Hot! Signs of Fall

October is a long-awaited month for Arizonans. First the evenings cool off, followed by the days, and the mad excitement to finally be outside again ultimately reaches its tipping point. Even though temps are back in the 100s this weekend, the only detours we locals encounter to the plethora of seasonal events are from highway construction. With so much to choose from and do every weekend, it’s hard to write it all down.

The 4th annual Groom Gathering took place on a much smaller scale this year. Life has caught up with many of the regular climbers, so between newborn babies, extra work in our new economy, and squeezing out the last bit of summer travel, there weren’t as many climbers in our forest. Brian moved the event into October this year, and the conditions were perfect – cool enough for extra stick but no need to bundle up. Keeley, Cucu and I went up for a day trip only. We all had those work obligations to get back to on Sunday.

This year, there’s a new activity in my playbook – desert plant sales. With my new rock yard in front and major plans for the back, I need hearty foliage. I’ve already killed two mesquite trees, a pomegranate tree and had to say good by to the tangerine tree. Apparently these plant sales happen in fall because this is the time plants grow. So I’ve stocked up on succulents, a mature mesquite, and anything else that says “low water, grows fast” on the label.

What would October be without an excuse to put on a costume and ride a bike? The Tour de Fat was back in town celebrating the Fat Tire cycling lifestyle. Josh and I tuned up the cruisers and made our way down where it was like a neighborhood reunion. After hiding indoors, everyone from Tempe and beyond was out for a day of cool sun, funny costumes and good beer.

It was just a sign of things to come.

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