Thoughts on Phoenix

Phoenix. I’ll be honest: I moved here for a job. Though there are some big cities I’d love to live in (New York, London, Portland), Phoenix isn’t one of them.

That said, I’m discovering that Phoenix deserves more credit than what a first glance might suggest. For example: is Phoenix a mecca for outdoor living? Hardly. But it’s not so bad, either. Example: if I stopped blogging and hopped in my car, I could be in Joshua Tree National Park in four and a half hours. I could be hiking into the Grand Canyon in five and a half. Could be wandering the now-grassy slopes of Snow Bowl ski resort in two-and-a-half.  Could be lost in the Cabeza Prieta in two. Does this make Phoenix an outdoor mecca? No. But there’s no shortage of spectacular country a short car ride away.

And, Phoenix does have some big city amenities. Like concerts. I’ll be “stuck” in town next weekend on account of having tickets to see The Pixies (yes, I know, they broke up), Fuck Buttons, and Ratatat. That’s as many good shows as I could hope to see in Bozeman in a year. (No disrespect to The Clintons.)

And the job is good. It’s everything a job should be: interesting, challenging, frustrating, engaging, and bursting at the seams with opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Oh, and it pays the bills. Much better than being a bum, in that regard. For example, for the tidy sum of $900, my car now as air conditioning (again). The sort of bill I’m happy to pay, happy to be able to pay.

I’m moving from Mesa to Scottsdale this weekend. Not that I have a particular affection for Scottsdale. But I always took bike lanes–green spaces–for granted. Mesa has been good, to the extent that it’s provided me with some perspective on what Phoenix is like for its ~4 million residents who don’t live in Scottsdale. But I’ll tell you one thing: I’m not going to miss the commute. In fact, I’ll be close enough to bike to work.

Or, would be close enough–if I had a bike. I’m stoked to get one. A road bike. Light. Fast. Chic. (Expensive….)

In any case. The last two weekends have been great. Hiked Humphrey’s Peak two weekends ago, Buckskin Gultch (longest slot canyon in North America!) last weekend.

Pictures here:

2010.09.04 Humphrey's
2010.09.12 Buckskin Gultch and the North Rim

About Mark Egge

Two truths and a lie: Mark Egge is an outdoor enthusiast, opera singer, and a transportation data scientist. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.
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2 Responses to Thoughts on Phoenix

  1. markegge says:

    Okay, I know I already used the word “stoked” once tonight (which is, itself, a banned word), but I’m really stoked to have a blog again.

  2. jaderobbins says:

    Glad to hear you are enjoying Pheonix. For the first time I am actually considering applying for a job outside of Montana, which is quite a stretch for me.