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

Leave only footprints, take only photographs


If you're an explorer who understands the concept of "leave only footprints, take only photographs", you know that it means that you are there to observe, and to enjoy, not to change things, or destroy. It's a very subtle concept, and for people who don't understand, there are signs that say "no littering, etc.". And there are laws against destruction of public property.

I like walking, both physically and in my imagination. And I walk a lot around historic Phoenix. And it's wonderful for me, and it's puzzling for a lot of people. They ask me if I'm looking for something? Am I filling a room somewhere with a collection? Am I writing a book? And when I said "no, I'm just walking", I have a feeling that people think I'm kind'a crazy.

I have a digital collection of old photos of Phoenix. Yes, it's digital, and that means that I have thousands of images that don't take up any space except on my computer. I post them on a Google+ page, and sometimes I talk about them. But they're as incidental as taking a photo while you're out hiking. And sometimes it's the reverse - a photo will inspire me to walk somewhere that I had never even heard of before, like Melinda's Alley, which I visit often.

So, if someone asks me what my destination is, I will say "right back here". Because it's not about a destination, not about a goal. It's about walking.

Thank you for walking with me.

Image at the top of this post: the Superstition Mountains, Apache, Junction, Arizona.