WTF Wednesday: Arizona and Daylight Savings

Posted on
Feb 22, 2012
Posted in: WTF, WTF Wednesdays

Cram some plutonium into your flux capacitators, kids, because today’s WTF Wednesday is going to require some serious time travel.

(But please, don’t steal said plutonium and get yourself shot in the process, leaving your youthful friend Marty to hop into your time machine, consequently causing a whole bunch mischief that leads him to make out with his mom. Also, can we take a moment to discuss how offensive the characterization of the Libyans who shot Doc was? I realize I’m speaking from a 2012 perspective here, but the 80’s weren’t that long ago. How the heck did stuff like that fly? Can someone please tell me? Anyone? Bueller? Sorry. There I go mixing up my references. ANYWAY …)

There are two reasons that this post will require us to time travel. The first is that the events that inspired it happened quite a while ago. So we’ll need to head all the way back to year 2007. I know, it doesn’t sound like it was that long ago, but look at the characters involved in this scenario.

I HAVE NO IDEA WHO THOSE PEOPLE ARE. They are adorable and unmarried and not nearly as squishy as they are now. And can we take a minute to talk about my skin? Can someone please tell me why I didn’t appreciate having skin like that back when I had it?

Err, sorry. Anyway, back in 2007, when I was gainfully employed and this blog was just a twinkle in my eye, Rand and I took a vacation through the American Southwest with his grandparents. We flew into Las Vegas, and drove from Nevada into Utah and Arizona. The weather was incredibly hot and dry, and we’re going to pretend that’s what caused my skin to glow like that, and not the now-flickering light of youth (Sorry. I’m stopping now. Seriously).

We visited Antelope Canyon (amazing), Glen Canyon (gorgeous), and the Hoover Dam (awesome). We even saw a cloud that bore a striking resemblance to Yoda.

Looked just like him, it did.

In all my travels, I have yet to see something as exquisite.

We encountered this cumulus incarnation of the Jedi master (proof, by the way, that the Force exists, if you ask me) as we drove back from Arizona to Nevada, which brings me to the second reason today’s post will require a bit of time travel: it’s because, quite simply, Arizona does not observe daylight savings.

Now, this shouldn’t be that big a deal, right? It just means that when the states around it “spring forward”, Arizona doesn’t. From the months of March to November (which is when we were there), Arizona is an hour behind the other states in its time zone. So when we crossed the border into Nevada, it suddenly became an hour later.

But here’s where things get tricky: Glen Canyon, in Arizona, is protected by the National Park System. As is the Hoover Dam, which borders Arizona. And all National Parks observe Daylight Savings Time. Ditto for many of the Native American Reservations that dot Arizona (on which Antelope Canyon can be found). So … are you still with me? It means that from the months of March to November, those parts of Arizona are an hour behind the rest of the state.

Two different time zones. One state.

Seriously, Arizona. WTF.

"Welcome to Glen Canyon, where the local time is now ... um ... Anyone? Bueller?"

It didn’t really become an issue until we found ourselves at the visitors center at Glen Canyon, and were told that they would be closing soon. I checked my watch. It was 4pm. The hours posted said that they would be open until 5pm. But my watch was still set to Arizona time, which was an hour behind.

So we left the center at 5pm, drove 20 feet out of the parking lot, and boom, it was 4pm again. Has your brain exploded yet?

It was TIME TRAVEL, I TELL YOU.

Or maybe not. Maybe it’s just arbitrary, and silly, and it makes no sense. Yet, I kind of understand Arizona’s stance. For part of the year, they’re an hour behind everyone around them. It’s like they’ve stolen an extra sixty minutes. I know that’s not really the case, but it kind of feels like it.

And, given how fast time passes, I can’t really blame them for wanting to hold onto every second.

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