September is a time of transitions. It is the last month where you really get that quiet, otherworldly time before dawn, when the sky is starting to lighten and the world is starting to wake up, but isn’t quite there yet. Any later in the year and everyone is up that early. It’s that time of year when the summer is almost over and you can feel that nip in the air that says autumn is coming, but only as the day fades. Because the heat of the day still feels like Arizona summer.
Which brings me to my point, there are 2 Arizonas. The first one that is the Bugs Bunny stereotype with endless desert full of cacti and temperatures so hot your brain melts. This Arizona is unfit for human habitation, but maintains a population of more than 5 million people, many of whom are at the end of their lives, are pretty damn cranky about it, and vote accordingly.
The other Arizona most people only know from the Grand Canyon, The West’s most visited National Park. But there is more to this other Arizona, things people don’t associate with Arizona at all – trees and snow and liberal, pot-smoking hippies. In fact this other Arizona is home to the largest contiguous Ponderosa Pine forest in the world. And that’s just Flagstaff. The northeast corner of the state is incredible too, sights that will take your breath away as sure as the Grand Canyon.
And here in Prescott we live in between these two worlds. Prescott sits a mile high, too high for the iconic saguaro cactus, but when it snows here, it rarely lasts more than a day or two. Prescott is not a small town (despite what the lifers say), but it isn’t really a big city either. I would classify it as a small city or a large town. We have our fair share of retirees, Prescott has been featured in several retirement magazines, but many of them only come in the summer to escape the summer heat in Phoenix. We have a liberal arts college, but the locals complain about it constantly. As Les and I have lived here for almost 2 years now (that’s pretty long for us), we have adapted to this transition zone quite well, and I present you with – Transition Zone Man!