For my Barrett The Honors College thesis creative project, I created a website called Destination Arizona. In short, it is a log of every “destination” I have visited in the state of Arizona. These destinations include hikes, drives, trails, mountain peaks, waterfalls, caves, lakes, arches and more. In total, the site features 182 destinations, which is a number that surprised me greatly. I was stunned to find out I had been to that many places in the state. To log all these destinations in a way that completed the project and was useful for people to potentially use, I created an Airtable that is filterable based on numerous parameters of each destination. For example, Camelback Mountain is a peak in Phoenix that is a short but hard hike at 2.5 miles round trip. It requires a car to get to as the road is paved. In the Airtable, you can search based on all of those descriptors. Another example would be the Barnhardt Trail. It is a trail located near Payson that is long in terms of mileage (13.1 round trip) and hard in terms of difficulty. The road to get there is dirt, and therefore requires an SUV, but not a truck or jeep, to get to. This is another example of how refined the search on Destination Arizona can be. Let’s say you want to go to a lake that is near Prescott. You can find all of them via The Chart. Or a cave that is out in the East Valley of Phoenix. You can find that as well. Accompanying The Chart is the The Maps tab, which is simply a visual of everything that is on The Chart. If you’re wondering where exactly something on The Chart is located in the state of Arizona, chances are it is on one of the maps. Two maps exist on The Maps tab. One is a log of everything on The Chart that is not just simply a drive. It is the top one. The second map is a log of almost every destination on The Chart that is just simply a drive, hence the blue routes you will see when clicking on it. There are a couple on the chart that are not on the second map, as Google Maps only allows for 10 layers – or in this case drives – to be shown on a given map. I tried to pick the 10 best/most important for the second map, though. Additionally, three other tabs exist on the website. One of them is the Secret Spots tab, which has six places I am not permitted to put on the chart for various reasons. I was able to show the images of them to help assist some in finding them, but it’s as much help as you will get from me. Additionally, some of the spots, one will simply not find. They are just too hidden. Another tab is the Bucket List tab. While I have 6-7 pages worth of Google Docs of places I’ve still yet to go to in the state, I was able to narrow down that list to 10 places that are very much worth sharing. If I complete anything on the Bucket List tab, it would probably be one of the best days of my life. Finally, I included the Disclaimer tab. While The Chart does its best to prepare people for what they may expect when traveling to a destination (what the drive is like, what kind of car is needed, how long and hard the hike is, etc), I wasn’t able to go into great detail on each destination. Additionally, very few of the articles posted on the website to accompany featured destinations mention what wildlife one may encounter when traveling to a destination. The Disclaimer tab gives a good summary of all of these things, but most notably the wildlife aspect. Remember, in Arizona, if you’re not in bear country, and then you’re probably in rattlesnake country, and if you’re not in rattlesnake country, then you’re probably in bear country. Don’t that let trip you, though. There are very few places in the state that are not considered rattlesnake country.
- Destination Arizona