survived as the county seat until that was moved to Bisbee, almost became a ghost town and reinvented itself as a tourist destination.

We happened to hit the first day of “Helldorado days,” which emphasizes the wild west side of the town’s history. Not only were gunfights staged in the streets, they could be watched in air-conditioned comfort indoors! Even the street fights were enlivened by details of how the fights would be staged for the camera today, with frequent cries of “Cut! Action double!”

In addition to the wild west theme, there is a good assortment of shops, some featuring local artisans. I spent most of my time in Arlene’s, jumping at the occasional gunshots. My painted ponies have all come from there, and I bought a new one as well as a set of much-needed place mats.

Bisbee, the current county seat, was also a former mining town, though the ore here was rich in copper, gold, silver and zinc. An entire mountain was removed for its mineral wealth, but the city is still surrounded by mountains, the buildings trickling down valleys. Although the mining history is still a part of Bisbee, with tours through the old mines, my vision is such that only my cousins took the tour, while I shopped.

The city today is primarily occupied by retirees and artists. Stores tend toward art galleries, jewelers, antique stores, and other specialty stores. I couldn’t resist a copper butterfly for my wall from the Coppershop, or a variety of honeys and a honey Dijon mustard from Killer Bee Honey. One of my favorites, alas, was no longer present – I used to visit Kate Drew-Wilkinson at Uptown Tribal, where she had a workshop for making her glass beads as well as a store, but she seems now to be only on the web. Her activities as a traveling teacher of lampwork took her away from the shop too often.

Both towns are higher and cooler than Sierra Vista, but still warm to a visitor from Alaska. I have been in Bisbee when there was melting snow on the ground, but this week I was seeking shade.

In Fairbanks, the sunrise this morning will be at 9:12 and the sunset at 5:57 this afternoon for 8 hours 45 minutes of daylight. The sun at its highest will be only about 13 ½° above the horizon – hardly enough to heat things up. There’s been snow, but there’s nothing officially on the ground yet. Daytime high temperatures are around freezing, though, and most days have “a chance of snow” in the forecast, so I fully expect to find at least a few patches of snow on the north slopes and hilltops by the time I get back Wednesday.

Here in Sierra Vista Arizona, it’s in the 80’s midday, though nights are decently cool. No snow, of course, and the days are still over 11 hours long and the sun gets more than 45° above the horizon. We’ve been to Tombstone and Bisbee, and I’ll have more to say about them tomorrow.

Yesterday I got to see the aftermath of the summer’s fires, and the fence along the Mexican border. The photo shows part of the road we drove up today to the Montezuma Pass. That faint diagonal line in the grasslands is the border fence. Swathes of burnt trees were still visible, and it was obvious that the road had been repaired after floodwaters cut new gullies in the hillside. We stopped also at the Coronado National Memorial, and one of my cousins tried on a Spanish mail shirt. That thing was heavy! Between the heat and the weight of their armor, those Spaniards certainly didn’t have an easy time of it.