The Bryce Canyon Arch

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8 Things I Miss About Home

The Fall

Home for me is Easton, Pennsylvania. With fall approaching I can’t help but get homesick. Fall is the best time of the year. The weather cools down and the humidity subsides – the leaves start to change and the fields go purple and gold. Not to mention apple turnovers and pumpkin spice coffee (not always PSLs). My version of perfection. You don’t get those things in Phoenix, you go from an inferno to like a campfire. The reward for surviving the summer is getting to go back outside. Moreover here are the things I miss most about home in the fall:

  1. Pumpkin Patches 

That’s right – pumpkin patches. Unfortunately all pumpkins are shipped into Arizona because well – we get no water. A pumpkin patch in Phoenix looks like a cardboard shipping container in a Fry’s or a Safeway. That is not the fall spirit I came to know and love. Pumpkin picking back home involves dressing up in sweaters and scarves, driving to a farm, trudging around in a field and looking for the perfect pumpkin. Strawberry Acres in Coplay, Pa was the best and involved not only pumpkins but apple picking and potato slingshots. It was an annual family and friend event – missed terribly.

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7 Nifty Ways to Stay Chill in the Arizona Heat

Not long after the start of spring and right before monsoon season Arizona and most of the southwest experience the terrible wrath of the sun. Not to be dramatic but the oppressive heat melts Blender Bottles when I leave them in my car. Temperatures can skyrocket upwards of 115°F and has reached 120° as a boiling point. There is really nothing you can do to escape the heat at this point except hide! I have pulled together a few ideas that I have tried myself to stay cool:


  1. Embrace the dark, Turn down the shades – less sun that gets in your house the cooler it will be. It’s a fairly easy way to be energy efficient and keep cool. Closing doors helps too. If you have an attached garage like I do – make sure the connecting door is ALWAYS shut.
  2. Cook outside – rather than heating up the house for dinner, endure the heat for thirty minutes at the grill – be cool when you get back in.
  3. Freeze things – frozen grapes are delicious. Pop them in a glass of sparking water and you have a fancy, cool drink. Also for the of age readers – frozen champagne can make your day. Don’t buy anything expensive; I prefer Verdi Spumante Sparkletini (raspberry) http://www.verdispumante.com/buy/. Note: You can also stick frozen fruit in the champagne too. Pomegranates – just saying.
  4. Sip water– Water, water, water! I never used to drink much water until I moved to the southwest. I drink close to a gallon of water per day now; not only do I feel better all year round but it helps your body regulate when it is way too hot.
  5. Eat light – The more heavy carbs and sugars you ingest the harder and hotter your body has to work. Opt for protein and veggies. Cool steak and cold green bean salad is delish.
  6. Get out of the house – Did you know that resorts are not just open to people staying at the hotel? SOME places offer open hotel restaurants and bars where you can go and hang out. This is probably the most expensive suggestion but it could lead to a great, cool, night out. Also for less expensive options: head to the movies, check out some books in the library, or check out a museum.
  7. Get out of town – Head north, to high elevation, go camping, and try the beach! Just a two hour drive north of the Phoenix/Scottsdale area is Sedona and Flagstaff – and a good 10-20° temperature drop. Sedona has some of the best and beautiful hikes that anyone can do. Some of the best easy hikes are West Fork and V-Bar-V Petroglyph hike. Both are easy if you have kids or dogs. Looking for something harder? My favorite ultimate hikes are Bell Rock and Devil’s Bridge hike. Bell Rock is rock climbing lite and at the top is a vortex portal. The Devil’s Bridge is a natural rock bridge – note it takes awhile to get to the site but it is well worth it.  Flagstaff has a surplus of wooded campgrounds – just be cautious about lighting fires.

Looking for magical places to visit in Arizona? Check these posts out:

Badass Arizona History: The Note Pad of the Ancients

Badass Arizona History: Unreal Dwellings in the Red Rock

5 Northern Arizona Outdoor Day Trips

Cobweb Clearer – Kate

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7 Nifty Ways to Stay Chill in the Arizona Heat

Quiet On The Homefront

I have been home from my Ireland trip for about three weeks now and almost ready to launch my travel sites! I invite you to check out travelscoutadventure.com. I only have a few more tasks before I can become “Facebook Official”.

I keep thinking I have to go, go, go! I’m past the so-broke-I-could-die phase after traveling abroad and I am ready to travel again.

Upcoming Travel

Early August:

Coin Flipping trip. The plan is that there isn’t a plan – I will be accompanied by my friend Jess and some camping supplies. We will hit the road and flip a coin indicating yes or no and left or right. No technology (only to check in of course), no GPS, and only maps. The goal is to head west; at some point I’d like to find our way to the beach.

October:

I have one trip planned for October to go up into Utah and camp in Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon. It will be close to a year since my last visit into Utah and I am ecstatic to return. My mom and I went for Christmas vacation to Kanab and I fell in love. We explored the Paria Canyon and got as far as we could without a permit. Yes – in most of the Vermilion Cliffs and Paria Canyon area you need a permit and a guide to enter. We learned this much to our disappointment. My hope is to get some good hiking in and write a segment on roughing it camp style.

The Arizona sun is a brutal one. After celebrating the 4th of July all I want to do is hide in my house and think about the Arctic Circle. When people say Arizona is a dry heat – it’s true but don’t be fooled it’s still awful. I suppose this calls for a Ways to Beat the Arizona Sun. On it.

Stay tuned – Your Cobweb Clearer,

Kate

I’m Gonna Take You With Me

Hello friends! My name is Kate and traveling is what I was born to do. My early year consisted of desperately clinging to my National Geographic Kids magazine and pointed out to my mom all of the places I wanted to go. To quench some of my thirst I spent much of my childhood in the back of a Ford Super Duty showing my horses. We were in a new state every weekend. At nineteen my brother and I drove from my life long home in Pennsylvania to meet my mom in my new home – Arizona. When we arrived I felt like I could keep going, “to California!” I told my brother- he wasn’t quite so excited. Nothing makes me happier than driving, I could drive for days – I am a verified steering wheel hog. Years and miles later the fire is still there – after a recent trip to Ireland it became apparent that things need to change. I’m in the last year of Arizona State University majoring in Economics for which I am grateful for however, my reality says that I need to be creative in order to survive.

So I ask a question – who needs to travel?

Families. Twenty-somethings. Newly weds. Singles. Everyone. Anyone.

What I want to create for my readers is a safety net. You can go anywhere! It is not as scary nor as expensive as you think it is. I want to share the crazy places I find myself in and how I manage my time and expenses.

Stay tuned – Your Cobweb Clearer,

Kate

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