AVRA VALLEY — The question was about dogs, the snarling kind that chase letter carriers in comic strips, but David DiPalermo came up with a more interesting answer about the menaces of a mail route.
“I’ve walked down a path to someone’s house and run into a rattlesnake,” he said. “And I have had scorpions in a mailbox. I actually get to see a lot of wildlife out here.”
DiPalermo’s “out here” hugs the edges of long, mostly straight, partly unpaved roads west of the Tucson Mountains and along the edges of Saguaro National Park, a patch of rural Pima County the U.S. Postal Service has designated Route 9 in ZIP code 85743. At 55 miles, it is among the longest routes in the area.