History adventuring in Phoenix, Arizona
I just love history adventuring, and I've been doing it since I was a kid. When I was a starving student going to ASU, I would go history adventuring in Tempe when everyone else seemed to be flying off somewhere. When I began my professional career in Los Angeles, I went history adventuring to calm my jangled nerves, which happened a lot. Usually I just went alone.
In the last few years I have been going history adventuring with fellow adventurers, and while the experience has been positive for my friends, I realize that my point of view is a little puzzling. And the main problem that I've found is that most people become grown-ups after living for a certain number of years, and it's something that I've managed to avoid.
I used to say this kind of stuff to my art students - you knew how to do this back when you were a kid. It was when you became a grown-up that you forgot. When you were a kid, you could go somewhere just to go somewhere. You didn't need tour guides, or brochures. You could sit there watching the water go by in the creek, and imagine a time when only Indians lived there. I did that in Minneapolis.
When I go history adventuring, I don't go to museums, I don't go to gift shops, I don't read brochures. Yeah, that sounds kind of weird, but my friends understand. I wander off.
If you're lucky enough to live in Phoenix, Arizona, you don't have to drive for hundreds of miles, and visit historic sites with tour guides, gift shops, and brochures. You can, of course, but you don't have to. Just look around. There were Cowboys and Indians in Echo Canyon, and you can still see them, if you want to.
Image at the top of this post: Cudia Studios in the 1950s. Note the Praying Monk on Camelback Mountain. You can see that rock formation on the "nose" of the camel, when you are driving east towards the mountain on Camelback Road. Squint your eyes and you can see the Cowboys, too.
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Posted by Brad Hall