Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. This blog is advertising-free, and is supported by my subscribers on Patreon. History adventuring posts are shared there daily. The basic tier is a dollar a month, and the PhD tier, which includes "then and now" photos, billboards, aerials, videos, and super high-definition photos, is five dollars a month, and is discounted for seniors, veterans, and students. If you're a subscriber, thank you! You make this happen!
How to prepare for a day of history adventuring
Today I will be going history adventuring. It's Monday morning and I worked very hard this past weekend getting stuff done (I work at home) so that I wouldn't have to worry about taking the time off. And that's the first step of preparation for history adventuring.
Sometimes I pack a simple lunch for myself and my co-adventurer, but not always. My history adventuring isn't based on where we're gonna have lunch, and stuff like that, it's based on what we're gonna see. So eating I treat mostly as a "pit stop", unless of course, I'm going to the Chuckbox (although we won't be going to Tempe today). McDonalds will be fine, or whatever is handy.
I will bring my camera, but to be used sparingly. I don't take photos, I take snapshots. My idea of a "selfie" is to stand in front of something, but with the emphasis on the background. It's the place that matters to me, not a picture of my giant head. I do want to be in the photo, but only as a reminder that I had been there, especially at a place that I had only visited in cyberspace, or had never seen before. I've been with people who are so obsessed with taking photos that they never really see where they are. They are looking at their camera, and then looking at pictures on their camera. I'm looking at mountains. I'm wandering off.
My co-adventurers tend to be people who hike a lot, and they have taught me the importance of bringing along water. No, I won't be hiking, but bottles of water are nice to have! Of course, Arizona has plenty of Circle Ks, where I can always find more, and also that great cinnamon coffee. I also like stopping at QuickTrip, which I call the Quicky Mart (if you watched the old Simsons cartoons, you'll know why).
When I was a kid, my grandmother in Minnesota had a subscription to Arizona Highways. Like a lot of people, I wondered if such a beautiful place could exist. It does. I live there. And the highways are right nearby.
Image above: Francis Shaw at his Spur Cross Ranch in the 1890s, and me standing as close to where he was standing, there last year. The Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area, Cave Creek, Arizona.
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Posted by Brad Hall