Friday, April 29, 2016

Painted Desert Project - Pumphouse

Youtube Vid About Chip Thomas


How it came to be


An Upload on Chip Thomas's Youtube Channel
             (uploaded Nov 13, 2017)

Beware the ditch at the bottom of the hill.

That poster is *adhered.* It's fully-seated in the grout lines. As a collector, my ambivalence was intense; maybe with time I COULD get it off. I consoled myself with a quote from my therapist, "Handling ambivalence is a sign of maturity."

Notice the word hor (lined through) between pump and house.


Above: I spent some time driving around Tuba City and asking folks, but couldn't find the work mentioned: Step on JR's House. 


N 35.95443 degrees W 111.39668 degrees

For those who prefer feet:

N 35 degrees 57.266' W 111 degrees 23.800'

For them what uses odometer:

About 6.5 miles N of Cameron on east side of highway 89. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Ah Well

Fortunately, the Flagstaff library is in a residential area so when I turned in front of the oncoming truck he was going slow and able to brake. There was a noteworthy scuff on the bumper of the State Parks Ram 2500, but he, the Parks Supervisor, was fine.

All bandaged up, but we won't be getting out that way anymore.

Takes a licking and STILL runs down the freeway just fine. We're gonna have to do a little body-work though. The rear fender flange rubs the tire on the bumps.

I'm a tad shook, but otherwise okay.  

At least it isn't snowing yet. They were predicting snow down to the 7,000 foot level for this evening, but for now...check out that sunshine! 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Trees! or Old Fool!

There was a time when I'd lope off into the woods, hike all day and come back to the car at sunset. Once, in the ponderosa and cinder fields near Bend, Oregon, I discovered I'd gone in a circle. Another time in the piney woods near Los Alamos, I came to a promontory overlooking  some hills and mesas I didn't recognize. There was a momentary sense of panic, but I ignored it. I arrived just as the sun was sinking.

In my youth I traipsed the high, thin trails of the Salmon River Wilderness (now credited to Frank Church). One time though, when camped near a road, I went to the creek about 300 feet away to get water. Returning, I was surprised when I came out on the road, I thought I was goig back to camp. The road was straight and closely bounded by very same-looking trees, I had no idea which way camp was. It was getting dark and the camp wasn't right on the road. I had a 50-50 chance.  

At some point I realized my luck had run out and got a GPS. Of course, electronics come with the requirement of carrying an extra set of batteries...maybe even TWO sets. And if I'm gonna carry something, I might as well take a flashlight, rain poncho and some water. I keep a pack with all this stuff, including the kitchen sink, ready to go.

But there's nothing lik an *old* fool. And so, every now and then I think I'll just follow the road/trail a little ways and see where it goes. Each time I've gotten lost. This time, in the pinyon-juniper west of Cameron, Arizona, I was surprised at how quickly the panic set in. It was interesting, much different from the deliberations on self-delivery that sometimes accompany tho'ts of age and infirmity. It's a matter of control, I surmised.

As I strolled along, checking to see if I was getting thirsty yet, I recalled an essay in High Country News (great magazine!!) by a guy who lived in Alaska. He told of how whenever the party conversation waned he'd whup out his "I'm from Alaska!" and everyone'd be awestruck. He acknowledged how pretty it is, but said he never ventured far from the bike path. He had no interest in encountering grizzlies, wolves or other predators; he was, he said, perfectly content to enjoy it from the safety of the street. 

My encounters with wildlife have always been numinous, but I've never gotten over the time I had to climb down a mountain to get to the creek at the bottom. It's been nearly fifty years and to this day "Ah *alwayz* filz up muh jugs."

I soon found the road I'd driven in on. I carefully marked the two-track I'd come down and went in the direction I thought likely. Luck was with me. 

Upon arrival I paid obesience to the GPS...and promised I'd never go off and leave it again. 

Old fool!

Eggbert hidden by trees...

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Gray Mountain, Arizona

At the south end of Gray Mountain on the east side there're four tanks. They're a canvas that changes regularly. 













THE EAST-END (the image above is on the "front" of the shack at right)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


I had to make a second run. As I was exiting the car, Mme Mandette was strolling by with Josephine, the dog. She and her husband have been there 38 years. They had a gallery in New York, but commuting was too tedious. When they came there was nothing.

Anderson-Mandette Gallery. Anderson is her husband. He's from Phoenix; she's from France...Bordeaux, I think she said. The gallery is in one of the Old High School buildings.

A raku mask by Mme. Mandette

Mme Mandette...with watercolor cat picture. The title of the red book under its paw is Law.

Some things found in one of the other buildings (of the old school)

Early Anxieties?

This small piece is about 3 inches tall and five wide.

Cover for the art issue of Trailer Life?

This one had its own title. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Sycamore Canyon, Cottonwood, Arizona

Nearly every direction out of Cottonwood, Arizona leads to public land. 

Sycamore Creek (shown) flows into the Verde River a 1/2 mile to the left

The Arizona Central runs out of Clarkdale and goes to Verde Canyon. On its way it passes near the road to Sycamore Canyon. 

I was smitten by this fuzzy, purple-flowered bush...

Thursday, April 14, 2016


There were times on acid when the soughing of trees told me of things never imagined. Over the decades I've come to enjoy the near-silent whispers of the grasses. But as the sun moves northward and higher in the sky, I sometimes wish there were one or two about.

Although it was a bit early, I thought to brandish the martini shaker. The cup is about a 6-ouncer, by Homer Laughlin the makers of Fiestaware (closeup here -- scroll to end).

With some adjustments it might double as a water collector.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Jerome: There Be Artists

I'd tried several times to make the "Expedition" from Williams to Jerome via Perkinsville. Each time it was either raining or had just. And each time, we, Eggbert & I, tentatively dribbled our toes in the gumbo at the end of the pavement hoping, each time, it might have magically hardened. This time -- it was Wednesday -- rain wasn't forecast until Friday. Unfortunately, it came a bit early. 

10 miles north of Jerome we hunkered down. Our only misgivings were that Thursday had been bath day and we now only had two gallons of water. Fortunately, Eggbert doesn't drink much.

Typical Spring weather...there was some sleet, a couple of tornadoes. Around 2 the sun came out. I hiked around and by the time I got back, it was dry enough to trundle on (said with a nod to Ramble On by Led Hindenburg). 

Phew! Now that we got all THAT out of the way. Here's Jerome.

The Rear Entrance

The Burbs

The Cat Patch

The Art Jag

Monday, April 11, 2016

Stove Stuff

The question came up (in conversation) the other day about whether I cook outdoors. Below is how it frequently happens; I was surprised at how much fuel I save by using Eggbert as a windblock.

Note re-purposed Avengers lunchbox now doing duty as a medicine cabinet (under platform).

It's a Coleman Triton with the piezo-igniter. The knobs aren't screwed on and within the first week one disappeared. When I wrote and complained, they sent a whole new stove.

While perusing their $150.00 model I noticed they'd done away with the side windscreens and added circular ones around the burner. I copied the idea using 5-inch tin.  

This $13.00 fuel filter from Sportsmans' Warehouse eliminated the need for ANY downstream cleaning.

Silverware Storage (clarinet case)

I'm slowly replacing the stainless with silverplate


Saturday, April 9, 2016

A Poem

Poetry has always intrigued me....on principle. But it's rare to find one that *moves* me.

This one 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Super-charged Trike

The silver tank to the right and above the rear fender is the cooling fluid for the supercharger. (Super-charger!) They were pulling a matching trailer.

I've read other traveler's accounts of how things only happen when you travel alone; I wonder.

I took an exit off I-40 to check on a boondocking spot. When I got there I noticed another road and followed it. After a while an anthropology professor from Dine College stopped and said it went to Navajo. It turned out it came in the back way past the Vendor Village where Native Americans sell crafts. 

I found a nice bracelet and he pointed out where the water is. While getting water the trike pulled in. Although I'm not a trike fan, the folks who drive them are sometimes interesting. So I sidled up, made complimentary noises and got this great picture. 

I forgot to ask how many years they've been together, but based on those grins I'd surmise not more than a week. The silver plaque below the headlight read "Las Vegas Trikes." They were on their way back to Missouri.