Arizona Burning

Many of us have been glued to our TV’s, internet resources like Facebook and Twitter as well as our phones as we in Tucson watch in horror while the eastern half of our state is on fire.

Wildfires are very common here.  With drought conditions and deserts full of dry kindling, one lightning strike or one careless person can turn our world upside down.

Growing up in El Paso, Texas there were numerous summers where we would wait for the flames to show up in the Franklin Mountains.  Many times, they came very close to my parents home.  There were a few times that we had the buckets ready to take water out of the pool and had the garden hoses on full, watering down the desert in back of us.

In Arizona, much like New Mexico, the landscape is filled with not just deserts but beautiful mountains and forests.  In 2003, the little town of Summerhaven was almost decimated by a fire that swept through the Catalina Mountains.  They’ve come back – many residents have returned and rebuilt their summer homes – but I can’t help but imagine what they might be thinking as this year’s fires burn.  Towns like Eager and Springville are either under evacuation orders or have already evacuated.

Summerhaven, May 2011

When you live in an area like this, fire safety is a number one concern.  Campfires, smoking outdoors, fireworks – all of it has to be considered carefully.  Smokey Bear would want you to be safe and he wants his forest friends to be safe, too. If you’re planning a weekend getaway this summer to the great outdoors, please take pre-cautions which are listed on Smokey’s website.

So far, the only thing we’re getting in Tucson is a lot of smoke and haze from the various fires.  It’s business as usual here – aside from the hoping and praying we’re doing for our friends and emergency personnel who are affected by this.

Posted in Tucson | Leave a comment

Daily Life in Tucson

I’ve always been a ‘small town girl’.  Living in Las Cruces gave that to me.  When I moved to Northern Virginia in 1998, I knew that it was going to be an interesting experience and it didn’t let me down.

My morning commute from Dumfries, VA to Alexandria, VA took, on average, almost 70 minutes.  I learned that if I hit the traffic flow within a specific time frame, I could make it in about 20 minutes.  My longest commute was over 5 hours after 9/11.

In Las Cruces, it takes approximately 10 minutes to get from one side of town to the other.  If you live in Picacho Hills or on the east mesa, it might take 15 or 20 from one end to the other.

When I moved to Tucson, I’d already had an idea of how the traffic was.  I’d been visiting monthly for over a year.  Here’s the deal on Tucson traffic – I have yet to be in a traffic jam, slow moving traffic or similar.  I drive to downtown from my home almost daily and make it in 15 minutes or so without any of the big city problems.  I have learned to keep an eye out for folks on bicycles!

Tucson’s layout is great in my  mind.  If you’ve heard the term ‘hub and spoke’, you’ll understand.  It’s normally used for airlines but it’s also used in city/development planning.  You have a commercial center – grocery stores, gas stations, retail and so on – and the housing develops in “spokes” around it.  That’s how a lot of Tucson is laid out.  From my home, I have 3 grocery stores, numerous restaurants, retail outlets and so on.  I don’t have to drive across town to find what I need.  It’s just around the corner.

Tucson is a BIG city – there are almost a million people living in the Old Pueblo but you would never notice it.  For me, Tucson is laid out almost perfectly.  I won’t say it’s perfect because nothing ever is.  It’s easy to get from point A to point B, traffic is rarely a problem – I-10 doesn’t come into play for me – and everything I need is just a stone’s throw away from home or the office.

This is definitely my kind of town!



Posted in Getting Around Tucson, traffic, Tucson | Leave a comment

All About The Gadsden Girl

I chose “The Gadsden Girl” for my brand for a very specific reason. As a REALTOR® serving both Las Cruces, New Mexico and Tucson, Arizona, it was a perfect fit. I am an avid history buff and since the Gadsden Purchase was responsible for bringing Arizona and New Mexico to the US, it made perfect sense.

I’m fascinated by the similarities between Tucson and Las Cruces. There are a few:
*Both are home to outstanding universities – New Mexico State and the University of Arizona.
*Both feature extraordinary mountain vistas – the Organs in Las Cruces and the Catalinas, Rincons, Tucson and Santa Rita Mountains that circle Tucson
*Both benefit from a strong military presence. White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico and Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson.

The weather is just about the same as well with Tucson getting just a little bit hotter in the summer. Both experience last summer monsoon seasons, mild winters and beautiful spring and fall seasons.

Through this blog, I’ll be exploring the sites and sounds of Tucson and Las Cruces, comparing and contrasting both and sharing with you the beautiful scenery and amazing people that make each city unique in its own right.

I look forward to sharing my adventures!

Posted in Davis Monthan AFB, Las Cruces, NMSU, Tucson, University of Arizona, White Sands Missile Range | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment