Posts Tagged ‘summer’

Summer in Tucson

August 9th, 2016 by samhughesinn

Monsoon Season

Storm Clouds

Storm clouds forming

People living in colder parts of the country are always anxious to hear horror stories about summer in Tucson but the subject of Monsoon Season only comes up when it’s so hot here no one is very eager to come experience it with us.  Sam Hughes Inn Bed & Breakfast has now endured 16 monsoon seasons and is half way through the 17th. We love monsoon.

In our first year of bed & breakfast business Tucson experienced the earliest arrival of monsoon season in history, June 17. Until a few years ago, the arrival of monsoon was calculated on the dew point reaching 55 degrees or more for three consecutive days. The rain almost always began after that third day. Now monsoon season has been designated June 15 until September 30, whether it’s dry or wet, and a more average first rainfall occurs around the first week of July.

Some visitors think we exaggerate the intensity of monsoon storms because they experience heavy rains throughout the year in their own home states. But monsoon can be either hours of gentle rainfall or it can produce violent winds that uproot trees and down power lines. Thousands of lightning strikes can cause fires to flare up in multiple locations and create hazardous conditions for people on the ground. Flooding fills our usually empty river beds to overflowing, and even some unlucky houses in low lying areas. On the campus of the University of Arizona you’ll find metal barricades across the step-down areas of some buildings to help keep the water from rushing under the doors.. People who live here love the frequent showers especially since they often cause the temperature to drop 25 or 30 degrees in minutes. Then our famous “dry heat” is replaced by the not so welcome “humidity”.

Downpour

First monsoon rain 2016.

Tucson receives half of its yearly rainfall during monsoon season; at least that’s the hoped for outcome, and so far 2016 appears to be on track. Storm clouds build up in enormous and beautiful designs and can appear any time of the day. A perfect blue sky can suddenly turn dark as night and claps of thunder can build slowly to ear shattering intensity in minutes. It is dangerous and exciting at the same time bringing a welcome change from the 100 degree days of June, at least for short periods of time..

Lightning

Lightning strikes

A recurring feature of monsoon season is Arizona’s “Stupid Motorist Law“. If a driver goes around a barricade on a flooded street and becomes stranded, he/she can be charged for being rescued. And yet a number of drivers attempt this maneuver every year and in some cases with disastrous results when the car is swept away..

Monsoon season is full of drama, from the first Cumulonimbus clouds poking up over the mountain tops, & the heavy rainfalls, to some of the most beautiful sunsets on earth.

Monsoon sunset

Sunset monsoon season

 

 

Farmers’ Markets in Tucson

July 3rd, 2015 by samhughesinn

farmers market

Farmers Merket

All seasons, but especially in summer, you will find an abundance of farmers’ markets in Tucson.

Some operate in the morning and some in the evening to take advantage of the coolest parts of the day, although, on many days you’d be hard pressed to find the coolest part. Take a spray bottle of water, wear a hat and lots of sun screen and go out and find fabulous locally grown fruits and vegetables,

Chile Ristras

Chile Ristras

desert honey, baked goods and chile ristras (a ristra is an arrangement of drying chili pepper pods used for cooking or as a decorative item).You can find a market any day of the week but here are some of the better known ones.

Tucson Farmers’ Market at Maynards, 400 N. Toole Ave.- Located behind the restaurant, Maynard’s Market & Kitchen at the Old Train Station across the street from the Congress Hotel. Among the veggies & fruits you’ll also find locally made tortillas, tamales, baked goods, cheese, coffee, tea, salsa and many other goodies.Open Saturdays, April through October, 8 a.m. to Noon.

Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market at Mercado San Agustin – 100 S. Avenida del Convento. This the last stop on the trolley line and boasts a bakery (try their doughnuts), several shops, a commercial kitchen, some yummy Mexican food and a lovely restaurant, Agustin Kitchen. You’ll find a big selection here too, along with honey, nuts, plants & flowers. Open evening hours, 4-7 p.m. Thurdays. Phone 622-0525, ext 7262.

paprika-65270_640

El Pueblo Farmers Market – El Rio Health center parking lot, 101 W Irvington Rd.Their offerings include eggs, herbs, vegetables and honey. Open Mondays, 3-5 p.m., phone 520-882-3313 for information.

Friday Farmers’ Market at Broadway Village – 2836 E.Broadway. featuring all of the above plus seafood (we don’t know where this might come from but it’s different). Open 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

St. Philip’s Plaza Farmers’ Market, 4280 N. Campbell Ave. Voted Best of Tucson, 2014 (Tucson Weekly) and for good reason. It’s one of the biggestmarkets in Southwestern Arizona and supports a

diverse group of local farmers. It’s surrounded by an early Tucson shopping area featuring many fabulous shops in a beautiful setting. This one is about eight minutes north on Campbell from Sam Hughes Inn bed & breakfast. Open Saturdays & Sundays, 8 a.m. – Noon.Farmers' Market logo

Prickly Pear

Prickly Pear Cactus Tuna

Summer in Tucson

May 24th, 2015 by samhughesinn

Summer Sun

Summer in Tucson:

Arizona enjoys more than 300 sunny days a year and in the summer months it’s important to find ways to endure and also enjoy, summer in Tucson. A little creativity is necessary and it’s always good to remember that even though it may be beastly hot outside, it will never prevent you from pursuing activities the way winter in colder climes does. You don’t have to shovel it and you don’t have to scrape it off your windshield and if you’re lucky, summer will only last until mid-October. After that, it’s heavenly here. You just have to find places and things to do that keep you out of the blazing sun during the hottest hours of the day.

Until the middle of May the nights and mornings in Tucson are cool and pleasant. As June, the nastiest month, approaches, night and morning begin to come close to daytime heat, minus the sunshine. Air Conditioning is our salvation, in the house, in the car, in stores & theaters; it’s everywhere you want to be. You just have to figure out how to navigate from air conditioned place to air conditioned place and remember to drink lots of water.

One new reason to spend part of summer in Tucson is the Summer in the City Discount Card. About 130 merchants in the five shopping and entertainment districts are offering discounts up to 50 percent with the card.You can order it online for $5 and there is no limit to the number of times you can use it. Stay at Sam Hughes Inn Bed & Breakfast and two people can use the inn’s cards to receive discounts on food & drink, to purchase something special, or take a yoga class. The possibilities for savings are at least 130. Cards are valid through the end of August. Check the website for the list of merchants participating.

COOL PURSUITS:

Mt. LemmonMt. Lemmon Sky Center
has the largest public viewing telescope in the Southwest. They offer nightly presentations by gifted astronomers at an always cool altitude. Check the website or phone 520-626-8122, Mt. Lemmon at any time of day will be considerably cooler than Tucson.

DeGrazia Gallery

DeGrazia Gallery

DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun occupies ten acres created and built by late Tucson artist Ted DeGrazia. Multiple cleverly conceived buildings house the huge collection of originals: oils, pastels, metalwork, pottery, ceramics & sculpture all designed by this incredibly talented artist. Some of the interesting creations are outside but you can spend almost all the time indoors in the labyrinth of rooms housing his works. 6300 N. Swan Rd. 520-299-9191.

La Vida Fantastica

Unknown Artist, Kuna Culture

The Tucson Museum of Art at 140 N. Main Ave. in downtown Tucson, is located in the El Presidio Historic Block of early Tucson architecture.. This summer will feature several interesting exhibits. The WPA Connection: Selections from the Modern Art Collection and La Vida Fantastica: Selections from the American Folk Art Collection. Along with its vast permanent collection  you can spend many happy hours in the cool of the museum and grab a bite to eat at their yummy Cafe’ a la C’art. No sweat guaranteed!

Summer 2015 Exhibit

Summer Exhibit Mini Time Museum of Miniatures

The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures offers 10,000 square feet of air conditioned wonder as you peek into the fascinating tiny world of hundreds of different miniature art displays. Antique & contemporary miniatures are sure to please young and old. Closed on Mondays so check the website for hours on the other days. 4455 E. Camp Lowell Dr., 520-881-0606.

Field, Pima Air & Space

Pima Air & Space Museum

Pima Air & Space Museum has five air cooled hangers featuring commercial, military and civil aviation exhibits. You can also enjoy a toasty tram tour of its 80 acres of famous and not so famous aircraft and/or tour the Boneyard with its hundreds of mummy wrapped aircraft lined up by type. These tours are true examples of a Summer in Tucson experience and are not likely to be cool, so bring a spray bottle of water or a hand fan if you decide to indulge. 520-574-0462

Queen Mine

Queen Mine

 

And if you’re spending a few days of Summer in Tucson and want to venture a little further out, visit the cooler old world town of Bisbee (at an altitude of more than 5500 feet), and its Queen Mine,once a busy working copper mine. The mine is an always chilly 47 degrees so you’ll need a jacket. You’ll ride the mine train deep inside the tunnel while wearing miner’s hats, slickers and lanterns. The tour lasts about an hour & fifteen minutes. Call 866-432-2071 for reservations.

 

Cave interior

Cave stalactites, stalagmites

And for another cool subterranean adventure, don’t miss Kartchner Caverns State Park to witness a still forming, water dripping, perfect cave, undisturbed by man until its discovery in 1974 and featuring awesome stalactites and stalagmites. Great care is taken that nothing harms the interior of this cave so no cameras, or equipment of any kind, purses, backpacks, etc. – all must be tucked into lockers before the tours begin.Reservations are a must so check the website to make online future or same day arrangements. For those wanting to experience the cave the way its discoverers did, Helmet and Headlamp tours are also available but only on Saturdays. Kartchner Caverns Park is located near Benson, AZ, about an hour & a half from Tucson. (520) 586-2283

 

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