Welcome Back Autumn and Snowbirds
by Charlene Paul
Finally, the scorching days of summer are behind us and the cool nights of fall are here. It makes me dizzy with delight as I pull out my sweaters and jackets in anticipation of cooler weather. And I cannot tell you how happy I am that cold water once again runs freely from my faucets.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of good things about summer, but ninety degree nights and sweltering mornings aren’t top of my list. So when fall arrives with its pleasantly warm days, spectacularly beautiful evenings, and crisp chilly mornings, I want to channel my best Julie Andrews and twirl around while singing, “The world is alive with the days of autumn!”
But not wanting to be carted away in a straight jacket, I revel inwardly while planning which Halloween goodies to pass out to costumed trick-or-treaters and where to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Fall is also the time of the yearly migration of snowbirds to southern Nevada and southern Utah. Snowbird is the nickname for the Dark-eyed Junco bird, but that isn’t the species of which I speak. No, these snowbirds are of the two-legged variety without feathers and wings. The term is used to describe the large number of retirees who leave behind snow shovels, mittens, parkas, and brutal winters to flock to where they can bask in warmer weather.
So what does a typical snowbird look like and what do they do while nesting in southern climes? Is the portrait you are painting in your head one of older people lazing around reading books all day, or watching fall sports on TV? Do you picture them rocking outside their RVs while the world turns?
If that’s what you see, you couldn’t be more mistaken. These snowbirds bring vitality and a zing for life to the areas in which they come to roost for six months of the year. Southern Nevada and southern Utah are popular with snowbirds because of the temperate climate as well as the numerous activities, events, and programs they have to offer. There is, indeed, something for everyone. For outdoor activists, there is no shortage of things to do.
St. George has a number of biking and walking paths. The seven mile Virgin River Trail follows the Virgin River valley through the city of St. George and provides stunning views of the river.
The Santa Clara River Trail is five miles shorter than the Virgin River Trail and follows the Santa Clara River valley.
At just over half a mile long, the Fort Pearce Wash Trail merges with the Virgin River South, meets the east end of Webb Hill Trail, and joins the Bloomington Hills North Trail at the Larkspur trailhead.
For golfers, St. George has several courses to choose from. Sunbrook Golf Club features 27 championship holes and was rated in Golfweek Magazine’s top 50 municipal courses in the country.
Dixie Red Hills has been around for over 40 years and is a favorite of locals and visitors. It is set at the foot of breathtaking red cliffs and offers 9 holes surrounded by mature Cottonwoods and Mondale Pines.
Southgate Golf Club is beautiful enough to distract even the most dedicated golfer. But don’t let its beauty fool you; it will challenge the most accurate golfers.
St. George Golf Club is a great walking course with an open layout, large manicured greens, and challenging par threes.
Mesquite boasts seven golf courses and has become a major golfing destination. CasaBlanca Golf Club winds in and out of the Virgin River basin and offers a new experience on every tee. The 18 holes at Palms Golf Club feature a front nine and back nine that feel like two completely different courses. The first nine have a flatter, unassuming layout, and the nine coming back offer elevated tees, stunning views, and a completely different challenge than the front.
Conestoga Golf Course is an 18-hole scenic masterpiece nestled in Sun City Mesquite’s spectacular landforms and gives the appearance of being crafted by nature.
Falcon Ridge Golf Course is a 6,569 yard par 72 desert layout with beautiful landscapes. Numerous water features and elevation changes make it playable for all classes.
Oasis Golf Club features two 18-hole courses, The Palmer designed by Arnold Palmer, and The Canyons. Each course offers rugged canyon fairways, contoured greens, and spectacular desert scenery.
Wolf Creek Golf Club has been called one of the most remarkable and most visually spectacular courses in the world. The course winds up, down, and through red rock canyons, and one of the back tees stands as tall as an 11-story building.
For athletes aged 50 and better, there are The Huntsman World Senior Games. This year the Games celebrates its 30th anniversary October 3-15,
2016. The Games encourage retirees to become involved in a personal fitness program or team sport so the golden years can be enjoyed with better health and physical fitness. In addition to sports, there are also concerts, dances, and awards.
There are no shortage of places to explore for outdoor adventurers who don’t mind a short drive. Zion National Park offers breathtaking vistas with trails and hikes for all levels of enthusiasts.
While summer temperatures rise over 110 degrees at Valley of Fire State Park located approximately 45 miles from Mesquite, fall is the perfect time to visit its scenic landscapes filled with hidden canyons and unique rock formations.
When the evening temperatures are cool, there is no better place to enjoy a live musical than Tuacahn Amphitheater in Ivins, Utah. This year’s plays include Peter Pan, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Tarzan.
There are shooting ranges, nature tours, and even skydiving for the truly adventurous. For indoor fun, there are bowling alleys, movie theaters, and recreation centers. And Mesquite has some of the nicest casinos and restaurants in the state. There are farmers markets, flea markets, antique shops, art galleries and shows, exhibitions, museums, shopping, eateries, community theatre, tours, boating, fishing, gyms, libraries, and so much more. There isn’t a better place in the world than southern Nevada and southern Utah for these snowbirds to land.
“The world is alive with the days of autumn.” Welcome back, snowbirds!