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Old 03-23-2007, 12:10 PM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
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When we were looking for retirement property down there, one of my criteria was that it could not have average daily highs > 100 at any time of year. Summertime average highs in Phoenix top out at around 105, while in Tucson it's around 100. Phoenix elevation is around 1100 feet while Tucson is around 2400. Generally you can assume a temperature decrease of about 1 degree for every 300 feel in elevation or so. The land (even the flat areas) seem to gradually slope upward as your move from Phoenix off to the SE. This climb continues even beyond Tucson so that out where we bought land near Benson our elevation is at around 4200 feet (Benson itself is at about 3500, I think). We saw some snow on the mountains surround Tucson when we were there in January. It was exceptionally cold for them though, so I'm not sure quite how common it would be. I would think it would probably happen at least breifly a couple of times a year at least.

Ken
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Old 03-23-2007, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA
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Thanks Lordbalfor! How far from Tucson is Benson?
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Old 03-23-2007, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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Benson is approximately 35 miles SE of Tucson. We used to live in the foothills above Benson, and my husband commuted on I10 to the Rita Range area, (far southeast side of Tucson). He recalls it taking him about 30 minutes to get there and he didn't mind it at all. Benson is a sweet little town. You are not that far from shopping in Sierra Vista, (approx. 25 minutes from Benson), or from Tucson, another 15 miles or so from Rita Ranch area.
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Old 03-23-2007, 05:57 PM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
20,458 posts, read 25,189,743 times
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Default Leavingcali -

Yes, those distances posted above are correct. If you look here:

http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/...28665280Ikluyf

You'll see a map of the area. Click on the "Full Size" link in the upper right-hand corner to see a larger, more detailed version. benson is near the lower right-hand corner. Currently the town has only about 5,000 people with maybe 10,000 in the surrounding area, but apparently they are expecting that an additional 25,000 home will be built in the next few years, many of them in the Whetstone area.

In addition, Vail is undergoing enormous growth, with nearly 100,000 new homes expected there over the next 10 years or so. A huge new shopping complex (The Passages of Tucson - built in part by the folks that developed the Mall of America) is scheduled to start construction near the intersection of I-10 and highway 83 sometime this year. Most of the area along I-10 between highway 83 and Whetstone is state land that can't be built on, so developers are leap-frogging that area and going directly from Vail on to Benson, where they can again build. This area is at a higher elevation than Tucson, so it is mostly rolling grassland with mountains in all directions rather than desert as most folks think of it.

Feel free to poke around and look at any of the other photos in the album if you wish as they may give you an idea of what some of the areas look like. Unlike some of the other albums I've posted that show tropical islands and such, the album is really not meant for general overall viewing, so there's not too many scenic shots, rather more showing some of the various properties in a number of different price points. You can get a bit of an idea of what areas like Sunsites, Three Points, and near Benson look like though.

Ken

Last edited by LordBalfor; 03-23-2007 at 05:58 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 03-23-2007, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma
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When I lived in Tucson it took me about 20-25 minutes to get to the trailheads of the Rincon's (east speedway), the Catalina's (various spots with the main one being Sabino Canyon) and the Tucsons (off of Avra Valley Road) and about 45 minutes to get to the Santa Rita's)

There are hundreds of miles of trails with all kinds of wildlife and vegetation in those mountains. In those days there were several times that we went from the valley floor up to the peaks of the mountains on the trails. You go from Sagauro Cacti to Ponderosa Pine and varying flora and fauna as you go up.

There is also a small town (Summerhaven) and a snow ski resort up on Mt Lemmon (Catalina Range). In Tucson, you can snow ski and swim outdoor in the same day.

I think Tucson has a lot more unique features than Phoenix (Saguaro national monument, San Xiavier Mission etc) but Phoenix is definetely greener and feels somewhat more cosmopolitan.
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Old 03-24-2007, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA
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Default You're a friendly bunch!

Thanks for all of the info. I can't wait to move out of CA!!! Still not sure where I will be going (have to finish the MA and then find a job first), but I am so excited to get out there and try a new state. Tucson is appealing...
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Old 04-12-2007, 01:02 PM
 
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Residents of Tucson and it's Environs,
I have been to your heavenly area many times,on vacation and I am always blown away.Please do not allow the gem to change.
Santa Fe was once a small Tucson,but they have allowed it to go downhill.
God willing,I can call Tucson home myself,soon.
The Cloud Dweller from the
worst place in America,"Pittsburgh!"
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Old 04-23-2007, 06:29 AM
 
45 posts, read 231,571 times
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Dear Lord Balfor and friends,
I do not wish to offend,but the Sky 11 mountains or anything about Seattle and it's environs, is so terribly depressing that I almost went bonkers living there.The rain and constant heavily overcast skies,coupled with the fog,is almost identical to the Western coast of Ireland.
Tucson is heavenly,if you have work.Nothing in America is as lovely year round as this sunny area with very low humidity.Austin is far too humid and over run with 60 year old hippies.
Arizona should build a fence around the entire state.
By the way Southern Utah is right with Tucson,tied for number 1 and Seattle,Pittsburgh and Cleveland are last.
Have a nice day
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Old 04-23-2007, 07:26 AM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
20,458 posts, read 25,189,743 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cloud dweller View Post
Dear Lord Balfor and friends,
I do not wish to offend,but the Sky 11 mountains or anything about Seattle and it's environs, is so terribly depressing that I almost went bonkers living there.The rain and constant heavily overcast skies,coupled with the fog,is almost identical to the Western coast of Ireland.
Tucson is heavenly,if you have work.Nothing in America is as lovely year round as this sunny area with very low humidity.Austin is far too humid and over run with 60 year old hippies.
Arizona should build a fence around the entire state.
By the way Southern Utah is right with Tucson,tied for number 1 and Seattle,Pittsburgh and Cleveland are last.
Have a nice day
Trust me, I am NOT offended. In many ways I LOVE the Pacific Northwest and always will. On a beautiful sunny day I think that there is NO place in the "lower 48" states that is more beautiful overall - glistening snow-capped mountains, sparkling blue water, brilliant emerald forests - even stark, stunning deserts (on the eastern side of the Cascades). Quite frankly, in the US, no place outside of Hawaii has so many different terrain and vegitation zones packed into one single place.

But - the key phrase above is "on a beautiful sunny day" - and of course the problem is "how many of those beautiful sunny days do we get?". Well, the truth is, the summer in Seattle - from after the 4th of July until the end of September (actually even in to October) is usually largely made up of such wonderful days. The remaining months of the year - well, you are exactly correct about the comparison with Ireland. For much of the year, the British Isles have a remarkably similar climate to that found in Seattle - cool and cloudy. The interesting thing is that Seattle is really much warmer than the vast majority of the country during the winter months, with the average nighttime low never falling below freezing (even in mid-January), so, we're really pretty mild in the winter. Snow is a rarity and I don't think I ever remember seeing it last more than 3-4 AT MOST in Seattle proper. Even lasting more than 1 or 2 days is pretty rare. So, in regards to cold, Seattle winters are very easy to take.

In regards to drizzle and endless grey cloudy skies however, Seattle winters are a horror - and some years (like this past one) we get DRENCHED. Surprisingly, Seattle only gets about the same amount of rainfall as places like New York City - and a lot less than places like Houston or Miami - the difference is however, that Seattle rainfall comes largely as light rain and drizzle that goes on and on and on - rather than coming down hard and then being over with. For years I've told myself that getting through the moist, dark, dreary winters is not so bad - that I'd rather have the winter rain than the winter cold - that it's all worth it for those 3 glorious months of summer. This last winter I simply reached the breaking point however. It's been simply way, way too wet for way, way too long.

So, we bought property outside of Benson Arizona and when the time comes to retire, we're headed for the sun.

The fact of the matter is, we can hardly wait. I love Seattle, but I'm tired of the grey and the wet, tired of the summers that - while generally glorious - take far too long to arrive, and tired of the occassional summers that simply refuse to show up at all (a rarity, but it does happen every few years - and is REAL hard to take after those 9 soggy months of grey).

In truth, when the time comes (a few years into the future yet) I will miss the sound and smells of the rain -and certainly miss the lovely emerald green this part of the country is so famous for, but somehow I think I will survive, wallowing in my self-pity on those sunny, 60 degree January days.

Ken

Last edited by LordBalfor; 04-23-2007 at 07:38 AM..
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