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Andrew KiralyThe idea for this month’s feature, “Amazing Arizona,” came out of this random effulgence of enthusiasm — at once singular and choral — from Desert Companion writers at one of our coffee-splashed, bagel-fueled story pitch roundtables. Matt Jacob was raving about wonders glimpsed during some recent seasonal trips to Sedona; Erin Ryan was going on and on about mixology in Prescott; and others chimed in about other sights and sites in the pretty purple desert to our right. Meanwhile, Greg Thilmont was readying to embark on a check-in trip to bright, burgeoning Phoenix. And veteran travel guidebook author Richard Quinn was at the ready with a sampling of the countless Arizona backroad curiosities that are practically engraved on his brain.

Heck, the feature pitched, assigned, and wrote itself. I offer this peek behind the curtain not just because it reflects an Instagram snap of the happy, emergent magic of magazine-making, but also because its animating spirit aligns so perfectly with that of the road trip itself: Sometimes, you just have to put your foot on the gas and drive — and trust you’ll get somewhere interesting.

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