Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona, just for fun. Advertising-free, supported by my patrons on Patreon. Thank you!

The wonderful world of places without cars in Phoenix, Arizona


I like cars. And I like trucks, and buses, and planes and trains. But they can't take me to the wonderful magical places that I know of in Phoenix.

No, I'm not criticizing cars, or any of those modes of transportation, but unfortunately they need roads, and pavement, and at the very least a huge amount of space. The places that I love aren't of that gigantic scale, it just wouldn't work. So they're impossible to see by car, or truck, or bus, or planes, or trains, or whatever. You have to put your feet on the ground.

I started finding these wonderful hidden places when I lived in Los Angeles, and I still seek them out in Phoenix. I've always been a nervous and anxious person, and these places are the best nerve medicine I've ever found. And I always hear the same thing from so many people - they've never been there, or even heard of these places. Or maybe they've heard of them but they never want to get out of their car. And when I describe them, it makes me sound as if I don't like cars. But I do like cars - I go to car shows, that sort of thing. But places like the Sahuaro Ranch, where I go all of the time, wouldn't be the same if there were cars driving around there. Or trucks or buses or planes or trains.

I describe these places as having "human scale". Instead of the roar of engines and the smell of burning gasoline or diesel there's the rustle of the trees and the smell of orange trees in bloom. There are people walking. There's the sound of children laughing, not the sound of horns honking, or trucks backing up. You can stop and listen to a mockingbird without having someone impatiently honking at you to keep moving. There's no schedule.

So please don't get me wrong, cars are great. As are trucks, buses, planes and trains. I've spent most of my life in the world of cars. But the most precious time for me is when there are no cars around at all.

Image at the top of this post: With the peacocks at Sahuaro Ranch, 59th Avenue between Peoria and Olive, Glendale, Arizona.

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