I like to walk around and explore cities and towns. I would contend that every city and town in America, possibly the world, has places of interest in it–perhaps not to the people who live there, but to strangers and explorers like myself. And, you know, towns can be like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to find.
I have never really walked around downtown Chandler. I knew the place existed. I’ve gone to the town a few times during my life, but the last time was 15 to 20 years ago. I’ve had no reason to go there. I really had no reason to go today, November 18, 2014, but I’m envious of my brother Brian St. Andre who is traveling all over northern Arizona and southern Nevada seeing new places. I left my apartment about 2 p.m. and set off for exotic Chandler, about 30 miles away.
Wikipedia tells us that: In 1891, Dr. Alexander John Chandler, the first veterinary surgeon in Arizona Territory, settled on a ranch south of Mesa, studying irrigation engineering. By 1900, he had acquired 18,000 acres (73 km2) of land, and began drawing up plans for a townsite on what was then known as the Chandler Ranch. The townsite office opened on May 17, 1912, the same year that Chandler High School was established. By 1913, a town center had become established, featuring the Hotel San Marcos, the first golf resort in the state.
I always liked Chandler when I was younger because there was a beat-up old jet on a pedestal at the north end of town. I had hoped to start my walk there today, but, that jet is gone now. I suppose the property became too valuable to waste on a rundown memento of World War II. I found this picture of it on the internet, but really I never saw it look quite this good.
I got lost on my way into town. My plan was to come across on Chandler Blvd. from I=17, but I accidentally got off on Ray Road instead. No wonder nothing looked the way I remembered it on the way into town. I was on the wrong road. This I discovered when I got out to start my walk.
I decided not to start my walk here, got back in the car, and drove a mile south to start closer to the center of town.
I don’t think I had ever gone inside the San Marcos before. Today I decided to check out the interior.
Leaving the San Marcos, I walked south through Crowne Plaza looking for targets of opportunity.
Once I passed City Hall walking south, the interesting landmarks thinned out, but there are still a few more sights worth seeing.
As I walked north, I spotted this very cool car–looks like about a 1970 Ford Mustang with wide racing stripe and canvas convertible top. I owned a Mustang once, when I was about 19. It got me into so much trouble, and I loved it. To see this car was to desire it.
Inside the shop I found some pinatas. (The n in pinata and panaderia should have a squiggly mark over it called a tilde, but I don’t know how to make that character, so tough.)
And I also met one of my personal heroes, and tried to get a picture with him. I never guessed I would meet the most interesting man in the world in a Mexican grocery store.
It was a pleasant walk, but I was glad to finish it. My feet were getting sore after 2 miles of Chandler sidewalks.
If you like to walk around in strange towns, or if you’ve ever been to Chandler, Arizona, why not leave a comment?