This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.

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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