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!

Why the mountains of Phoenix seem to be disappearing


If you're like me, the mountains around Phoenix are like old friends. I see them every day, and have for many years. I may not always be able to give a name to a certain area, but I know them the way I know the faces of friends. And if you've lived in the Phoenix area for a long time, they seem to be disappearing.

Now hang on there, I don't mean that they're eroding away, or anything like that. I collect old photos of Phoenix, and the mountains don't change. Whether there's a horse and wagon or a skyscraper, I recognize the mountains. I just mean that every day you can see them less and less. It's a normal function of more buildings being built all of the time (Phoenix has a healthy economy) and as you drive around, the streets become more and more tunnel-like. Instead of seeing wide-open spaces, and mountains, you're seeing the walls of buildings. No, the buildings aren't as tall as the mountains, but if you're in a car, or walking, it doesn't take much to block a view.

The image at the top of this post is a good example. That's Mummy Mountain back there, as seen from the corner of Scottsdale Road and Lincoln, looking west. Construction of this building started in 2013, and I'm sure that most people driving by now will have no idea how nice it was to see this mountain from this angle. This was the last time it was seen from here.

No, I'm not suggesting that Phoenix stop building just so that I can see the wide-open spaces and the mountains. I'm just saying that I will miss them, and I'll take every opportunity to visit them when I can.


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