“Hitch” Hiking #7! Arizona’s “Papago Park”! Hitchcock’s “Strangers On A Train!”

Hanging Out With A Very Big Rock! It’s “Hitch” Hiking Time!

For #7 in my series of great hikes – and a classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller – I took advantage of some time spent in Phoenix, Arizona…surrounded by desert and incredible landscape – including this!

Yes, this spectacular view is within the Phoenix city limits, so let’s get hiking!

Papago Park covers 1,200 acres in Phoenix, plus an addition 296 acres that are part of neighboring Tempe. It’s a great way to spend a day hiking and seeing the city staring back – yes, that’s me with downtown Phoenix in the distance over my shoulder…

Papago Buttes!

OK, time to get hiking! Here is what the park’s website says:

Papago Park is notable for its many distinctive geological formations and its wide variety of typical desert plants, including the giant saguaro cactus.

The park also features the Desert Botanical Garden, a large zoo (the Phoenix Zoo), picnic areas, several small lakes, hiking trails, bicycle paths, a fire museum, and Hunt’s Tomb, the pyramidal tomb of Arizona’s first governor, George W. P. Hunt!

The entire place is well-marked, with lots of signs along the way…you can walk around the massive buttes that rise and fall throughout the park – or you can head straight for them, as I did!

As you can see, after just a short hike, you are literally among the small caves and buttes – you can explore them all you want with no restrictions…

As you can see, some are small, and some big enough to crawl into – as some did to leave their “mark” – classless.

After a few more minutes, I reach the larger cave that allowed me to stand in it and look out – here is that video:

As you can see, there were caves everywhere: easy to climb on, walk around, or sneak into – and all fairly easy to reach:

After a great hike like this, with these spectacular views, I decided it was time to head home and listen in on a unique conversation:

“Wanna Hear?” Of Course!

This is a classic Hitchcock thriller: terrific performances, a tight script and flawless direction that never gets in the way of the action.

“Strangers on a Train” was the Director’s 1951 psychological thriller film noir, starring Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, and Robert Walker. Here is the trailer:

The story is simple: a well known professional tennis player shares a cabin on a train with a guy who ultimately suggests that because they each want to “get rid” of someone, they should “exchange” murders, and that way neither will be caught!

Imagine getting caught up in a psycho’s rambling – the tennis player can’t wait to get away from him, but there is a problem…you see, the psychopath commits the first murder, then tries to force the tennis player to complete the bargain!

Yes, that’s the Director loading a cello on the train as Farley Granger is eager to get away from “crazy” Robert Walker. This is a great film noir and a great way to enjoy some Hitch!

If you want to see some of my other “Hitch” hikes, the first took us high above Malibu and the Pacific Ocean – see those views here:


Some of my “hitch” hikes were urban, like this 196 block tour of New York:

You can see my Central Park hike here – paired of course with Hitchcock’s voyeuristic NY thriller “Rear Window”:


On the west coast, Hitch turned San Francisco’s Coit Tower into a phallic symbol in “Vertigo”:

Take a walk above the Golden Gate bridge here:


Let me know if there is a favorite Hitchcock movie you want me to cover!

Categories: Action Films, Books / Media, British Cinema, Cult Movies, Exotic Travel, Film Fight Club, Film Noir, Great Films, Memoirs, Movies, nature, Obscure Movies, Pop Culture, Talent/Celebrities, Travel, Travel Adventures, Uncategorized

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6 replies

  1. Beautiful scenery and enjoyed the video. I live on the coast and love the ocean and forest but there is something about the desert and the red earth that draws me in.

  2. That would be so different for me, with no deserts in the UK. I would love to explore the caves, and see a cactus as grand as that one. Great video too, John. It put the area into context perfectly.
    And one of the few Hitchcock films I really love to watch!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Pete, it’s amazing the different terrains here in the US…when I drove from Los Angeles to Atlanta, 2200 miles, it’s pretty incredible all of the different things you see! Thanks for the comment on the video as well, I appreciate it!

  3. Beautiful country and what a great park! We took in the Botanical Garden and Zoo while we were there but didn’t venture out into the hills like you did! Even a short walk in the desert heat without any shade can be daunting.

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