Tooling Around Phoenix in a Buick from Tennessee

This is that time of year when the roads in and around the Phoenix metropolitan area grow thick with all us refugees from the bitter cold up north. Throw in college students-ASU-along with year round residents, various folks simply visiting to avoid the joys of snow, and you have a panoply of drivers motoring along the highways and byways, of which there are many.

It’s high season in the desert.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Phoenix metropolitan area, it sits in a vast valley surrounded by mountains and is home to a number of small towns that have grown into one another: Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Scotsdale, Surprise, Tolleson, Sun City, and on and on. In the summer it’s hot as hell, but in winter, it’s quite lovely with temps in the 70’s and 80’s, which are, all in all, quite wonderful to people tired of cold weather and sore joints.

Older folks, like me.

It is served by a many a fair highway from I-10 and I-17, to state highway 60, loops 101, 202, and 303, plus avenues like Guadalupe, east and west, and Rural Rd, north and south that go on and on for many many miles.

As you might expect, there are lots of cars and trucks, and lots of drivers of various ages and abilities who have varying ideas on what a safe speed should be. This means that while you are tooling around in your Buick from Tennessee, you will encounter drivers going anywhere from 50 to 90 mph. That’s no small difference in speed. Throw in 6 lanes each way and the peculiar penchant some drivers have for jumping in and out of lanes, crossing 3, or 4, or 5 lanes to barely make an exit, inspecting your rear end a little too closely, and you have the makings of a unique and, at times, hair-raising experience.

And because there’s roughly 14,600 square miles within the valley, as mentioned above, there are many a road to travel.

If you like that sort of thing and I kind of do.

I realize that in this day and age, that might soon fall out of favor-I’m ok with that, but I will cop to a fear of being too slow-witted to see the mega-pickup before it moves me off this mortal coil before I have time to properly scream my last scream. Fortunately, because the Phoenix metropolitan area is not strewn with hills and lakes and rivers like my usual stomping ground up in the gray northwest, I can go slower-I’m more into that now-and enjoy the seemingly endlessness that is Phoenix in winter.

Life in the fast lane.

©2020 David William Pearce

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