Wayzata, Minnesota

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sepia Saturday - 213 - Feb 1- 2014

You may be wondering why in the world I would post a photo like this?  Hint- vacation memory from my childhood.  This location is outside Florence, Arizona where my grandfather spent the majority of his life, as a rancher.

You may recall that I've mentioned him before.

So, speaking of vacations, or as Alan says, let's take a holiday- Yes!

Alan has gifted us with an open suitcase all stuffed and ready for a joyful holiday.  So please do gather your old photos and bring them here.  Or, just sit back and enjoy my Arizona tour.

No cell phones please!  Just kidding! Well a holiday, or family vacation in my childhood always included a sleepover, or stay over in a motel, where we would simply, spend the night.  We were always early to rise and back on the road again.

Holbrook, Arizona

Not just any motel either.  Swimming pools, weren't essential, yet many offered them.  We desired only two main requirements.  Can you see the AAA sign and, any mention that pets are allowed?  If not, it'd be necessary that my father turn away from the Wigwam Motel.

Sometimes it felt like we drove on and on before finally landing one too.

Truxton, Arizona

Oops, not here either.  Drive on, this looks a bit too desolate right?


You are surely welcome to pack your bags and journey with me.  Or, if you'd rather take the high road and board a cruise ship or take a stay in an extraordinary out of this world classy New York City hotel, you may want stop here.

Perhaps it's the blistering blizzards and endless powdery clouds of snow day after grey sky day but the endless days of frozen tundra temperatures, are beginning to get rather tiring.   So, yes I'm really hungry for a bite of dust between my teeth and perspiration dripping from my forehead.  Seriously.

Let's roll!

First Destination:
Monument Valley, Navajo- Tse' Bii' Ndzisgaii  More information from the Navajo Nation Monument Park here.

Beautiful isn't it?  I don't care that it's the desert.  Monument Valley, Arizona if you desire specifics.

Pictured is Jimmy Swinnerton ( dean of desert artists) and Bill Bender (working cowboy turned artist who as a child idolized Swinnerton and his lifestyle)
In Monument Valley

Notice the Rainbow Bridge sign?
What could be more satisfying?  Of course, include me in any tour for the Rainbow Bridge. 

Looking west, petrified forest National Park Road and Bridges, Holbrook Navajo County, Arizona.  Note Rainbow Museum at rear.

Rainbow Museum.

Jim Camp Wash Bridge, spanning Jim Camp Wash at Route 10, Holbrook, Navajo County, AZ.

 Going back to the building with Jimmy and Bill, if you look closely, this rustic, lime stone appearing little shanty is also the Post Office.

Jimmy's wife Gretchen had this to say about their holiday to the Monument Valley.  "Each year from the first of June until the latter part of July, desert fever stirs our household with a grip stronger than an octopus."

I can relate to that feeling right now.  Blame it possibly on all my childhood holiday/trips that my family and I would encompass, every summer during our long scenic drives from Michigan to my grandfather's ranch in Arizona.

Gretchen continued with more.  "Why I do this each year I have never been able to figure out because it's the same trip, same road, auto cams and climate, and has been for the last several years...."  She added that the two had decided to "tour Old Mexico next year, and I'll keep my fingers crossed until summer comes again," but she concluded "I know Jimmy, and we will see Arizona again next year."

If I could explain to Gretchen the reason why, one endures this journey, this would be it.  It's all about that small little voice, that fully awakens within many of us, with a sensation so unbearably exciting, it can't be ignored.

Gretchen Swinnerton

Being completely honest about James Swinnerton, or Jimmy as his wife refers to him, these trips undoubtedly were all about incredible gifts from his muse.  See here for full disclosure.

There are folks that would describe the desert, even here in Monument Valley as being a bleak and dismal emptiness.

Never, James Swinnerton,a true artist unable to quench his thirst, year after year, as he discovers and delivers so much from so little.

My gift to you is a painting by Jimmy Swinnerton, enjoy his insight.

Full Wikipedia about Jimmy Swinnerton here.

A natural arch in Monument Valley, Arizona was named "Swinnerton Arch" in his honor.

Jimmy Swinnerton, died in Palm Springs at the age of 98, and his canvases are still in high demand.

Well, that concludes this trip/holiday and it's back on the road again!

Look there, it's the Triple AAA sign, and new COLOR TV'S too!

I always have to thank, The Library of Congress and especially their prints and photo department, that not only offer many photos for us to use, but just visiting their fact filled, supply of information and photos as well, is like going on a holiday as well.

THANK YOU LIBRARY OF CONGRESS and all the folks that work there.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed our visit to Arizona!


TexWisGirl said...

just love the saguaros. such unique territory.

Gillena Cox said...

have a nice Saturday

much love...

aspiritofsimplicity said...

I have only been to Arizona one time...and I was just a baby traveling to the Red Sox spring training because my father was a sports writer. But, they started having it in FLA a long time ago. Your old pictures are lovely. Very nostalgic.

Postcardy said...

I wish I had visited that part of the country in the "old days."

La Nightingail said...

In a talented artist's eye with brush in hand, even the starkest landscape becomes beautiful. I checked out a few more of Jimmy's paintings & they are all lovely. And it's true. There's just something about one place that calls to you over & over - no matter how many times you've been there, or how many times you've driven the same road to it.

Lovely's Blot said...

It's great to get an insight into the life of the artist as well as seeing his paintings. Thanks for sharing it.

Melody Harrison said...

Would be lovely to pack our bag to Arizona too... that would be when my little one will be a little bit older so she can appreciate how gorgeous that place is. I am also in love with the painting.

I hope you are having a fantastic week!

Melody Harrison said...

Would be lovely to pack our bag to Arizona too... that would be when my little one will be a little bit older so she can appreciate how gorgeous that place is. I am also in love with the painting.

I hope you are having a fantastic week!

Patrica Ball Morrison said...

a travelogue of times past and those roadside motels although today there are many more and they are much fancier, bigger and expensive. We've been all over AZ which does not draw me, I am not a fan of deserts, sand and dry but right now after too much winter, maybe. Although it gets darn cold at night in the high deserts.

Jackie van Bergen said...

What an amazing place!
Your own travels reminded me of how jealous my brothers and I were of those who got to stay in motels when we had to all cram into the caravan or tent at some camp ground, and traipse across the paddock to the toilet.

Anonymous said...

I have formed the opinion that people used to be able to go on holidays with smaller suitcases and far less paraphernalia than we do these days. An interesting post

John Foster said...

I look forward to reading about the artist.

Joy said...

I enjoyed the trip you took us all on to Arizona. What a fascinating place, I can see why Swinnerton was mesmerised by it. American landscape painters fascinate me with the journeys they took into the wilderness, thank you for introducing me to this one.

Little Nell said...

You certainly took us on an interesting journey into the past. Thank you for introducing us to Jimmy and his art, but also to Gretchen who thought to commit the words to the page, making the trip all that more real.

Bob Scotney said...

I'd love to visit Monument Valley but am unlikely to get the chance. Thanks for taking us there and introducing us to Jimmy Swinnerton.

Leovi said...

Wonderful cactus! Nice photos!

Mike Brubaker said...

I recently watched two old Westerns that were filmed in Monument Valley. The history and stories were silly because no sensible pioneer would have trekked through such a desert or built a railroad or stage coach line there. The landscape though is breathtaking beautiful.

Alan Burnett said...

A fine old tour with plenty to see. I am glad I brought my suitcase with me, I quite fancy a night in a motel.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Nice post. Brings back memories. I grew up in the Southwest and I we took lots of road trips to the desert. Spent lots of nights in motels also.

John Foster said...

Most interesting.
Made me check out his work and added him to my blog.
She seems like such a strong individual also.
What a great muse.

cj Schlottman said...

I needed a little vacation today! Thanks for this beautiful trip.

EG CameraGirl said...

Nice memories as I have visited Arizona several times to see relatives there.

Wendy said...

I enjoyed my visit to the Wigwam Motel -- HA -- now that's a name! I've been to Sedona, which is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. I wondered why the early pioneers didn't just stop there -- why continue on to California?? I also decided people would have been wise NOT to walk around at night. There are lots of little canyons to fall into.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Wonderful account! By the way, it was in the parking lot of the Shell truckstop on the east side of Holbrook where I had my "near-death" experience in 1987.