EMDR Therapy in Florence, AZ

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Healing That Helps You Get Unstuck


Every person grows and learns in different ways. To that point, every counselor or guide has their own techniques and exercises to help clients. Not every method is effective for everyone, but with the right guidance, you can defeat your inner demons and recapture your life. That's where Christy Maxey thrives.

Christy is a trauma EMDR coach dedicated to empowering people with the knowledge of true self-love. She aims to help men and women overcome negative self-talk and patterns and finally live the fulfilling life they deserve. Christy has a special focus on supporting women who experience anxiety, depression, lack of self-trust, people-pleasing, and feelings of inadequacy. Additionally, she's an expert in helping men who are navigating anger, stress, and relationship challenges.

 EMDR Theraphy Florence, AZ

If you have received help from therapists and life coaches in the past but find yourself falling back into the same patterns as before, know that you're not alone. The simple truth could be that whatever problem you were trying to face was left unresolved.

Essentially, you cut the top of the weed, but you didn't pull out the entire root. In a sense, you put a band-aid on a serious wound when you needed more comprehensive, specialized treatment. Unlike many life coaches, Christy Maxey aims to solve the root cause of your mental and physical symptoms. By addressing the cause of your issues, you can reclaim your life and move forward without the baggage you've carried for so long. Take it from us - it's an incredible feeling!

Some of the most common problems that Christy helps solve for patients include:

  • Difficulty Dealing with the Emotional Content at the Center of Their Problems
  • A Lack of Resistance to and Awareness of "What Is"
  • Fear and Uncertainty About Making Changes
  • Fear of Getting Compassionate Help and Guidance
  • Believing False Narratives Associated with Past Traumas and Experiences

What is EMDR Therapy in Florence, AZ?


EMDR, which stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a technique that assists people in recovering from the effects of distressing life experiences, such as emotional distress and symptoms.

Created by psychologist Dr. Francine Shapiro in 1987 as a treatment method for post-traumatic stress disorder, EMDR is an evidence-based treatment approach that provides both trauma-informed treatment and treatment protocol. Unlike traditional talk therapy, EMDR employs bilateral stimulation to replicate the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) phase of sleep. In fact, EMDR treatments have shown that the mind can heal from psychological trauma faster than traditional talk therapy.

Traumatic events often lead to negative beliefs and emotions, such as shame, anger, and sadness. EMDR enables your brain to reprocess such events, promoting healing, well-being, and positivity in patients.

If you're wondering whether or not EMDR treatment from Christy Maxey might be a good choice for you and your family, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do You Feel Stuck in Your Life?
  • Do You Find Yourself Stuck Feeling the Same Types of Fear, Sadness, or Anxiety?
  • Have You Grown Accustomed to a Negative Inner Critic?
  • Do You Feel Stuck with Feelings of Shame from Past Mistakes or Traumas?
  • Are You Always Repeating the Same Patterns in Relationships? Too Nice, Too Accepting, Avoidant, Easy to Get Triggered, Etc.?
  • Is Your Brain Full of Self-Doubt and Harmful Self-Talk?
 Relationship Therapy Florence, AZ
 Inner Child Therapy Florence, AZ

How Does EMDR Therapy Work?


Once it's agreed that EMDR therapy is suitable for you, your initial sessions involve discussing your goals and enhancing your ability to cope with stress. In the following phases of EMDR therapy, you concentrate on a specific event or focus on a negative image, belief, emotion, or bodily sensation related to the event. You then focus on a positive belief indicating that the issue has been resolved.

While you're focused on the upsetting event, Christy begins sets of side-to-side eye movements, sounds, or taps. After each set, you are guided to observe what comes to mind. Shifts in insight or changes in images, feelings, or beliefs about the event may occur. It should be noted that you can stop therapy at any moment if necessary. The sets of eye movements, sounds, or taps will be repeated until distress caused by the event decreases. EMDR therapy can be used as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with other forms of therapy offered through the Maxx Method.

To help paint you a picture of how EMDR therapy works, think of it like a cast for a broken bone. Unlike other forms of therapy, however, EMDR can be more uncomfortable than traditional treatments. It's important to be ready for possible emotional exhaustion afterward. To cope, you can create a relaxing playlist and plan some activities to unwind. Once the sessions are finished, take some time to recharge and decompress.

Who Should Use EMDR Therapy in Florence, AZ?


EMDR therapy is something anyone can benefit from. It's not only reserved for people with extreme experiences or traumas. Even mild cases of anxiety and depression can be treated by a trained EMDR coach like Christy Maxey. When you remember something that reminds you of a bad experience, your body might react like it's in danger, even if it's not. This is a normal reaction, but if it keeps happening, it can make you feel really stressed out. With EMDR, you can heal and learn new ways to cope without having to talk about exactly what happened. This can help you feel better and live your life without over-worrying and ruminating on negativity.

If you're one of the many people who have experienced lackluster results from one or more EMDR sessions, it's crucial that you do not give up hope. In fact, many men and women come to Christy Maxey having had poor EMDR experiences. Thankfully, they soon realize how impactful and fulfilling the therapy can be for trauma. That's especially true when combined with other therapies like Inner Child Healing and Guided Visualization. Of course, EMDR therapy in Florence, AZ, isn't the best choice for every patient - after all, every person is different and responds to therapies in different ways.

To truly discover if EMDR therapy is the right choice for your mind and body, contact Christy ASAP to schedule your initial consultation. That way, you and Christy can get to know each other better and discover the best ways to promote long-term healing and well-being. With that said, patients choose EMDR treatments for many reasons. Some of the most common reasons for using EMDR therapy include the following:

  • Panic Attacks and Anxiety
  • PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome)
  • Eating Disorders like Bulimia, Anorexia, and More
  • Trauma from Abuse and Violence
  • Abusive or Violent Relationships
  • Rest and Sleep Problems
  • Social Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Childhood Trauma and Abuse
  • Anger and Sadness
  • Fear of Speaking in Public
  • Betrayal and Grief
 Depression Therapy Florence, AZ

The Life-Changing Benefits of EMDR Therapy


Though EMDR therapy is more popular than ever, many people are still unaware of its benefits and how life-changing the therapy can be for people who are stuck. If that sounds like you, keep these benefits in mind as you continue to research this amazing therapy choice.

Triumph Over Trauma

Triumph Over Trauma

Recovering from a traumatic experience can be extremely challenging, but EMDR therapy can provide a solution. Trauma can create triggers that make you feel like you're experiencing the event all over again. EMDR can help reorganize the thoughts, feelings, and experiences associated with the trauma so that you no longer feel controlled by it. While the effects of trauma may never completely disappear, EMDR can significantly reduce its impact on your life and enable you to live in the present without constantly reliving the past.

Enhance Your Mental Fortitude

Enhance Your Mental Fortitude

Achieving personal growth involves accepting one's identity, building self-esteem, and understanding the internal narratives that shape our daily experiences. EMDR and guided therapeutic processing can help create a peaceful, efficient, and confident setting for individuals to accept their past and move forward. This therapeutic process empowers individuals, providing them with the strength and courage to confront any obstacle that impedes their well-being.

Reshape Your Life

Reshape Your Life

During EMDR therapy sessions, traumatic events are broken down, enabling patients to gain a different perspective on negative events. This altered view can be as life-changing as the traumatic event itself, giving individuals greater control over how they adapt to the effects of trauma.

Overcome Circular Thinking

Overcome Circular Thinking

If you struggle with circular thinking patterns related to anxiety disorders, phobias, or generalized anxiety, EMDR therapy may be helpful. EMDR can assist you in overcoming these thought spirals by teaching you how to deal with your fears and worries without becoming overwhelmed by anxiety.

 Trauma Therapy Florence, AZ

Understanding the Phases of EMDR Therapy in Florence, AZ


According to the EMDR Institute, there are eight phases in traditional EMDR treatment:

The EMDR Institute has identified eight phases of EMDR therapy. These are:

  • History and Treatment Planning
  • Preparation
  • Assessment
  • Desensitization
  • Installation
  • Body scan
  • Closure
  • Reevaluation
History and Treatment Planning

History and Treatment Planning

During the initial stage of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, Christy will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of your medical and emotional history and create a treatment plan. This stage involves discussing the particular issue that led you to seek therapy. You'll also identify behaviors and symptoms associated with the issues you're facing. Based on this information, Christy will develop a personalized treatment plan that outlines the goals to be addressed using EMDR therapy in Florence, AZ:

  • The Traumas or Events Causing Issues
  • Present-Day Problems and Traumas Causing Distress
  • Healthy Behaviors and Skills Needed for Long-Term Well-Being


During this phase, Christy will explain the theory of EMDR, how it is applied, and what you can expect during and after treatment. Christy will then teach you several techniques for relaxation so that you have the tools to calm down in the event of emotional disturbance.

One of the biggest goals of this first phase is to establish trust between you and your EMDR coach. While you don't have to go into great detail about disturbing memories, if you don't trust your therapist, you may not accurately report what is felt and what changes you are or aren't experiencing. If your goal is to please the therapist and say you feel better when you really aren't, no therapy in the world will resolve your trauma.



In this phase, you will be prompted to access each target in a controlled manner so it can be effectively processed. Processing does not mean talking about it. From there, Christy identifies different parts of the target to be processed. The first step is for you to select a specific image or mental picture from the target event (identified during Phase One) that best represents the memory.

You then choose a positive statement that you would like to believe. The statement should have an internal sense of control, such as "I am valuable/lovable/a good person/in control" or "I can achieve success." In some cases, when the primary emotion is fear, such as after a natural disaster, the negative thought could be "I am in danger," and the positive thought could be "I am safe now." "I am in danger" is considered a negative thought because fear is no longer necessary, but it is still present in the nervous system. The positive thought should reflect what is appropriate in the present moment.

During this phase, you will also identify negative emotions like anger or fear and physical sensations that you associate with trauma.



This phase of EMDR therapy in Florence, AZ, hones in on the disturbing sensations and emotions associated with your trauma and the ways that you respond to it. In doing so, patients often resolve similar events as well. The goal of this phase is to use sounds, taps, or eye movements with shifting focus until your subjective disturbance levels are lowered.



The goal here is to concentrate on the positive belief that you have identified to replace your negative belief(s). For example, you may have suffered child abuse in your younger years and hold the negative belief that you are powerless. Christy will help strengthen and install positive cognitions that reinforce the fact that you are in control, not the negative thoughts and emotions keeping you stuck.

Body Scan

Body Scan

Research into EMDR sessions indicates that physical responses to unresolved thoughts are common. After your positive cognition is fortified and installed, Christy will ask that you bring the original target event to the forefront of your mind. If she notices any additional body tension, those physical sensations are reprocessed. If you do not have any body tension or symptoms present when your original target event is brought up, your EMDR session is considered successful.



Typical EMDR sessions end with closure and a debriefing on what you can expect between your current and subsequent EMDR sessions. If necessary, Christy will provide calming techniques that you can use outside of therapy. This part of the EMDR process ensures that you leave Christy's office feeling better than you did at the beginning of the session.



This phase gives Christy insight into any other treatment plans that may be necessary for your healing and well-being. Like any type of sound therapy, reevaluation is critical in determining the success of your EMDR treatment over a period of time.

Reshape Your Life with EMDR Therapy from Christy Maxey


Regardless of the events and trauma keeping you stuck, EMDR might be a viable solution for reclaiming your life. Christy Maxey provides patients with the safe space needed to do so. If you're ready to let go of past or present traumas and reclaim your love of life, EMDR therapy could be the first step on your healing journey. Contact our office today to learn more about the Maxx Method, EMDR therapy in Florence, AZ, EMDR online, and how Christy Maxey can help you defeat the inner demons holding you back.

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Latest News in Florence, AZ

Here's your complete guide to Country Thunder Arizona 2023 — from the lineup to bag policy

Country Thunder Arizona returned to Canyon Moon Ranch, its home near Florence, on Thursday, April 13, for four days of music.The festival brought in an average of more tha...

Country Thunder Arizona returned to Canyon Moon Ranch, its home near Florence, on Thursday, April 13, for four days of music.

The festival brought in an average of more than 30,000 people a day last year, including fans, staff, working personnel, law enforcement, press and vendors. On Saturday, when Morgan Wallen played, it was closer to 34,000.

With that in mind, it couldn't hurt to be prepared before you head into the crowd.

To help you make festival plans, from camping to parking, here’s your guide to everything you need to know before you go to Country Thunder Arizona 2023.

Live from Canyon Moon Ranch:The latest news from Country Thunder Arizona

Country Thunder 2023 Arizona lineup

Jon Pardi, Luke Bryan, Cody Johnson and the formerly local Dierks Bentley will headline the festival.

Other artists on tap include Ashley McBryde, Bailey Zimmerman, Midland, Jackson Dean, Chase Matthew, Mackenzie Carpenter, John Morgan, Josh Ross, Parker McCollum, Kip Moore, Parmalee, Lonestar, Tracy Byrd, Nate Smith, Randall King, Hailey Whitters, Shane Profitt and the Reklaws.

More:Here's the complete Country Thunder Arizona 2023 lineup, location and ticket info

Where is Country Thunder 2023?

Country Thunder's street address is 20585 E. Water Way, Florence. But it's easier to just type "Country Thunder Arizona" into any map app on your phone. It will get you there.

The festival is 67 miles from downtown Phoenix. When I typed the address into my phone on a Friday afternoon, it said it would take 70 minutes. It will likely take considerably longer once you've factored in the Country Thunder traffic, so prepare for that.

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Country Thunder 2023 dates and hours

Campgrounds will open for early arrivals from 9 a.m.-10 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12.

The front gate and will call will be open from 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Wednesday, April 12 through Sunday, April 16. All fans will pass through this area to enter the festival grounds.

If you arrive after the front gate is closed, you will be unable to drive into the festival grounds.

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The concert bowl, the area where the festival and stages are located, will open each day at 1 p.m.

Following each headlining performance in the bowl, DJ Slim McGraw will take the stage in the Electric Thunder tent from 11:30 p.m.-2 a.m. from Thursday, April 13 to Saturday, April 15, and from 10:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 16.

The information booth, located inside the concert bowl, is open 1-10 p.m. daily.

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Country Thunder Arizona 2023 tickets

Reserved seats and campsites have been sold out for a while now.

General admission passes good for the whole weekend are still available for $300. ​Kids 10 and under get in free with the purchase of an adult ticket. VIP packages also are still available.

A weekend general admission ticket gives you access to all general admission areas, stages and campgrounds. A single-day pass does not include admission to the campgrounds.

You may bring your own chair and/or blanket, as general admission is lawn-style seating.

Tickets can be purchased at the gate, but Country Thunder recommends purchasing online ahead of time as it's cheaper.

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What are the VIP ticket options for Country Thunder Arizona 2023?

The Platinum Experience is $600 for the weekend.

With the Platinum Experience, you can watch all artists from an exclusive skybox, featuring a lounge and shelter from the elements; use of luxury restroom trailers; and complimentary appetizers daily and access to an exclusive lounge called the Oasis, where you can purchase upgraded cocktails.

A souvenir laminate, complimentary festival essentials like Advil and sunscreen, and admission to the full event are also included in the Platinum Experience. It does not include access to reserved seats.

New this year, Kona Island and NUTRL ZONA passes are $675 for the weekend.

Kona Island and NUTRL Zone are the same experience but on opposite sides of the catwalk. You will only have access to the side you purchase.

This experience includes:

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Parking at Country Thunder Arizona 2023

If you plan on parking at your campsite, a vehicle parking pass is included with the purchase of each campsite. You can purchase one Extra Vehicle Pass per campsite for $80.

If your party requires more parking than that, you can purchase additional Weekend Overnight Parking, and festival security will watch your car for $80. A Weekend Overnight Parking Pass is for the full event, including early arrival on Wednesday, April 12.

If you’re not parking at a campsite, but are parking overnight, you’ll need to purchase a Weekend Overnight Parking Pass.

If you are driving and not staying overnight, you will need to purchase a day pass, which is $25 a day or $60 for the weekend.

With the day pass, your vehicle must be removed each day by 2:30 a.m. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed.

You can purchase parking when you arrive with cash or card.

An ADA-accessible parking lot is available to those with an ADA Parking Permit. In addition to your permit, you will need to purchase day parking. When you arrive at the festival, please make sure your permit is visible and you’ll be directed to the ADA lot.

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Yes, there is a clear bag policy at Country Thunder Arizona

The clear bag policy is in effect. You may bring a clear plastic bag up to 14" x 14" into the festival area. You may also bring a one-gallon disposable freezer bag and a small clutch no larger than 4.5" x 6.5."

Camera bags, large purses, backpacks and coolers are forbidden in the festival area.

If you're camping, you can still bring larger opaque bags to your campsite, but you must adhere to the new policy when you pass through security to the stages.

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What you can bring into the festival bowl

Those with additional medical equipment are encouraged to visit the medical building for assistance.

All items and patrons are subject to additional inspection prior to entering the venue.

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What you can't bring to the bowl at Country Thunder

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Buying food and alcohol

Country Thunder has a variety of food vendors, as well as full bars serving beer, cocktails, soda and water.

All food vendors and bars accept credit cards. If you’re paying with cash, you will need to visit one of the blue ticket booths, located inside the concert bowl, to exchange your cash for food or drink tickets.

Alcohol ID wristbands are required to purchase alcoholic drinks.

Camping at Country Thunder Arizona?

The campground information booth, located in the campgrounds near the general store, is open from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday, April 13 to Sunday, April 16.

Showers are available in the campground from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday, April 12, through Sunday, April 16. Showers are $10 a shower, cash only.

Upholstered household furniture is not allowed in the campgrounds. If you bring any to the festival site, you will be fined $100. Arrangements can be made to have that fine returned by removing the offending furniture.

These are the other Country Thunder Arizona campsite rules:

Keeping Country Thunder campsites clean

Campers are encouraged to bring trash bags to the festival, pick up their trash and keep their campsites clean.

Bags should be placed in the large dumpsters found at the end of each camping row.

Owners of trash-filled sites will be subject to a fine and may have renewal rights suspended.

Additional trash bags are available from campground staff or at the campground office.

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Reach the reporter at ed.masley@arizonarepublic.com or 602-444-4495. Follow him on Twitter @EdMasley.

Taseko Mines: EPA issues draft permit for Florence Copper Project in Arizona

Canada-based Taseko Mines Limited said that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has publicly issued a draft Underground Injection Control (UIC) permit for Taseko’s Florence Copper Project in Arizona. The public comment period for the draft fed...

Canada-based Taseko Mines Limited said that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has publicly issued a draft Underground Injection Control (UIC) permit for Taseko’s Florence Copper Project in Arizona. The public comment period for the draft federal permit will last 45 days, ending on 29 September, with a virtual public hearing to be held on 15 September.

The Draft Class III UIC Area Permit, if issued, would authorize Florence Copper to conduct commercial-scale in-situ copper recovery (ISCR) operations, and inject a dilute sulfuric acid solution into the copper orebody to recover copper-laden solution for the purpose of producing copper. EPA proposes to issue the permit for an initial well construction and testing period, staged wellfield development and mining operation for a period of up to 24 years, and at least 5 years of post-closure monitoring.

The Draft Permit includes terms and conditions for well construction and testing, operation, monitoring and reporting, aquifer restoration, wellfield closure, and post-closure monitoring for the duration of the Florence Copper Project.

The UIC permit is the final key permit required for the construction and operation of the Florence Copper commercial facility. Our project has gone through extensive scrutiny by both the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the EPA over the past eight years and we are confident that the rigorous work completed by both these regulatory bodies will result in permitting success in the coming months.

—Stuart McDonald, Taseko’s President and CEO

Taseko’s wholly owned Florence Copper, an in-situ copper recovery project, is located midway between Phoenix and Tucson near the community of Florence, Arizona. Development of the project is being performed in two phases—the first phase is a production test facility, which is followed by the second phase commercial facility.

The Phase 1 facility, which included 24 injection, recovery and monitoring wells and an SX/EW (solvent extraction-electrowinning, a copper production technology) plant, commenced operation in December 2018.

Once copper-laden solution—also known as pregnant leach solution (PLS)—is recovered from wells on the Florence Copper property, it goes for processing at the SX/EW plant. The PLS first flows into holding ponds. Then, the PLS goes through a solvent extraction process, and an organic substance is added to it. The copper is chemically attracted to the organic and clings to it until it floats on top of the PLS.

This organic now has most of the copper, and it is collected and sent to be stripped of its copper to make a solution used in the electrowinning process. In the electrowinning process, electric current is used to plate out the copper into copper cathodes. (Similar to chrome electroplating on a bumper.) All water used through this process is treated and recycled back into the extraction process.

First copper cathode harvest at Florence Copper in 2019.

Operating the test facility successfully demonstrated the ability to produce high-quality copper cathode, within the stringent environmental guidelines of the permits, and has confirmed the project economics.

Many of the modeled assumptions were validated; that data will be used to develop strategies for solution chemistry, flow rates, reverse flow and the use of well packers for targeting solution flows. The hydrogeological model has been updated using the data provided by the test facility and is being used to refine the operating plan for the commercial production facility.

Taseko is now advancing the permit amendment process to transition the project to the commercial production facility, which includes an expanded wellfield and SX/EW plant that will produce an average of 85 million pounds of copper per year, over its 20-year life.

Florence Copper is expected to have the lowest energy and greenhouse gas-intensity of any copper producer in North America, and will reduce the United States’ reliance on foreign producers for a metal considered to be critical for the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The former owners of the Florence Copper Project (Conoco, Magma Copper, BHP Copper), spent more than US$135 million on the project; Taseko has invested a further US$165 million since 2014, including US$25 million to build the PTF.

SR-79 reopens near Florence

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. — State Route 79 near Florence has reopened in both directions after firefighters were dispatched to contain the nearby Pinebrooke Fire.Traffic was restricted between mileposts 127 and 129 as officials attempted to contain the fire that's grown to about six acres, according to Arizona State Forestry. The fire was burning about five miles south of Florence.SR-79 opened up again at about 4:30 p.m., according to the Arizona Department of Transportation....

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. — State Route 79 near Florence has reopened in both directions after firefighters were dispatched to contain the nearby Pinebrooke Fire.

Traffic was restricted between mileposts 127 and 129 as officials attempted to contain the fire that's grown to about six acres, according to Arizona State Forestry. The fire was burning about five miles south of Florence.

SR-79 opened up again at about 4:30 p.m., according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

#AZForestry working #PinebrookeFire, approx. 5 mi. S. of Florence along SR 79. Fire est. at 6 acres & active on all sides. Per @ArizonaDOT, SR 79 closed in both directions between mileposts 127-129. Engines & #AZForestry hand crews currently engaged. #AZFire #PinalCounty pic.twitter.com/mIMvWLSosr

— AZ State Forestry (@azstateforestry) May 8, 2023

Forward progress stopped. Add’l #AZForestry hand crews ordered to help construct containment line. SR 79 likely closed for another hour due to firefighter safety as crews are working off highway. Check w/ @ArizonaDOT for traffic updates or call 511. #AZFire #PinalCounty @PinalCSO https://t.co/Y47TrZyWEN pic.twitter.com/lZyk8Xi1If

— AZ State Forestry (@azstateforestry) May 8, 2023

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Wildfire Go-Kit:

Residents in wildfire-prone areas are urged to have an emergency supplies kit to bring with them of they are evacuated from their homes, especially as Arizona residents are beginning to see early widespread fire activity throughout the state.

An emergency supply kit should be put together long before a wildfire or another disaster occurs. Make sure to keep it easily accessible so you can take it with you when you have to evacuate.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that residents near a disaster store emergency supplies in a plastic tub, small suitcase, trash can, backpack, or other containers.

Residents should make sure they have the necessities, such as three gallons of water per person and a three-day supply of ready-to-eat food, the NFPA said. A first-aid kit, prescription medications, contact lenses, and non-prescription drugs should also be taken into account.

Copies of any important family documents, including insurance policies, identification, bank account records, and emergency contact numbers should also be taken and put into a waterproof, portable container in your kit, the NFPA said.

The association lists other items that would help in a disaster, including:

Country Thunder Arizona is coming soon. So is the traffic. How to minimize the aggravation

Last year, Country Thunder Arizona drew an average of more than 30,000 people a day, including staff and vendors, to Canyon Moon Ranch near Florence. On Saturday, ...

Last year, Country Thunder Arizona drew an average of more than 30,000 people a day, including staff and vendors, to Canyon Moon Ranch near Florence. On Saturday, when Morgan Wallen played, the attendance was closer to 34,000.

A lot of those fans spend the weekend in one of the more than 8,000 campsites that sell out long before the festival returns each April, many arriving as early as Wednesday.

The others drive in every day along the stretch of two-lane blacktop that separates the ranch from U.S. 60.

That's just a bottleneck waiting to happen.

Live updates:We'll be there all weekend, blogging and weighing in on highs and lows

But it doesn't have to end in you cursing the traffic for making you miss the first half-hour of the artist you spent all that money to see. Not if you plan your trip accordingly.

Here's how to make driving to Country Thunder Arizona a little easier.

When should you arrive at Country Thunder Arizona?

Country Thunder Arizona 2023:Here's your complete survival guide

The best way to avoid the worst traffic is to stop procrastinating. Get behind the wheel early and point the car toward Florence.

If you aim to arrive just in time to catch your favorite headliner, that is all but guaranteed to blow up in your face.

As Country Thunder digital media specialist Megan Benoit says, "Obviously, at any large event, there’s going to be a lot of vehicles, so try and plan your trip accordingly."

Getting there early "helps alleviate that bottleneck right before those headliners go on," Benoit says.

Discovering new artists is 'a better place to be than in a traffic jam'

Benoit says she gets that you're more interested in what the headliner is doing. That's how they landed the headlining slot.

"But you're gonna want to come out earlier so you don't miss them," Benoit says. "I always say that it’s better to be at a show earlier discovering artists you’ve never seen than to be stuck in your car. Even if you’re not excited about the 3 o’clock act, it’s a better place to be than in a traffic jam later in the evening."

And who knows? You might even come away from those afternoon sets with a new favorite artist or two.

"Everyone’s excited about the headliners," Benoit says. "But for me, there’s some 3:30 acts and some 5 o'clock acts that I’m really excited about."

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Country Thunder traffic is at its worst around dinnertime

Benoit says Country Thunder tends to see heavier traffic around dinnertime.

"So if you can make it here before 6 or 7 and catch those earlier acts, I think that’s the best way to go," she says. "Any time after 6, 7, it’s gonna be busy. To beat the rush, come earlier. And then you’ve bought yourself a little time so that if there are delays, you’re still there seeing the artists that you’re most excited for."

And that applies to all four days, although Saturdays have historically drawn the biggest crowds.

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Here's some good news about Country Thunder traffic

Benoit says they noticed an improvement in traffic flow last year after widening the roads near the festival site to get more vehicles in.

"I think that helped," she says.

The Country Thunder site crew was in Florence two weeks early getting ready for the big event.

"So they’re going to do whatever they can to make sure that all the roads are in good shape to accommodate all of these crowds," Benoit says.

What ADOT has to say about Country Thunder traffic

For those of you who need to use those roads but aren't going to Country Thunder, the Arizona Department of Transportation advises drivers to expect heavy traffic and delays on highways heading toward Florence, including state routes 79 and 287.

Motorists who aren't attending Country Thunder should plan for plenty of extra travel time or consider alternate routes to avoid the event traffic.

ADOT is also asking drivers to use extra caution where SR 79 crosses the Gila River in Florence because of a work zone for a bridge replacement project.

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Country Thunder traffic tips from Pinal County Sheriff's Office

Sgt. Roderick Harrison of the Pinal County Sheriff's Office asks that drives "please be patient" on that final stretch of road.

They're working closely with the festival to get the gates open and admit vehicles as quickly and smoothly as possible.

"We're gonna load up everybody onto Price Road and we should get about 4.4 miles worth of cars on Price to keep it off of highway 79," he says. "Then the residual traffic and local traffic will be able to pass through on the right."

Harrison says the heaviest traffic should be from 5 a.m. to noon on Wednesday when the campsites open.

"Last year, we had the roads completely free of any traffic by 11 o'clock, which is good," he says.

For motorists with no pressing need to be near Canyon Moon Ranch on Wednesday, Harrison says, "I'd like those folks to see if they could push their commute past noon. That would give them an opportunity to pass right through versus having to hit head-on with the rest of the traffic."

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There will be heavy outbound traffic at the end of each night, but Harrison doesn't anticipate a lot of traffic problems heading into Country Thunder after Wednesday morning.

"We have two lanes coming in and we'll direct them where to park," he says. "We'll get them in very quickly."

The festival ends with what Harrison calls "a mass exodus" Sunday, but it's an exodus that tends to trickle out throughout the day.

"All day, people will be leaving, but it really doesn't cause a large backup because it's sporadic," Harrison says.

"You may get 20 people who just got their campers packed up and all of the sudden, the line backs up for 10 minutes. Then, it goes smooth for the next 20 to 30 minutes. So it's very intermittent."

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Pro tip: 'Keep tabs on your keys'

One additional piece of advice Harrison would like to pass along is to "keep tabs on your keys."

A lot of people lose their keys at Country Thunder.

"We get 50 sets of keys," he says.

"So be cognizant of where your keys are. They lose them and they're scrambling for hours trying to find them in a crowd where everybody's two to three feet apart. We have a lost and found, of course, but sometimes people pick up keys and by the time they drop them off at lost and found, it's two, three hours later."

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Should you be concerned about people will be driving drunk?

You may assume a festival this large would have a problem with inebriated drivers getting on the road, but Harrison says they see fewer than 25 DUIs in the course of the entire festival.

"I've been doing Country Thunder every years going on 19 years," he says. "And really, we don't have that many DUIs out there. We have them, of course. Don't get me wrong. But most of the people doing the heaviest drinking are staying put."

Rest assured, he adds, that those who choose to drink and drive "will be stopped and processed."

Reach the reporter at ed.masley@arizonarepublic.com or 602-444-4495. Follow him on Twitter @EdMasley.

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Monastery in Florence, Arizona raises funds to honor Arizona religious leader

Jeff Kronenfeld / NewsBreak Pinal County, AZ(Florence, AZ) The late Arizona religious leader who founded St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery in Florence, Arizona, the largest monastery of its kind in the U.S., will be the subject of five books.St. Anthony’s has started a campaign to raise funds to support the publication of the tomes to celebrate Geronda Ephraim. Before his death in 2019, he helped establish more than a dozen other monasteries throughout North America.The campaign aims to raise $292,000 ov...

Jeff Kronenfeld / NewsBreak Pinal County, AZ

(Florence, AZ) The late Arizona religious leader who founded St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery in Florence, Arizona, the largest monastery of its kind in the U.S., will be the subject of five books.

St. Anthony’s has started a campaign to raise funds to support the publication of the tomes to celebrate Geronda Ephraim. Before his death in 2019, he helped establish more than a dozen other monasteries throughout North America.

The campaign aims to raise $292,000 over 30 days to cover design, printing, and binding costs. The monastery is working with Walsworth Publishing Company and had already raised $178,600 to cover paper costs before the fundraiser's launch. At the time of this article's publication, they have raised $55.993, roughly 19 percent of their goal.

The collection — "Sent by God: The Life of Geronda Ephraim” — explores the religious leader’s teachings, practices, and biography. The source materials for the collection include Ephraim's writing, hundreds of interviews, and photographs, according to Fr. Symeon, one of the collection's compilers.

The first book will cover Ephraim’s life in Greece, where he was born in 1928. Back then, his name was Ioannis Moraitis. Geronda means elder in Greek, and in the Greek Orthodox Church, the term refers to a religious leader, usually a monk.

Ephraim grew up in Volos, a port city on the Greek mainland about 200 miles north of Athens. Religion played a prominent role in his life from the start, largely thanks to Gerontissa Theophano, his mother.

“His mother is also a tremendous saint,” said Fr. Symeon. “She was a very ascetic, very pious, religious woman who raised him right from the beginning to become a monk because she had a vision when he was born.”

When the devastation of World War II came to Greece, Ephraim helped provide for his family despite his youth. Then, in 1947, he became a monk at the Holy Mountain, also called Mount Athos, a peninsula in northwest Greece that has been a center of monastic life since 963. The area is home to 20 monasteries and their dependencies, called skítes.

There, Ephraim became a disciple of Saint Joseph the Hesychast, whose teachings about noetic prayer — the repetition orally or mentally of the Jesus Prayer — greatly influenced the younger man. Ephraim became the abbot of Philotheou Monastery in 1973, also located on Mount Athos.

The collection’s second volume will cover Ephraim's work and time in North America, which began with a visit to Canada in 1979. He would make many more trips there and to the U.S. over the next decade before founding his first North American monastery in 1989, located in Pennsylvania. That volume will also cover Ephraim's involvement in establishing St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery in Arizona.

Next, volume three explores the purported miracles and spiritual states of Ephraim. The first three volumes will also be published together in a single book.

The collection’s fourth volume is titled “Spirit and Truth: On Prayer and Watchfulness.” It includes information on Ephraim’s approach to and beliefs about the importance of prayer. The fifth and final volume, called "Images and Likeness," consists of hundreds of pages of color photographs.

“The hope is that enough people will be able to learn from who Geronda is and what his teachings were about prayer, and especially at the end of the book, it talks very much about the need for prayer and the need for these communities of love that will keep the world from collapsing,” Fr. Symeon said.

Donors will receive books from the collection based on how much they give and what parts of the project they choose to support. To place donations or learn more, visit the campaign's IndieGoGo page.


This website publishes news articles that contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The non-commercial use of these news articles for the purposes of local news reporting constitutes "Fair Use" of the copyrighted materials as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law.
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