This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. This blog is not supported by advertising, it's supported by the generosity of my patrons on Patreon. Thank you!

The beauty of seeing Phoenix, Arizona IRL - In Real Life


When I first moved to Phoenix, Arizona from Minneapolis I was absolutely amazed. There were mountains, the gigantic desert, and sunsets. I mean, wow, sunsets. People joke about Arizona sunsets, but until you've seen one IRL - in real life, you would never know that no photo even comes close.

Like most people who live anywhere, after several years I stopped noticing. I spent my time looking at my computer, or looking at traffic lights. And at that point, I might as well be living anywhere. The beauty of Phoenix disappeared for me.

Then after a terrible accident (please don't ask, it was a long time ago, and I got better) I got to see it all again, with fresh eyes. At first I was delighted just to see a sunrise. Then it started to occur to me that I was in Phoenix, Arizona. And I wanted to see it, not just on my computer, and not just pictures of it, but in real life (IRL). I wanted people to take me somewhere, anywhere.

I want to try to tell you what I saw. Not only the beauty of the real world, but the amazing beauty of Arizona. I mean, really, people all over the world subscribe to Arizona Highways just to see what is right nearby me. Mountains, vistas, and did I mention the sunsets?

Nowadays I have a collection of friends who go "History Adventuring" with me. I don't drive on these adventures, I'm a better sight-seer than driver. I can see Camelback Mountain when it was just orange groves. I can see the Apaches hunting in the Papago Mountains. I can see the Hohokam people walking along the Salt River.

I collect photos of old Phoenix, and I post them on the web, but mostly what I want to see is Phoenix in real life - IRL. It's so beautiful, and so amazing, I just can't stop looking at it. Yeah, maybe you should drive.

Image at the top of this post: Camelback Mountain in 1956, Phoenix, Arizona.

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