Fall is here, go explore the outdoors

With the weather finally becoming nice in Tucson (now that it’s October, not that I’m bitter or anything), it’s time to open the windows and go explore the great outdoors.

For us Arizonans, spending time outside is usually cruel and unusual punishment because for the months of May through September, we spend the time asking ourselves: why do we voluntarily live here? How could we torture ourselves like this?

We have to take extreme measures to avoid exposing ourselves to the ungodly sun rays beaming down on us. This includes donning ourselves in embarrassing bucket hats, carrying towels in the car to avoid burning off layers of skin when we sit down, and making sure we don’t leave anything in our vehicles that may melt (I’ve lost many a chap stick to the Arizona sun). It’s even gotten to the point where I have to wear sunscreen in the car after one summer left me with a seat belt shaped sunburn across my collarbone.

But, alas, it’s this glorious time of year that we sweat out the entire summer waiting for. The days are just perfect enough to lunch outside or walk to school while the nights cast a brisk wind, calling for a light sweater (and we Tucsonans love our sweater weather). So kids, it’s time to get out there and see what the city has to offer.

First stop: Mount Lemmon
If for some reason you haven’t made it to Mount Lemmon yet, you are seriously missing out. Take a friend, parent, sibling, date up to Windy Point and watch the sunrise/sunset and bring a blanket, some snacks, and prepare to be amazed. Tucson is ranked among one of the places to watch a sunset, you know.

Next up: Sabino Canyon
Another Tucson must see. A lot of people in Arizona grow tired of seeing cactus after cactus, rocks and dirt and they end up forgetting that that’s actually not the only setting we have here. Venture over to Sabino Canyon and see the gorgeous scenery filled with rivers, flowers and yes, even trees that takes over the area. It’s a good refresher for those days you just need a little break from the stresses of being a twenty-something.

Saguaro National Park
I stumbled upon this gem last year while doing homework for an online class about plants. I’ve never been huge on throwing myself into the wilderness where bugs and snakes are watching my every move, but this place is knock-the-wind-out-of-you beautiful. Take the scenic drive and park on top of the mountain and watch nature happen. This one of the many places in town that showcase the beauty of the desert and just how lucky we are to call it home.