Move over, Disney Land – we can have a flood of family fun right here in Arizona with the upcoming monsoon.

Rain in 2007 that cancelled my July flight/Ryn Gargulinski

Rain in 2007 that cancelled my July flight/Ryn Gargulinski

We don’t even need to leave our Tucson abodes to experience the thrill of the season, which hits mid-June and lasts through the end of September.

The heavy storms are marked by flash floods, swamped streets, canceled flights and leaky roofs for those who never found the time, energy or money to get around to those costly home repairs.

Lest we forget this fine season exists, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has officially declared June 7 to June 11 Monsoon Awareness Week.

To celebrate the upcoming rains, we can get ready for a host of thrill and death-seeking activities that make Mickey Mouse look like, well, child’s play.

Please note below activities are only for the incredibly stupid or those who are harboring a deep-seated death wish. Do not try them at home, on the streets or anywhere else for that matter.

Dog walking path got a bit flooded in 2008/Ryn Gargulinski

Dog walking path got a bit flooded in 2008/Ryn Gargulinski

Let’s grab our rafts, inner tubes or any random, rickety flotation device to engage in some monsoon water rafting. This splashy activity involves treacherously zooming down rivers, washes or any place else that gets filled with swift-moving water after a heavy rain.

The slew of broken glass, mangled mattresses, rusty rebar and other debris that mingle with the water helps ensure we will be snagged, sliced or drowned in the process.

Driving through underpasses is one of the more popular Tucson monsoon activities, one that not only promises to most likely wreck our cars but also gets us on the evening news under the headline “Stupidity.”

The news spot works best if we are crying and appear especially dismayed that our car konked out in 8 feet of water. Ideal underpasses include those especially deep ones near downtown, like on Stone and Sixth avenues.

It was a dark and stormy sky..../Ryn Gargulinski

It was a dark and stormy sky..../Ryn Gargulinski

Even if we don’t drive through a flooded underpass, there are plenty of streets marked with highly visible yellow signs that warn us “Do Not Enter When Flooded.” Ignoring these signs, too, make for some keen adventures, as does driving manically through heavy rains on any streets when visibility reaches about zero.

If the rains come with heavy lightning, hanging out under a park pavilion seems the best activity yet. Since many of these wooden and metal structures contain specific and prominently posted signs warning us not to hang out there during a storm, we can gleefully thumb our noses at authorities and do so anyway.

Pavilion hopping is a bit less dangerous than most, since we would have to rely on lightning actually striking the structure and maiming us in the process.

Aftermath of 2008 storm (yes, that was my tree)/Ryn Gargulinski

Aftermath of 2008 storm/Ryn Gargulinski

On a serious note, a press release from the Governor’s office did include a few tips for those who value their lives and would rather stay safe – than dead – during the upcoming rainy season:

Prepare a Plan – Write and rehearse family communication and evacuation plans that identify a family meeting place, account for special needs like prescriptions and the family pet, and include local emergency numbers and an “out-of-town” contact.

Make a Kit – Gather enough non-perishable food and clean water to sustain your family for at least 72 hours. Suggested kit items include first aid supplies, a flashlight, a weather radio with extra batteries and toiletries.

Be Informed – Identify threats in your community. For instance, does the road into your neighborhood washout after a heavy rain?

For real-time emergency updates and preparedness information, visit

Double disclaimer: Just to reinforce the first disclaimer, this article was written in jest. Anyone who actually engages in the aforementioned rainy day activities runs the risk of injury, death or making a total fool of themselves on the evening news.


What do you think?

Have you ever seen or done anything incredibly stupid during monsoon? What was it?

Have you been injured or inconvenienced by the heavy storms? Please explain.