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

Exploring Arizona on foot


Walk with me. I've always loved to walk around, and explore. I live in Arizona, and it's March, and the weather is just beautiful for exploring on foot.

I've explored a lot of places this way, from the little town in Minnesota where my Grandma lived, to the coast of Southern California, to the Arizona Highways. Well, Arizona roads. Actually Arizona foot paths.

If you've never seen these places, I understand. Most of the people I know never get out of their car. And if they do, they drive miles somewhere, do some kind of laborious "hike" (hoping that it will be all be over soon so they can post it on their Facebook page, and go get lunch at a restaurant), and then go home to look at the pamphlet that they got at the gift shop. But that's never interested me - I just like to walk.

If you're from Australia, it's called a "Walkabout". You just stumble out into the Outback, with no particular destination in mind (other than getting back to where you started eventually), and you walk, and look at stuff. Yeah, I learned that from Crocodile Dundee. Mostly I call what I do "Urban Hiking".

But don't get me wrong, I'm not hiking along the harsh concrete sidewalks of the city, with cars zooming past me. There are so many other places to go. And there's so much more to see than just traffic lights, and buildings. There are wildflowers, and shady trees.

So leave your car keys behind, put on some sunscreen, wear a hat, and carry a light backpack (I have the nylon one kind with the pull-strings). I carry a bottle of water, a few snacks, an extra little bottle of sunscreen (this is Arizona!), and not much more.

Everywhere I go is a scenic view. I always stop and think "why isn't there a sign here that says, 'best place to view'?" Like the photo at the top of this post, in the Sahuaro Ranch. It's at the edge of a parking lot, where you can see people have cut through the weeds (for lack of a better term). You can see Pecan Orchards, the cool grass, the palm trees, and way off in the distance, the mountains. If you're seeing something other than that, I understand if you think I'm weird for stopping here and taking a photo.

This is only a few blocks away from my house, but it's worlds away from the world where most of my neighbors live. They get in their cars, and do errands, when they're not going to work. I'm sure they think that it would be nice to see Arizona, but they just don't have the time. I've taken the time all of my life, and I hope to always be able to do it.

Thank you for walking with me.


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