Ahh ... autumn in Arizona. The frost is on the pumpkin, a chill is in the air and sweaters are acceptable fashion. Hey, we can dream, can’t we? Yes, we here at ADOT ranch are well aware that for much of Arizona, autumn is not so much a season as it is, well ... about a week on the calendar before early summer returns.
We kid. Sort of.
Autumn does exist, of course; it’s just a lot less shy about making an appearance in places like Oak Creek Canyon, Mt. Lemmon or the Grand Canyon, among other wonderful locations.
Naturally, seeing this rumored “autumn” and the turning of leaves amid cooler temps inspires people to hit the road and enjoy the splendor.
If you are among those so inspired, we want you — as we always do — to travel safely.
Even though it may be hard to imagine at the moment, autumn weather can pose more challenges for drivers. Weather conditions in Arizona are diverse, one day you can enjoy warm temperatures in Phoenix or Tucson and then find yourself in rain or even snow an hour or two later. Be aware of the forecast if you’re headed to the high country.
A lot of the most scenic roadways are scenic because they have more twists and turns. That requires a bit more attention, and that’s especially true if you’re taking in the views. Drivers should always be alert and keep eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Just to be fair, switch drivers if you can from time to time. Let everyone enjoy nature’s show.
Arizona has a lot of mountains, and those areas can pose more hazards such as the potential for rock slides or icy conditions. You should always heed warning signs and be extra alert in those kinds of areas.
It’s really true. The days are shorter, and frost, though elusive, really is on someone’s pumpkin somewhere in Arizona. If you want to find out for yourself, have fun, but take it easy and drive safely. Maybe when you’re done, someone will have turned that pumpkin into a pie and you’ll have something to do when you get off the road.
Doug Nick is a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Transportation. Visit azdot.gov.