We have it pretty lucky in Sonoma County. We do have our road worries, potholes, traffic jams on Highway 101 and some rather long lights at different intersections. Those are nothing compared to the road mayhem here in the Valley of the Sun. Trying to get from stadium to stadium can be challenging during daylight hours. It’s pretty easy to get lost even with a map, because all of the cities kind of melt in to the other. I’ve shot Spring Training several times and I know the shortcuts.
If one takes surface roads, the stoplights will kill you. If you take the freeways, traffic jams will add another 20 to 40 minutes to a commute. For the most part though, everyone drives the speed limit. At least the roads I’ve been on.
The first time I photographed Spring Training was in 1990. Back then, you could drive north on Scottsdale Road and be in the desert within about five minutes. Now it takes 30 to 45 minutes to reach the outskirts of Scottsdale, longer at rush hour. The Valley does have a loop system, very similar to the Texas loop system. It’s a good idea and seems to suit Phoenix well.
On my trips back east especially traveling through the southwest on I-10, I would listen to Vin Scully on the radio announce Dodger games. My fondest and sometimes most melancholy memory of Vin Scully-who has been announcing with the Dodgers 60 plus years-is a trip I took while traveling to Texas to attend college. It was my first time away from home and I was just east of Tucson and the sunlight hitting the desert floor was to die for, the kind of light that makes you fall all over yourself. Magic Light. I can still hear his voice “Baaall one” as the sun was setting.
In 1990, I used a one hour photo lab located in Old Town Scottsdale. At the Press Democrat we used Fujichrome for our daily work, but on the road we shot color negative. Next door to the Scottsdale one hour photo was a gelato stand. I would drop the film and have some gelato while waiting for 12 rolls of film to be developed. The gelato place is still there, but the one hour lab is now a Fresh Mex restaurant.