Five Things to Avoid During a Phoenix Summer

It's a pretty good tradeoff to be shut inside for a brief time during the summer, only to emerge from our air-conditioned cocoons in September ready to throw our perfect fall/winter/spring weather in everyone's faces. So let's embrace our summer limitations rather than trying to prove we're so badass that a little (or a lot of) heat won't slow us down.

Here are just five things you won't find us doing during the summer months: 

1. Starting a garden:

Planting a low-water desert garden is a wonderful idea, and you can't beat getting fresh eggs from your own set of backyard chickens. Doing either of these things when your shirt is so soaked with sweat that wringing it out would fully water your plants is another story.

Yes, our desert-dwelling ancestors farmed outside in the heat without complaint. They also crapped in outhouses and didn't allow women to vote.

2. Cooking outdoors:

Quick: It's 113-degrees outside and you're bored and hungry. What do you do? The appropriate answer might be to visit an ice cream shop or stay inside and prepare a cold salad or sandwich. But apparently some lunatics really charitable and dedicated locals think now's the time to cook some HOT chili and eat HOT salsa at a Hotter Than July Festival in the middle of Phoenix's Melrose District. Sweet bloody Jesus! (Though if the kids manning the event's lemonade stands were really enterprising, they'd get some cruel cook to put a ghost chili in his entry and thereby blow their sales through the roof. Hint, hint.)  

3. Biking to work:

So your gas costs are nil and you won ten whole dollars last month by joining your job's "Clean Air" commuting incentive program. Yay for you!  Next time, granola, take the bus.

4. Running a race (or participating in any other outdoor sport):

The past weekend's Scottsdale Urban Chase, in which locals teamed up for a scavenger hunt around local landmarks, left us wondering what determined who got the cushy job of driving the air-conditioned "getaway car" while the other poor schmucks had to step out into the blistering oven to find the next clue. Plenty of golfers are literally burning their way through the courses. And even worse, some die-hards are competing in triathlons with outdoor racing and bicycling events throughout the summer months.

Clearly they have not heeded the repeated heat warnings that Arizona natives have had drilled into their psyches since birth.

5. Going hiking:

We're thrilled that Phoenix Parks & Rec opted to keep Papago Park open to the public. We love that they regularly host educational classes on scorpion spotting, trail walking and plant identification. But maybe a scorching summer day is not the best time to put your newfound skills to the test.

If you do still decide to haul ass up South Mountain in midday without a crapload of water to drink (and repeatedly pour over yourself), don't blame us when you pass out from heat stroke and wake up with a hairy, 200-pound EMT giving you mouth-to-mouth. 

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Wynter Holden
Contact: Wynter Holden