As many of you know, I am not happy with the climate I live in. Even now, in the winter, it's not "wintery" enough, and when it is cold and rainy, it's maybe that way for a day or two (if that) and then the harsh sunlight returns along with yucky non-winter temperatures. It's just too warm. 70s in the winter? Yuck. Sure, if it's in the 70s in say, May or June, you won't hear a peep of complaint out of me! But in January? Double yuck.
Don't get me wrong - I don't want harsh Midwest winters. My ideal is a coastal cool wet climate like Oregon and Seattle.
Many look at me quizzically and cannot understand why I am such a vampire and resistant to warm temperatures and dry air. I guess since I've been in this climate since birth, I'm "overcooked". You can't keep a roast in the oven too long, I guess.
Well, at the same time, I cannot deny the answer to our prayers with Chris's job. It would be extremely selfish of me to demand that he quit and find something else in a more favorable climate. After layoffs and job BS happening over and over again from 2000 to 2004 (the kids' births practically bookending these horrible series of events. Fun times. Fun times.), his position and the work he does there is clearly what we had been waiting for during those tough years. Not only that, but he is very happy there, he is needed there and admired there. His superiors want to promote him again. Therefore, for me to complain and demand we move out of here - especially in this economy - would be asinine and practically criminal.
Chris notes my geographical misery and I thank my lucky stars I don't have a husband who says, "tough crap! Deal with it, woman!" lol
Our plan is to wait out the horrible housing situation (we are upside down in our house right now, so trying to sell it and move right now wouldn't do us much good) and then when we can make a profit on selling our Queen Creek house, we're going to move to Wickenburg, AZ. Wickenburg would also make Chris's commute to work only 45 miles each way. Right now, it's 90 miles each way. And the 45 miles he would drive is completely rural, which would make it seem even quicker (see map above).
Anyone familiar with the area might say, "Wickenburg? How does that help with the heat problem, Jill?" Yes, I see the logic. It's only 500 feet higher in elevation (Queen Creek is at 1400 feet Wickenburg at 2000), so its summer temps might be 2-3 degrees cooler. Maybe 5 degrees on a good day. Not good enough. But that's not what makes Wickenburg part of the solution. Well, it is a little bit. I'll take any repreive. Plus, it would cool down more at night due to being away from all the asphalt of the metro area.
Wickenburg still has that quaint small-town feel that Queen Creek sold out on, despite the empty promises from the Queen Creek officials. Wickenburg may still see a little future encroachment of growth from the Big Box satantic Wal-Martlike nightmares that want to turn it into another freeway stop for entitled spoiled capitalist Americans that over-consume and think it's a "need", but it's doubtful due to Wickenburg's locale that isn't on any main drags/freeways that make it more susceptible to such nonsense. It's also more hilly and rocky (and surrounded by a lot of public land) that makes such invasions less likely.
But I digress.
What I meant to say is Wickenburg is just down the road from Yarnell and Peeples Valley (about 30 miles from Wickenburg, but 4500 feet in elevation) and not too far from there, is Prescott (5300 feet). That makes it easier to eventually get a summer place just down the street and still live in Wickenburg as the "headquarters".
The problem with where we live now is you have to drive for a couple hours to find cooler relief in temperatures. However, from Wickenburg , a little more than a half hour and you're there. Just after the town of Congress is the steep mountain climb (Yarnell Hill) to the cooler air and mountain scenery.
Sure, if Queen Creek kept its promises to grow more "unique" and not have cookie cutter explosive asphalt nightmares, it might have been tolerable to stay here for the quaint feel this town used to be, despite the heat. But since it's been obliterated in that regard and those asphalt nightmares just absorb MORE heat, there's not much to stick around here for anymore. I'm disgusted with what's come of QC and I'm ready to GO.
Sure, plenty of people in the Phoenix area have summer places in cooler locales, but it's more difficult and takes longer to get to them. If we live in Wickenburg and have a summer place (probably a small manufactured home) in say, Peeples Valley, it wouldn't be that much of a stretch to spend a lot of time there even though we would live permanently down in Wickenburg. My only concern is the school system in Wickenburg. Mikelle and Christian are in excelling schools here in Queen Creek. I would hate to have to give that up. Wickeburg schools aren't horrible, but they aren't Queen Creek's.
However, due to the housing market, we won't be giving that up anytime soon. Therefore, the one piece of what makes Queen Creek good, is staying with us for awhile. Even though we have the hellish summers and Big Box nightmares along with it too.
Therefore, yesterday, we took a day trip to Wickenburg and Peeples Valley.
After driving around a little in Peeples Valley (which was in the 40s and 50s yesterday! See what I'm talking about? lol), we stopped at the little elementary school and let the kids play on the playground (they were getting more and more aggravated by all the driving around and not getting to stretch their legs! lol)
The scenery doesn't look as nice in the photos, but trust me, it's a nice mountain area. There is a nice comforting difference in that area as opposed to the brown warm desert below. I really liked the layout of Peeples Valley. While Prescott (another 1000 feet upward and a little further north) would be my first choice of summer locales, it's a more expensive. Therefore, PV looks to be hitting the jackpot for a future summer shack to escape from our future Wickenburg abode.
|Playground at Elementary School in Yarnell/Peeples Valley Area|
And just a little diddy I woke up to this morning. I was annoyed of how LOUD the kids were. Sure, some noise to be expected, but you would have thought they were yelling across a land mass the size of Rhode Island at each other to communicate. It was ridiculous. Since I'm such the chipper morning person, I went in there ready to pounce and this is what I found (and the camera was sitting on the table ready for me to grab...) I could try to explain what they were doing, but there is really no point. Come up with your own creative explanations. I knew if I took a picture and looked at it later when I wasn't as grumpy, I would appreciate it more. lol