Travelling to Arizona, Advice Requested

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Eternal_Freedom
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Travelling to Arizona, Advice Requested

Post by Eternal_Freedom »

On Saturday the 23rd of February I'll be flying in to Phoenix, AZ from London with some of my fellow students for a one-week field trip. I've already got flights, ESTA and associated stuff sorted, so what I'm looking for is general advice on climate, what to expect and so on. ANy help much appreciated.
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Re: Travelling to Arizona, Advice Requested

Post by Grandmaster Jogurt »

Phoenix in February is surprisingly decent, temperature-wise. It'll be shorts and t-shirt weather if you're from a nothern climate, otherwise it'll still be comfortable. The lows are around 10C (and the highs 10 degrees higher) so however warm or cold that seems to you, act accordingly. There's a chance of torrentially heavy rain, though. When I was in Tempe, February was the big rain month outside the late summer monsoon. However, even if there's rain, it should still be good weather most of the trip, since the rain tends to come in big single bursts.
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Re: Travelling to Arizona, Advice Requested

Post by Eternal_Freedom »

Grandmaster Jogurt wrote:Phoenix in February is surprisingly decent, temperature-wise. It'll be shorts and t-shirt weather if you're from a nothern climate, otherwise it'll still be comfortable. The lows are around 10C (and the highs 10 degrees higher) so however warm or cold that seems to you, act accordingly. There's a chance of torrentially heavy rain, though. When I was in Tempe, February was the big rain month outside the late summer monsoon. However, even if there's rain, it should still be good weather most of the trip, since the rain tends to come in big single bursts.
Marvellous! That squares with what the lectureres said, aside from the rain. Thanks for the warning.

I should add that I'm severely visually impaired and I'm really messed up by glare. What's that like? How high/low is the Sun going to be?
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Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

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Re: Travelling to Arizona, Advice Requested

Post by General Zod »

Make sure you carry your passport at all times. Especially if you have dark skin.
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Re: Travelling to Arizona, Advice Requested

Post by Eternal_Freedom »

I don't, but thanks for the advice anyway.
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Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

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Re: Travelling to Arizona, Advice Requested

Post by Mr Bean »

Eternal_Freedom wrote:I don't, but thanks for the advice anyway.
No seriously carry your passport everywhere and don't go anywhere near Maricopa County if you can avoid it which unfortunate is exactly where your going.

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Re: Travelling to Arizona, Advice Requested

Post by Tsyroc »

Sunglasses, sun screen and a hat are all important to have even at this time of the year if you are going to be out in the sun more than just in passing. The temperatures are pretty decent but it's still easy to get sun burned.

It has been getting down to near freezing or below at night here in Tucson. Phoenix is generally a bit warmer. It can be pretty nice to a bit warm during the day and change to near freezing at night, especially on clear nights.
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Re: Travelling to Arizona, Advice Requested

Post by phongn »

General Zod wrote:Make sure you carry your passport at all times.
This is not just a joke about Arizona: US federal law requires all foreign nationals to carry their passport, visa* and I-94* (or green card) at all times. Individual states may also enforce that as well.

* if applicable; Eternal_Freedom will not have either since he's under the Visa Waiver Program and has an ESTA.
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Re: Travelling to Arizona, Advice Requested

Post by Stofsk »

Carrying your passport on you at all times is just such an... obvious thing, you'd imagine anyone who is thinking of travelling to another country would already be well aware of it.
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Re: Travelling to Arizona, Advice Requested

Post by phongn »

Stofsk wrote:Carrying your passport on you at all times is just such an... obvious thing, you'd imagine anyone who is thinking of travelling to another country would already be well aware of it.
People do stupid things (or they put it in a hotel safe for the night and forget to bring it the next day, etc).
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Re: Travelling to Arizona, Advice Requested

Post by Hawkwings »

If it's a school trip then it's probably less of an issue, since they're probably going everywhere together.

Be prepared for how dry it is. The relatively low humidity can be an issue, so be sure to drink plenty of water. You will get dry skin, chapped lips, and maybe even nosebleeds from it.
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Re: Travelling to Arizona, Advice Requested

Post by Crossroads Inc. »

As a resident of Phoenix, MY question is just where are you going? What places will you visit?
Phoenix as an American city is no where near on par with awesome stuff as say New York or San Francisco, but there are quite a few awesome things to see here depending on where you have access too.
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Re: Travelling to Arizona, Advice Requested

Post by Ralin »

Stofsk wrote:Carrying your passport on you at all times is just such an... obvious thing, you'd imagine anyone who is thinking of travelling to another country would already be well aware of it.
Really? Because I never carry my passport around with me when I'm in China except when I need it for something, and I've never had any problems as a result in the eight years I've been coming here.
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Re: Travelling to Arizona, Advice Requested

Post by salm »

Ralin wrote:
Stofsk wrote:Carrying your passport on you at all times is just such an... obvious thing, you'd imagine anyone who is thinking of travelling to another country would already be well aware of it.
Really? Because I never carry my passport around with me when I'm in China except when I need it for something, and I've never had any problems as a result in the eight years I've been coming here.
Indeed. I sometimes carry a copy but very rarely the original which i usually keep back at the hotel/tent.
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Re: Travelling to Arizona, Advice Requested

Post by Tsyroc »

Hawkwings wrote:If it's a school trip then it's probably less of an issue, since they're probably going everywhere together.

Be prepared for how dry it is. The relatively low humidity can be an issue, so be sure to drink plenty of water. You will get dry skin, chapped lips, and maybe even nosebleeds from it.

Definitely drink lots of water.
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Re: Travelling to Arizona, Advice Requested

Post by Ziggy Stardust »

Stofsk wrote:Carrying your passport on you at all times is just such an... obvious thing, you'd imagine anyone who is thinking of travelling to another country would already be well aware of it.
The vast majority of the time I travel I carry a photocopy of my passport on me, and leave my passport in a hotel safe, or otherwise hidden away. Of course, most of my international travel has been to "3rd-world" countries, where police stealing passports to elicit a bribe is a common problem.
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Re: Travelling to Arizona, Advice Requested

Post by Ralin »

Ziggy Stardust wrote:The vast majority of the time I travel I carry a photocopy of my passport on me, and leave my passport in a hotel safe, or otherwise hidden away. Of course, most of my international travel has been to "3rd-world" countries, where police stealing passports to elicit a bribe is a common problem.
And more mundanely, because any problems likely to arise from me not having it with me are much less likely than the possibility of me losing it somehow and having to go through the trouble of replacing it.

That's not to say that Zod's advice to EF isn't good. If I was a foreigner in America I'd never go outside without my passport.
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Re: Travelling to Arizona, Advice Requested

Post by Eternal_Freedom »

I will indeed be carrying my passport, thanks. Also good to know about temperature/humidity and drinking water.
Crossroads Inc. wrote:As a resident of Phoenix, MY question is just where are you going? What places will you visit?
Phoenix as an American city is no where near on par with awesome stuff as say New York or San Francisco, but there are quite a few awesome things to see here depending on where you have access too.
We're going to Kit Peak observatory, at least one other (Mt. Wilson I think) as well as the Biosphere place, some caverns whose names begin with a C or K, the Titan Missile Museum and the Pima Air and Space Museum, plus some stuff at the University.
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Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.
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Re: Travelling to Arizona, Advice Requested

Post by General Zod »

Stofsk wrote:Carrying your passport on you at all times is just such an... obvious thing, you'd imagine anyone who is thinking of travelling to another country would already be well aware of it.
It's even more vital in a place like Arizona that's actively hostile to anyone that looks like they might be undocumented.
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Re: Travelling to Arizona, Advice Requested

Post by The Duchess of Zeon »

The passport thing is not a joke. They locked a white, German BMW executive in a county jail in the rural south for 72 hours a few months ago for not having his documents on him.
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Re: Travelling to Arizona, Advice Requested

Post by Tsyroc »

Eternal_Freedom wrote:I
We're going to Kit Peak observatory, at least one other (Mt. Wilson I think) as well as the Biosphere place, some caverns whose names begin with a C or K, the Titan Missile Museum and the Pima Air and Space Museum, plus some stuff at the University.

Most of those things are closer to me than Phoenix but you are probably flying into Sky Harbor which is the biggest air port in Arizona.

The caverns are likely Kartchner Caverns.

The two museums are pretty cool. I think it's cheaper if you get tickets for both at the same time but I'm not positive. I went quite awhile ago and thought the price for the missile museum was a little expensive but I still enjoyed it. A pharmacist that used to work where I work actually bought one of the old Titan missile sites and built his house around it. I think he had the silo itself as an opening into his living room.

I've been by Biosphere 2 but never taken the tour. It's supposed to be pretty cool.

I liked Kitt Peak but the last time I was there was in the early 90s.

If you don't have enough to do while you are in the area the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is excellent. It's actually a museum/zoo. All the animals and plants are native to the Sonoran desert. Lots of reptiles. :) The desert museum is out by Old Tucson which is a kind of old west theme park/movie studio. The original version burnt down several years ago and I haven't been to it since the rebuilt it.
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Re: Travelling to Arizona, Advice Requested

Post by starslayer »

Aren't all of those closer to Tucson than Phoenix? Except Mt. Wilson, which is in Los Angeles. I think Eternal_Freedom meant Mt. Graham, which is where LBT and some other stuff is. I'm guessing the field trip is connected to the UA astronomy department, which would explain the Tucson focus and why they might not be visiting Lowell Observatory or the Grand Canyon.

Eternal_Freedom, also be aware that the observatories are at fairly high elevation (Kitt Peak is at 6,880 ft., and Mt. Graham is 10,000+), so drink extra water while you're there and be careful of altitude sickness, in addition to the desert weather. It'll also be somewhat colder on the mountain (especially Graham) than in Tucson or Phoenix, so you might want to bring a jacket for those visits.
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Re: Travelling to Arizona, Advice Requested

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The Duchess of Zeon wrote:The passport thing is not a joke. They locked a white, German BMW executive in a county jail in the rural south for 72 hours a few months ago for not having his documents on him.
<nitpick>Mercedes Benz executive, not BMW. There´s MB plant in Tuscaloosa.</nitpick>
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Re: Travelling to Arizona, Advice Requested

Post by Eternal_Freedom »

Yeah, Mt. Graham sounds more familiar. I should elaborate, we are flying into Phoenix and then driving up to Tucson where we are "making camp." The trip is based on our Astronomy course plus a few other odds and sods.
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Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

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Re: Travelling to Arizona, Advice Requested

Post by Crossroads Inc. »

Eternal_Freedom wrote:I will indeed be carrying my passport, thanks. Also good to know about temperature/humidity and drinking water.
Crossroads Inc. wrote:As a resident of Phoenix, MY question is just where are you going? What places will you visit?
Phoenix as an American city is no where near on par with awesome stuff as say New York or San Francisco, but there are quite a few awesome things to see here depending on where you have access too.
We're going to Kit Peak observatory, at least one other (Mt. Wilson I think) as well as the Biosphere place, some caverns whose names begin with a C or K, the Titan Missile Museum and the Pima Air and Space Museum, plus some stuff at the University.
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It took me 20 years of family trips before I got to visit most of those on the list.

Will you be spending one day Per location? A lot of those require a day or more to fully appricate them.

Kitt Peak after all is a massive collection of astronomy equipment found no where else. The Sun observation telescope they have is especially impressive!

Biosphere and the Titan Missile Museum are fairly close to each other, you may see them in the same day. Biosphere is a great place just to see "Science!" in action, mostly experiments in renewable living and such.

The caves are without a doubt Kartchner Caverns since those too are in Southren Arizona.
Those are a real treasure, one of those things that just make you go "Wow" over and over again. You get a real feel for just what "geologic time" is down in there. It is really intense because it is a "living" cave. Msot big cave tourist attraction have been "killed" by all the people going in and out. They dry up, and formations dry and crack. Kartchner Caverns is "alive" and growing, you will need to dress warm because it gets VERY cold as well as windy in certain places.

A note to all the places you visit, ALWAYS DRINK WATER.
The bane to people visiting Arizona is staying hydrated. Yes it is "winter" for Arizona right now, but the high air of Kitt peak, and the caves will still dry you out in no short order. I spent two years at NAU up north, and my first winter there I got dehydrated because I wasn't drinking enough water because it didn't "Feel" hot. But the air will still suck moisture right out of you.
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