Memorial Day 2007 is upon us, and so is the traditional start to summer. Boats are shipshape, loaded into their trailers and ready to hit the water. Valley residents mop perspiration from their brows and look longingly to cooler climes. Outdoors lovers retrieve their camping tents and sleeping bags from closets.
The three-day weekend means so much to so many, we’re hard-pressed to know where to begin.
Getting out of town? Then you’ll be pleased to know the roads are wide open. But the gasoline will be expensive. And if you’re flying, the airport will be crowded.
Heading for the hills? Have a good time, but be aware of the Tonto National Forest’s new recreation passes. Also, take heed of the fire restrictions in place. One careless campfire can ruin more than a vacation.
Staying home? Respite from the growing heat can be found a short drive away, on the Salt and Verde rivers.
Finally, it is important to remember Memorial Day is more than three days off from work. This holiday honors the American military’s men and women who gave what Lincoln called “their last full measure of devotion.”
Enjoy the weekend’s freedom, but never forget the sacrifice that made it possible.
Hittin’ the road
Prohibitions on fire-causing activities are in effect on many of Arizona’s public lands. Conditions near Payson are so serious, all campfires are strictly forbidden. Violating these restrictions is punishable by $5,000 and six months in jail. For more information visit www.azfireinfo.az.gov.
The weather forecast calls for a warm, dry weekend across Arizona. Daytime highs will approach 100 degrees in the Valley, the mid-80s below the Mogollon Rim and the mid-70s near Flagstaff. Check out the weather page on C12 for more information. Stayin’ around town
Although the Salt River reservoirs haven’t changed recently, Bartlett Lake’s water level is down 30 feet from a year ago but visitors can still launch their boats.
MEMORIAL DAY SERVICES
America’s fallen soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines will be honored at many Valley cemeteries. The National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, 23029 N. Cave Creek Road in Phoenix, holds its service at 8 a.m. Monday. Also at that time is an event in Mesa at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, 1500 E. Baseline Road At 10 a.m., the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars will be hosting a service at Tempe’s Double Butte Cemetery, 2505 W. Broadway Road.
Law enforcement agencies step up patrols at Valley lakes, rivers and roads to stop drunken driving.
WHERE TO GO
According to AAA Arizona, Flagstaff (pictured) is the most popular Arizona destination for state members. The highways will be free of closures, as the Department of Transportation is halting construction projects this weekend. The only potential bottleneck is on southbound Interstate 17 near the Camp Verde bridges, where traffic is limited to one lane. Also, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is expecting heavy traffic.
Looking for something to do this weekend? Visit getoutaz.com, Arizona’s premier entertainment and lifestyle guide.