Sunday, December 15, 2013

Amerind Museum & Soap Fetish - Dragoon, Arizona jus' never know. The mountains to the south looked inviting. I exited at Dragoon to see what kind of supplies were available in case I come back to explore.

The entrance to the Amerind Museum is about a mile from the freeway. The sign on the gate designates the place as an anthropological and archaeological research center. Soon after the gate is a cemetery...a rather unique (to my mind) amenity few facilities flaunt. The drive, reminiscent of a European country lane, winds between buildings that emanate subtle hints of opulence. It's sixty-eight point three miles east of Tuscon and so self-effacing that if you blink you may miss the single, small highway sign that mentions the museum..

Most of the gallery (below) is given over to the Fulton's collection, a hodge-podge of late 19th century impressionism and early 20th century western. But at the top of the stairs there's a room especially for contemporary Native American art. The art in that room, by its self, made the visit worthwhile. And they change the exhibit every few months.

The Museum Foundation (as of 1/29/2014) has an opening for an Executive Director. The position includes a residence and staff car.

All the rattlers I've met were quite beneficent. Least ways, didn't none uv 'em ever bite me. I guess some people need prompting.

Signs in front of employee quarters
directing "others" to picnic area.

This specialty shop is the hub of Dragoon. A soap for EVERY proclivity. Unique items from Africa too. (Just FYI...fetish is usually spelled with one T.)


Saturday, December 14, 2013

There'll Always Be a Next buy a car

The new cars weren't in (see prev post) so I went to Anza-Borrego State Park. I recommend it.

The weather was getting cool November 20th, but still warm enough at mid-day to get by with just a shirt.

Despite the chill in the air, the rocks were quite impressive.


You Are What You Drive

I ask you, is there ANYTHING more compelling than helping a friend pick out a new car? I mean, this is the MOST IMPORTANT thing there IS in this part of the world (where you are what you drive).

Early November found me coming over the hill on highway 78 through Julian to settle gently upon the thin strip of land betwixt highway S21 and the Pacific Ocean. Interstate 5 is less than half a mile east. Known as South Carlsbad State Beach, it provides a convenient staging site for the leap into L.A.

The park is one long road with sites on either side. West-side sites overlooking the water are $35.00. $25.00 puts you about 60 feet east right next to the light-rail and the highway. The bluff-side site opposite mine stayed vacant so I had an unobstructed view.

There's a military base just up the street. I know I shoulda been's not everyone gets their sunsets embellished with helicopters, eh? If I had a nationalistic bone in my body (as seems requisite these days), I'd have likely gotten a boner.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Painted Rock Petroglyph Site, Arizona

Westbound on interstate 8 halfway between Tuscon and Yuma....the lingering light of dusk all but gone.
Night's descent while on a freeway is a REAL medium (source) of annoyance; campsites, difficult enough to spot while navigating a two-lane become totally chimeric on four-with-median.

SUDDENLY!!! Eggbert's headlights ricocheted off a sign: Painted Rock Petroglyph Site...twelve miles. Twelve miles would, I figured, be far enough from DER FREEWAY to provide some quiet. Hah!  seein' flyin' pigs agin, bro?

10:00 p.m. ---  the last of the OHVs trundle in.

For those that enjoy white noise there's a hum. It waxes and wanes - think inorganic beach waves.....all night long and still strong when I left the next morn at 11:59.

Around 6:00 a.m. the whitenoise was joined by the moanings of a large piece of equipment, perhaps an earthmover. This was so invasive the grizzly herd that had gathered to enjoy the odoriferous delights of my breakfast bacon fled.

After completing my ablutions I trod the trail. The diminutive hill is heavily signed with admonishments to: STAY ON THE TRAIL!!! 

Someone had thrown a bag of hamburger buns into the NO WALK zone. I watched as a privatized (it's the latest fad, dontchya know?) skyhook lowered a mountaineer -- succumbed to the monetary enticement -- who, without touching the ground, neatly plucked and dropped it into the industrial size, overflowing with McDonald's wrappers, waste bin. Ah, the amenities of a campground! Small satisfaction comes in knowing the NSA probly got the perps on vid and has them doin' 10 years tuh life fellating cattle.

It's an amazing site!!

Nutrias in Love -- Hunh, hunh!!

Speaking of campgrounds, they charge (money) to camp in the squalid BLM area that encompasses the site ($10.00? - I forget). Placed among widely spaced creosote bushes are picnic-tables-with-fire-ring. In the distance two, count 'em, separate installations of pit toilets grace the skyline.

There is a small area of non-billable BLM land on the left just before the campground (watch for the electrical relay station), but the rest of the surrounding property is Tohono O'Odham reservation.

But hey!! Tha's wha' happenz when yer out on the freeway at dark.

On a historic note the campground signs say the Gila River used to flow nearby. In them daiz thar wuz hundreds, maybe thousands of people and birds, beavers, deer and elk, foxes, otters (excerpted from the sign...not made up) grizzlies and goddess only knows what else roamed the land. Ah bet thar wuz probly even Pass'ng'r Pijjins an' Dodos. Well now, rest reassured you'll have my sympathy as you try to ignore the noise and reek of fertilizer. Ah, the fruits of Manifest Destiny.

Mebbe, like for me, the rock art'll save yuh from suiciding.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Seafaring Gypsy - Theliveaboard

La Bonita - in the center with her blue sail-cover..somewhere in California

I saw mention of Theliveaboard a.k.a. Cynthia Shelton, in Lattitude 38, a free magazine the Bodega Bay harbor-master gave me. I enjoyed her video -- Landlubber to Liveaboard -- about how she got where she is and tho't you might too. Once downloaded, I used Quicktime to run it.

Here's a link to Dock Dorks, her comic book.

And her main website
where you can hire her to talk about her process.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

German RV

My RV suites me perfectly but every now and then I see another that catches my eye. On November 9, I was wending my way toward the west coast when I came across this one at the Pima Air & Space Museum outside Tuscon.

Note the bit of patriotism in the small window above the cab.

Understatement rules -- The Name (above the shotgun door) tastefully aligned with the window aperture.

 For those who don't recognize the coachmaker, it's discreetly written above the driver's door...Woelcke Offroadmobile. Their bespoke conversions are a self-defined class...Deutsch, of course. Here's a link to a list of Mercedes/Sprinter conversion websites.

Daimler AG bought 92% of Chrysler in 1998.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ajo, Arizona - Yes, we have no artists today

THOUSANDS of motorcycles blat through the S-turn that winds around Der Plaza. Hidden behind the backs of the stores, it remains unknown to the majority of passersby. As for the bikers, it's a mystery why they're here. Ajo has a smattering of offerings, but otherwise there's little to see between he'ar and th'ar.

Curley School has been converted into HUD apartments now occupied by, according to a confidential source, transients. Transients in this case is relative since the majority of Ajo-ites are  "seasonal visitors."

Also according to my source, when the artists were encouraged to join the churches, which are starved for members, and thereby also join the community, they formed their own. It was Sunday when I visited and the former school auditorium was being used by a church group. I wandered the halls looking at the art, but, as is often the case with that elusive species, I saw no artists.

Once There Was a Time...yesteryore hotel.
Following Mr. Nose, I rode the road uphill where I chanced into the Ajo Historical Society Museum. It's housed in a used-to-be church. Jose Castillo & Louie Walters were on duty. Both had a tremendous wealth of information and after almost two hours I'd only seen, but thoroughly enjoyed, one room. 

Newly-acquired knowledge seeping from my seams, I staggered into the waning afternoon light. Mr. Walters warned me there were no guarantees as to who would be staffing in the future -- they're all volunteers -- but if their compatriots are even remotely similar, I highly recommend it.

Ajo looks as if it's dying. My informant (in the anthropological sense of the term) said it was like a ghost town when they moved there in the '80s. People bought their homes for cheap and for a few years they congregated after church (you beginning to get the theme?) to enjoy lunch at the country club. Now those folks are dead or dying and the present batch of seasonals aren't wealthy or nonsecular enough to sustain the olde style.

Ajo Historical Society Museum

Mr. Costillo (aforementioned museum staffer) said he thought the day would come when the mine would reopen and the town would revive. He'll be 75 in about six months and has lived his whole life in Ajo. His is the voice of authority. So you'd be well-advised tuh git yer reel estate now. Prices won't be this low again!

Senor Costillo - Age 74 1/2

Senor Walters

Readers' Cove Used Books - Deming, New Mexico

Deming, New Mexico has come a long way from the days when it offered nought much more than several forms. It's gotten bigger too and although it still has a nice small-town feel, there are a number of amenities that appeal to us travelers.

The Visitor Center, where E Spruce St and highway 180/E Pine St merge has wifi. It's password protected (for reasons unknown) but inside the facility the password is out in the open for everyone to see. As of 11/7/13 it was demingvisitor -- all one word and all lowercase.

Readers' Cove Used Books & Gallery has an awesome selection. The current owners bought it two years ago and its eye-catching paint job does what it's supposed the corner of Spruce & Copper. Two blocks from the beaten path.

Las Casuelas Carneceria behind Denny's (Denny's is on E Cedar Street, the south-bound frontage road) has locally-grown, grass-fed ground beef for $6.00/pd. Their  home-made bratwurst and Mexican sausages are excellent.

Although the only thing organic available at Peppers Supermarket was tomatoes, the selection, wide-spaced aisles and general ambiance is so much more pleasant only a fool would shop anywhere else. It's a tad out of the way though so gird yer loins...or whatever. Take S Gold St (Which becomes Columbus Rd) about two miles south (from highway 180) toward Columbus. Watch for the Snappy Mart on the right as you approach the junction with E Florida St. On the SE corner is a large Chevron station. Turn left onto E Florida and it's about 200 feet on the right. The Dona Maria corn tortillas are superb. Of course, they have to be fried until crisp to reach their full potential.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

More than just Worldfamous Chili

Hatch, New Mexico is, of course, the chili capitol of the world. But I had a sneaky suspicion there was more. So when highway 26 deadended at the center of town instead of going right the way everybody ELSE was going I went left. A few blocks later the library hoved into view.

Always in need of reading matter, I strolled in to see what they have to offer. I was surprised at how comfy the place is. I'm not sure if it's the light or what, but there's a Wilkommen air to the place.
Ms. Lisa Neal - Librarian Extraordinaire

Lisa Neal greeted me from behind the counter and met my inquiry about books for sale with an enthusiastic "Yes!" When I told her my interests she took me to the back room. There, sequestered, while awaiting disposition, were the textbooks. I mentioned anthropology and she surprised me by pointing to three anthologies...which I bought.

Later, at a table where a large coffee-table book on Guagan provided cover for my eavesdropping. Over the next thirty  minutes she listened to a patron's difficulties with her teenage son (and gave advice on the benefits of a rollcage). She helped several youngsters find materials for a research paper for school while accepting returns and issuing a library card. During this time a lively discussion was going on between two patrons about the politics of the community volley ball teams. The place is the hub of the town!

Intrigued, I began my interrogation about how she'd come to be all things to everyone. She allowed that having five children, several of which were now teenagers, helped hone her skills.

She was relatively new to the job having started in January of 2013 when she began by rearranging the entire place. In the 1920s it had been a warehouse with huge doors (recently refinished) that slide on metal tracks and a floor scale for weighing stuff.

The rearranging took advantage of the large windows so there's now enough natural light that you almost don't need artificial.

                     Eggbert slumming....sans hubcaps.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Priest's Hole - John Day River, Oregon

Dennis Prince (see Kindness of Strangers) alerted me to Priest's Hole. If he hadn't, I doubt I'd have noticed the small sign at the turnoff. It's a beautiful spot and being Lucky Herrmann, the most beautiful campspot was available. But they're all good. And there's even a pit toilet.

Nearing Camp

If you backtrack from the pit toilet to the turnoff that goes "upriver," and go maybe about 1/4 mile (at the most) there's a turn to the right that goes down through the trees as seen in the photo above and below. 

Shielded From View


Just beyond the trees is the "landing" from which I took the next few pictures. It's big enough for a couple of medium-size rigs. 

View at Camp

Lucky Herrmann

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Kindness of Strangers - Madras, Oregon

Dark was almooossst upon us when I got to Madras, but it sure was nice to be away from those dang trees!! As I drove through I couldn't help but notice the model T; the station's lights lit Dennis Prince and his car like a stage. He was gassing up in preparation for a gathering; eight of 'em were headed into the Steen's Mountain Wilderness in their "rides."

Dennis called his vehicle's patina: "Chicken Coop." But it's rustic appearance goes well with the many accoutrements lashed to the runningboads. That's a fully stocked cookbox just back of the driver's door.

When I asked about a place to camp he readily gave directions to the open land a few miles outside town. And when I mentioned my plan to follow the John Day River he encouraged me to stop at Priest's Hole. It turned out to be a high point of the trip! (see next post)

Following Dennis's directions I found a promontory overlooking Madras with lots of stars. And in the morning I had a magnificent, threehundredandsixtydegree view with nary a tree in sight.

The main streets of Madras are one way. Near the south end where they come together is Prince's Automotive. Sure enough, one and the same. Over 40 years in Madras.

Thank you Dennis!!

Private Property Guard near Camp Sherman, Oregon

Art in the wild!!

Blue balls

Blue eyebrows

Creeped Out at Mt. Jefferson, Oregon

It was while attending the Cotati, California Accordion Fest that someone said Dynamo donuts in Portland was WAAYYYYYY better than Voodoo Donuts. That was all I needed to hear.

The forest grew increasingly dense as I wended my way. I prefer the desert, but tho't it'd be a nice change of pace being in the woods. Then it rained (Rain!!) and the trees, by now denser than ever, acquired an Edgar-Allen-Poe ominosity. I recognized the symptoms: ah had the heebie-jeebies!!!  

The sun wuz wukkin' hits way t'ward duh horiz'n whin duh dirt road 'peared (right on time). Five miles later ah beginned tuh wonder, but yea olde intuition bellowed "Keep goingk!" I rounded a curve, the forest opened and there (as seen in previous post Metolius Headwaters) was Mt. Jefferson, only ALOT closer!!

At the top was a parking lot.

I went back down about a mile to a cubbyhole that Eggbert fit into perfectly.

The trees were big.

The next day I went over the mountain to the eastern steppes where I could see more than 50 feet. My claustrophobia disappeared. Guess what? Dynamo Donuts is in San Francisco.

Headwaters of the Metolius River, Oregon

Finally, after 20 minutes of blocking the early-morning sun, I'm set!

I often sit outside and put the netbook inside, where the front passenger seat was. I'm off to an early start this morn, -- 10:00 a.m. -- and the sun's angle was juuuuust right to come through the side window, reflect off the rearview mirror and into my eyes. Anyone else'd have tho't to move the mirror, but, being German, as I've noted before, the obvious eludes. Now, after the sun moved on, I'm trying again...with the leftovers from last night's beer (I usually only drink half) and a fly swatter (cows = cowshit = flies!!).

Metolius Headwaters - Mt Jefferson in the center on horizon

It's uncanny! After following Mr. Nose through several unmarked turns I came to a sign that read: Candle Creek Campground (CG). With no mention of mileage or direction, I was relieved when it appeared after about ten minutes. I cruised all 12 sites, a number of which are bounded by the raging and noisy torrents, even in late summer, of the Metolius. But I REALLY don't like staying in campgrounds (cg) and after sitting on the bank and absorbing its rant (Metolius is more than a babbling brook), I trundled on.

There are some placid spots

Not long after exiting the cg I noticed a dirt track I missed on my way in. It went back and went back and kept going. So did I. Eventually it reached the end....right next to...Candle Creek!  And it's a full-fledged, rip-snortin' li'l sucker too.

From the hatchery bridge - the Metolius

Its edges are overgrown with brush making it hard to get to, but I found a spot where I think I can (muttered with that intransigent optimism gleaned from The Little Engine That Could).

One nice thing...there's been a fire and I can see Eggbert from a distance. Thus, not so much chance of getting lost (dang trees!!).

There's a hill that affords a splendid view of Mt. Jefferson and its tattered mantle of snow. A pair of chipmunks stopped by to see if I had any ice for their martinis. (It was that time of day, after all.)

I was almost resigned to the C.G. when I left it. I've never gotten used to how it happens every evening. But, as per usual, home, this spot, was awaiting.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Whispering Pines Motel & Market

One of the great things about aimless wandering is having all the time in the world. So when Sheila began telling me about her transition from corporate consultant to Motel Proprietress, I got out the half-a-beer I'd saved from the evening before and settled in.

Her folks were business turnaround specialists; thus, when she found herself job hunting in Portland she decided to follow the family tradition.

At the corner of highway 138 and 97, Whispering Pines Motel & Market is bounded by National Forest and is the nearest accommodations (and store) to the north entrance to Crater Lake National Park. It's also a great staging site for the snow parks (snowmobiling) between Klamath Falls and Bend. 

Can opener!!!

And there's Cat. As gracious as any host you'd ever want to meet, his fur's as soft as a powerpuff! I'll warn yuh tho', he's a tough negotiator when it comes to photo royalties.

The New York strip steaks are superb! And don't forget the Zotz!!!


Monday, September 2, 2013

Marilyn Hoffman Leaps into Reality

non-representation reality, no less.

Is it an intrinsic element of being an artist that enables them to embrace change? Where do they find the Courage to Create?

After one conversation, albeit lengthy (is there any other kind with MFH?), Marilyn Hoffman leapt from the cliff of abstraction  and threw herself headlong into non-representation. And it was/is sublime.

You'll have to go by and visit her to see it. I was so startled I forgot to take photos. Her work is in The Main Street Artists Gallery and in the  Capitol Arts Gallery, both in Quincy, CA. Her contact info is available at each.

The one she's holding is recent, but her newest is a masterpiece!!!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Quincy - Northern California Art Destination

Quincy is walkable. No crowds, nice stuff, two galleries, a theater, numerous restaurants and several coffee shops. Lots of choices and all easily accessible.

Main Street Artists Gallery has 30+ artists some of which do abstract work. ( !!! ). That's Johanna Griggs on the left with Kathy Peters nearer the door. Ms. Griggs' former husband (deceased) is represented by the gallery and Ms. Peters is a patron (not an artist).

Capitol Arts Gallery (CAG) is directly across from the county courthouse. It's yellow "eyebrows" also help identify it. There was a sandwich sign on the sidewalk earlier in the day, but as you can see, they normally go incognito. CAG represents over 40 artists.

Both galleries participate in the First Friday art event each month.

There's a natural foods grocery in the center of downtown too.

Over the hill about a mile in East Quincy is Papa's Donuts. I can recommend the Bavarian Cream and Apple Fritters. They also have wifi, albeit password-protected.