Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bishop Creek - Outside Bishop, CA

I try and find a quiet hidey-hole on holiday weekends. This last one found me up a creek, Bishop it wuz. It was there I chanced upon an American Conservation Experience (ACE) group, an offshoot of the Conservation Corp. This outfit is based in Santa Cruz but are expanding into Utah.

There were a couple of females too. I'd come through in the morning and my "Good Morning!" was echoed with enthusiasm.

It was well into the afternoon when I returned and I was impressed by how much everyone'd accomplished. They get a stipend -- a token amount that lets the bureaucrats say the workers are paid -- & room and board. Their enthusiasm and humor put a lie to all what the media sez about "kids."

Tyler Brea, Ryan Bourgart and Mark Van Haltern were justifiably satisfied with the steps they built down to the creek. I think the CCC folks (circa 1935) would've been too.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Churchill County Museum - Fallon, Nevada

Ms. Paulie Alles & Cindy Loper

The Friends of Fallon Public Library have a store on the corner on the other side of the empty lot next door to the main facility. It's the best find since The Archives in La Grande, Oregon. Ed Williams was presiding when I arrived and generously offered anecdotes and info about the town. Throughout, he encouraged me to visit the Churchill County Museum just down the street. So I did.

Inside are some of the finest collections I've ever seen...and that includes the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago & the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

The Native American artifacts are amazing! And after living in the SW for over 30 years I know amazing when I see it.

Be sure and ask about the vehicles display. It's in a separate building without signage, but easily accessible. Not pictured here are the 1908 Oldsmobile, an early model T and more.

Most of all I enjoyed talking with Ms. Paulie Alles and Museum Assistant Ms. Cindy Loper. These two women (Top photo - Ms. Alles in red.) comprise an incomparable team that gave me to feel like a valued customer.

Ms. Alles kindly signed her extraordinary photographs/notecards of Slot Canyon and Fly Geyser. I wasn't familiar with Fly Geyser, but have seen many images of Slot Canyon. And Ms. Alles' are the best! (Ms. Alles drove semis over-the road before "retiring." She and her husband now travel the west showing their vintage trucks. She also runs an RV rental business catering to Burning Man attendees. I was told by a waitress she volunteers at several of the local senior centers.)  Please give them my regards.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

SITE Santa Fe through May 19, 2013

Three concurrent exhibits run through May 19, 2013. Admission is free on Fridays to New Mexicans.

Pictures don't EVEN begin to do justice. Word (rumor, not the software) has it that most of the acclaim for the exhibit is based in nostalgia...the way olde people like music they heard as children. The criticism I heard came (was lobbed) from the "It's sssOOOooo passe and pretentious" side of the fence.

The four images below are from Linda Mary Montano's exhibit titled: Always Creative.

More of Linda Mary Montano's....

The Time mirrors are part of the exhibit: Mungo Thomson: Time, People, Money, Crickets

Inside the boxes were edited copies of PEOPLE magazine with all the peoples' faces removed. Few seemed to realize they were free for the taking. I've never cared for PEOPLE magazine, let alone one with faces edited out.

I missed the seventies (and the eighties too, for that matter). I heard it was tough times, but I think having been oblivious enabled me to enjoy these exhibits. Rather than passe, I thought some of them, like the forest of phalli (below), refreshingly playful. 


My fav was the melting ice with microphones. The reverb echoed the lyrics of Simon & Garfunkel's 1964 hit. 

Devin Kovach, staff, moves ice toward middle. It WANTS to be near the edge.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

El Morro, New Mexico - Arts Destination Extraordinaire!!

This week I ventured over to El Morro, a hamlet a couple miles West of Inscription Rock. This is my third trip to El Morro and each visit has reinforced my enthusiasm.

Trading Post & Coffee Shop/Roaster

A mere 300 feet long, the "town" has a Trading Post/coffee roaster, a restaurant, an r.v. park, a feed supply store and a storage-shed sales lot.  The Trading Post features work by local artisans some of whom are from the Alamo (Navajo) Reservation. Their coffee is also excellent.

Most amazing is the Art Gallery in the old school building.

Yew cain't b'lieve
evrythang yuh read. The sign
sez OPEN but hit whar CLOSED.

The Gallery serves as the community center and headquarters for the El Morro Arts Council. The building does duty as a performance space for plays, music, arts classes, workshops and other community meetings and gatherings. The Council's quarterly newsletter has the latest.

The Chain of Craters Backcountry Byway (and points North) offer myriad opportunities for dispersed camping. The "soil" here is powdered ash. Jumbles of (still) uneroded basalt add to the topographical diversity. The photo below was taken near the junction in the higher regions of Zuni Canyon Rd.

75 miles (give or take) NW of El Malpais approx 8,000 ft elev.