Wednesday, May 31, 2017

One more Sunrise - Redux

I got most of the cleaning and washing out of the way yesterday in the storm.
It was a kind of a sad day. I thought I'd have to leave today. But when I asked I was allowed to head off early in the morning tomorrow so I would have the sun at my back all the way down. If I leave when I say I will. I should pretty well make it way before noon.
So today is a "waste not want not" day!
I actually ran into the archaeologist, a gentleman that I had somehow managed not to bump into the whole trip. He was there with three other of the research types taking a crew of newbies around the park. I asked him where the best place would be to find pot shards on the ground. He told me I had been there. It was among the petroglyphs that I found. I was given permission to wander among them.....

It was amateur archaeologist died and gone to heaven!

I have to do all my reading again, but I believe I have culture spanning modern to archaic. I have all colors all shapes all sizes. And each one evoked an audible gasp!

The day was so perfect for it! Overcast threatening rain And cool. I was able to hike
along, oblivious to time, and spent about two and a half hours looking down, all by myself.

Exciting thing number one about not stealing the rocks: Taking pictures is not heavy at all!

I must say I was surprised to find I had taken less than 200 shots!

Not so exciting thing number one about not stealing the rocks:  Bending over in the dry weather with a few too many aspirin in your bloodstream can cause a nosebleed!

I had to pinch my nose and kick things with my feet.  Photo was to see what needed cleaning before going into public.
Undaunted I continued, although there is a small pile of potsherds with a little bit of bloody drips next to it... I ventured on.
The above cache was so amazingly diverse, ridiculously beautiful and laid out so as to produce heart-attacks to novices, I almost wondered if the archaeologists sort of mess with the new kids and do this now and then to blow their minds.  It certainly worked for me. THIS IS EXACTLY how I found them!  I started watching for beautiful, small colorful petrified wood flakes.  Not naturally occurring, and when I saw a LOT, almost without fail, there was pottery.
MY THEORY is that the manufacturing spots of points and such near petroglyphs were traditional and folks either used the same spot as dumps for the broken pots or the guys broke their dishwear at an unusually rapid rate!

I had originally thought of taking a walk from the teepees to Blue Mesa, but the sun has come out so it is warming up and the cat and I have had a very nice little snooze. His reward for being such a good guy was a little jaunt on the patio to scare off the birds who are nesting above us. I got to watch a cat who has no clue what outside is freaked out that the wind is blowing his fur.
It's midday, I have to go gas up the car because the plan is to go via the South Route tomorrow morning. That will let me have one long run through the park and out past some of those rocks that I coveted outside the park.
I seem to have bread, pickle relish and a can of tuna fish to pretty much show for all that's left of my groceries. Perfect timing and less to haul home.
 I'm going to post this now so I get something up today and tomorrow I will post from home 😖.
Things will be updated when I have a little more free Wi-Fi, but I have tried my best to keep you informed as I go.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

One More Sunrise To Go...

This is not very entertaining to you all, but this is sort of the symbol of my stay. It's a long neck rope with Mesa Verde written on it. Kip says it was the first job he had with the parks. At the end are the two keys: one to the Casita, and one to the gates to get out or in after dark. It is in my door lock all the time or around my neck when I leave. It is very important they put the fear of God into you about this device. Most of the doors have automatic latches so once you are out there you are there. If I were to forget my keys and forget to unlock it in the middle of the night there's nobody here to help me. 
I am locked in.
 I love it that way... And all this ends when May does.

I have some demos all planned for today and started packing - what goes home dirty, what has to be washed before I leave, etcetera. I am going to see if I can make arrangements to depart at dawn's early crack on the 1st so that I may have a trip away from the Sun. It was awful going home, but much easier leaving very early and getting in mid-day.
I believe I heard Kip say that the new artist will be coming on an airplane around 1 that gives me the morning plus four hours drive from Phoenix... Unless it is Flagstaff... still, I can be home by the time she gets here if I did it I would have time to put everything in order take one quick walk and be gone... But where to turn in keys.

Demoed at PDI in spite of myself.  I met a new ranger.  ACTUAL Ranger.  Cute as all get out.  Full of enthusiasm. I found she started as volunteer at 18. (I actually met her over the weekend as her parents were dropping her off) Things change greatly this week.  
It seems the"seasonals" and interns area all starting work. 
MANY activities on the agenda for June... waaa.  BUT I had such perfect weather, my kitty will never be the same.  I will wallow more tomorrow..

DRAT!  The month of June is way more action packed!  Look, I even spotted the horses coming back into the park for the Summer!

BUT if I have to go  out on a sunset, this was pretty spectacular:

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day

I gave up on making art!  I was coaxed into a necessary hike to say I had been here.
I made it to sleep about 9:30 and when kitty said sun up, I got up.
I looked through the stacks of hikes that were in the room and Martha's Butte was short enough, daring just a bit and qualified as an adventure so I hit the trail just about park opening.
En route I saw my ONE AND ONLY BOBCAT!!!  Camera was not ready but it was very dramatic.
I looked ahead to see a pronghorn racing to my left and noticed a brown boxy shape, seriously like a massive THINGY, dark brown, no neck, ears flat, racing across a gully to some eroded rocks.  Size color shape... this was IT!  No face, but some things are just for the memories.
The pronghorn was a handsome guy who stood in the typical Pronghorn-stare until I left.  Nice with the sun behind him.

Down the road a bit, his girlfriend was looking stunning and doing a fashion  shoot with me!  Look at those gams!

She went off into the beautiful scenery and then decided she would not be intimidated by me, so she just crossed the road, right in front of me, for better scenery, me snapping all the way!

The map was a topo map and I KNOW what it all means, but one of the very cool aspects of the park is that going off the beaten track is encouraged, but you are OFF the track.  It is for people who have a respect for the fun of hiking and off spring of.. and actual boy-scouts etc!
I was all alone out there and I knew if I were to trip and die, I would be found very soon, the footprints were dense... and it was fun looking at the animal trails too!
This is that amazing spiral (sipapu as I used to call it.. I think) that people flock to for solstices.  It is rather solitaire, making it very noble and unique.  Only a couple of glyphs nearby so it is a very important spot. (EDITED when I got home.... sad to say, my feeble body did not make the full walk around.  THIS LINK to someone else's trek is GREAT and shows what another 20 minutes of stamina can find!)
Once arrived, I did my 10 second selfie:

I guess it was about an hour.  Normal folk might do it faster or longer with more side trips but I was so proud!

I got back to my car and there was something on the hood.....
It looked like a mylar balloon had tangled in my windshield wipers...
On closer inspection, I found a gift from Dennis (who, with his wife JoLynn, had entertained us last Wednesday in great style!) of a specific LEGAL "souvenir" I was looking for as a gift for someone else.  There is was.  The ENTIRE empty park and he drove by and dropped it off for me.

Two more days.


Back to my report...
As I drove to the bottom of the park looking for Dennis who apparently turned around and came back or something... missed him.... I headed out to Holbrook. I  needed to replace a few items for the next visitor in the casita and was completely out of any food.  I could be tided over at the $$ Store, so I went off looking for rocks again, but did not stop and come back.  I found a little outcrop of yellow and red, much more interesting stones and brought them back too.
Took a full hour nap upon my return and ache and am way stiffer than I wish I was.  But I did it!
Needed  few photo copies to make my reproductions.  I ran out of Eagles, pronghorn, roadrunner, and bobcats!  Of course everything in the park is shut down.  People with the power are off and working and those left behind are below pay-grade!

So, I will make my tuna sandwiches, prep things for tomorrow and have everything set for an early scouting mission... short walk again, trip up here to get copies and then TWO episodes of demos at the PDI.  I am tired in such a good way today!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Holiday Weekend Pt 2

Woke up with mysterious belly ailment.  I did not feel bad, but spent the day (happily unsurprised) waiting for a second explosion!
But I had worked so hard on a few duplicates and was ready with a new one and it did not work.  I forgot the demo... why?? I do this all the time!?!?!
I took forever drawing a new head to paint from scratch.
It was old 43 the ram, again.
I always say, don't demo unless you KNOW how it will turn out. I try to look like a genius in front of people, and do all my experiments at home.  Although this actually was the fourth try, one first day demo, the original big one, the sketch I left at home, then this, I always feel like I will fall on my face.  It was a little slower but actually there was a lot more spontaneity in the piece!
It happened.  It was good, but have very little to show for it.  I was talking a lot and meeting people.
I think I will look at the cars parking at the PDI and see if it gets busy.  I am not a 7 hour a day worker any more...

Just loading in tonight to keep myself on track.  I don't remember even taking photos... so you have none!... (well this:

If I cheer up, I may spend a little time tomorrow seeing if I forgot anything...
OH...Not only did  I meet the guy from Central City last weekend, TODAY I met a guy from Catalina! Another place nobody can possibly be from!!!
So that was cool...

Demo Day for Holiday Weekend, pt1

I had it explained that this weekend is not going to be all that I figured.
It seems as though Tuesday will probably be the big day.  That is when kids are all out of school and families begin long vacations. This is the kind of place that usually is your first stop on a prolonged travel. Although this is a long weekend that would allow slightly longer trips, the Big Crush will probably not be for a few days. Kind of makes no sense but these people know more than me.

It was not what you would call either profitable nor productive, but I did get some entertaining interest from a couple from Germany who thought they might want a portrait. The logistics have yet to be determined, but the desire was there! It's a little like what they say about golf: any day golfing is better than whatever the heck the opposite is. And this is so much better than what the opposite is.
So this is the summary of the whole day:

The top is a partial piece from the morning visitors, two mule deer. The bottom 2 are transfer demos. You can see, why this process is not exactly straightforward....
The top one you can see is after touch up. It initially had no beak, no tail and a chunk of its back was gone, but I went in with my tiny little brush and repaired him.
The bottom shows how it looks when I peel the paper off...ugh
My posts of late have not been quite as lavish, as I have actually been able to avoid going into the visitor's centers for Wi-Fi! Do we call this a victory that I have given up on my little computer? Or do we just call it too lazy to drive the extra 15 minutes up to an hour?
I ended the day with a run down to the teepees for Sunset. I never had managed to do that.

It was definitely worth it. Photos were in the real camera, however and I'm not sure if any one sums it up. But it was quite spectacular.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Science Experiments

Having plenty of enthusiasm for finishing #43, I tried a seemingly elegant way to stabilize my sandstone from parts up and down route 66 and 180, Dismal failure.. so I spent the AM scrubbing off the "transparent" surface, and went for a simple fixative to see what would happen.  I prepped some up to demo my transfer method during the long weekend.  
Then went hunting reference for paintings... rocks or paper?  My hyper kicked in... Below are the rocks in progress and my experiment on paper for a painting... ONE of hundreds I have in mind.  NEVER make a dent in 6 days.

I have a beautiful idea for the scene of the four deer I caught on camera last week from the casita.  The stripes are the first round of dawn out here.  Very often cloudless and there is an amazing transfer of color from dark at the top and gold at the bottom.  So that is coming...
Here is a drawing for the big piece I think may wait, as the experiment above is so perfect for another, more intimate but similar piece...
As a reward for all the work... and how I felt I had wasted a really BEAUTIFUL day, I walked across to find the WiFi working like a champ at PDI!  
While typing, four more unfinished projects hit me.... back across and hopefully, to the PDVC to get a couple of prints made for my rocks of the ground squirrel and ram....
I can paint when I get home, but I really sort of hate it when my brain goes into overdrive here!  I can paint in the dark... the scene from the patio is perfect!  The weather is PERFECT...

Does NO ONE want to adopt a permanent Artist In Residence to live and work for them?  Somewhere that you can open your windows from June through September???
Forgot this... Up way too late, nearly counted on tomorrow, the first experiment was successful.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Looking for Rocks

I am thinking of the long weekend.  I had so much fun with people on Wednesday that I think rock art is a great demo idea.  Maybe a few decals, if I have enough painted to get some laser prints made.  It is a pretty fun show and tell.  The people are intrigued and learn a craft project.
So, I have decided to go south.  I took my usual hour to drive to the south entry and am going to wander the road toward Holbrook, looking for good sandstone, local stuff, that I can work on.
(YOU HAVE NO IDEA how beautiful the litter of sandstones on the ground HERE are!  I have never had to resist so hard!)
Later.  I had a little jaunt up 180, and got to see the white horses again but unimpressed by the rock options.
Like New Mexico, the stones are very delicate (at least the easily found ones right off the road.)
The project has become trying to figure how to seal them so they don't crumble and still look like the dry colorful rocks of the area.
One would not believe it, but I had a very long day and as it is 3:30, I am pretty sure the rest of it will be full or projects.  Did not feel great today.  I may try to just walk, if the wind does not blow me away,  I don't LOOK like I am obsessing, but I have so many projects in my head (and trying not to think of the fact that this is my last Thursday in the park.

I do not like that...
But in years gone by, artists only got two weeks, so I will dive in and make this last 7 days look like the  BEST part of the project!
THEN cry...

Much later, I found myself, as is my habit, working at night, not in the demo spaces. The initial rock plan, to hold the soft pieces together with "transparent" acrylic gesso had to be completely washed off. New idea later.
But I was energetic so I finished my ram....
I hate a blog without pictures....

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Big Party!

I decided I would be seen.
I loaded my rocks and goodies and walked over to see the doings at PDI.   The day was warm (they started calling it hot) and morning had no wind so I set up on the outside patio.  With lots of rocks holding things down, I had no problems.

It was such fun!  I met an actual person FROM Central City Co.  Nobody actually is from there!  We talked about the good old days before casinos!  There were Chinese, German and possibly Belgian folk and unusually a few non-English speakers, but lots of Coloradoans.  Felt like old home week.

I finished my little ground squirrel pretty quick.  Smaller than usual pieces because the big rocks are still at home.  OR in the suitcase all wrapped and tagged and unsold!

I even made a lot of progress on good old #43!
Although I was not there a long time, I was pretty tired out.  The early mornings are not for me.  I got up again, a bit too late to make it to my deadline on Friday but I keep trying.

The dust and wind finally did me in at the PDI, but I went home and with a dinner party pending, found I was actively doing a LOT of stuff and nearly didn't get there in time.  MOSTLY because the internet was a total pain all day.

I met up with Suzy and Steve, and Jim and Annie and a couple visiting Suzy and Steve and a neighbor in the park at the mobile home of my favorite ViP Dennis and his ViP wife,  Jo Lynne.

They fed us.  
MY oh, my did they feed us!! Steak and mushrooms with onions, big salad and baked potatoes!  We fought the wind, but honestly, I am pretty immune to the wind.  Perhaps the picture of my hair expanding around me, and ending in my meal could be disconcerting to the observer, but for some reason, it seems like the park, playing and hugging me... seriously, I feel embraced.

I was excited to bring the cookies my client had donated to the trip that I PROMISED I would save for pot-luck donation and not snarf all by myself!  We adjourned in to their luxury land yacht (which reminded me so much of my Mom and her husband, Tom's traveling home) and chatted until after 8!  Great company and elegant hosts!

My hostess gift was a small print (perfect for decor on the road) of the drawing I made the night before.

PROBABLY part of why I am not doing mornings so well.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Dawn...Day Two.

I am finding it is easier to blog as I find WiFi.  So here it is noon and the day is OVER!!
I tried taking the Thing's advice and when he got to digging holes under my head and the stars stopped twinkling, I decided to try this dawn thing again.
No deer today.  No lovely clouds so just the stripes of red turning from blue.
I brewed a pot to fill my mug and the sun was clearing the horizon as I jumped into the car.

I had never seen thelight from the East before.   I had determined that my residency was going to be about using all of the resources (well, not the extreme or terribly physical ones) that I could avail myself of and I had 12 hours alone with the place no other travelers had.

I have an unhappy (well, not so much as far as sleeping goes) report.  The Tee Pees are not exciting in the morning.  Not at all!  they are shadowed and gray and not the ever changing and radiant source of inspiration I have come to love.  I was not awe-struck... and I tried... but I do believe if I were a bit more fit, I would recommend others to see what happened in Blue Mesa and leave so you could see the sun paint the landscape.

But seriously, I was still hunting my wildlife.
Ravens had a couple of conventions in very odd places, just to defy me.  Bunnies were there but not too abundant, and I spied 5 pronghorn through out, but I finally found my Jacks!!
Not the BEST ref but they were out and about and with some editing, clear and usable shots!!
Also a great little ground squirrel on a rock, and I have already started a very small rock art for demo purposes of him.

It was productive!

I am trying hard to see if I can get more beasties under my belt.  I sometimes feel like I am doing nothing.   Yesterday I did work a bit more on Jane, but must say, my eyes get burned out on going through my photos, the wind and a day full of pastels.  Back to my glasses and they give me headaches!

I also got invited to go on a bird survey (which is the real reason I am practicing early rising) and I WANT to, but I seriously fear I could be an asset.  I would not whine, but do not want to be left in a pile while they go be busy and I gasp for water, or air or new kneecaps.   Will give it tomorrow and if I am not shaping up, go tell him I may no show.
AND the reason I am so anxious to help is that ANDY HAS RUBBER CEMENT!!! (Andy is the Park biologist.  FINALLY I am bumping into the correct people with the information I seek.  NOW, with one week left....)
Now I can finish my little house finch and see how it turns out!!!

Finally, I am going to prep another demo of good old 43!  I left a snapshot in Andy's office as the biology pro has yet to spot the lonely ram who has wandered the park at least since I saw him last year.

Perhaps these stone pieces will get some progress shots.
I tend to work at night to fight off a cat who needs entertainment and if I get moving in public spaces, I may find myself needing more chat breaks and snaps I go.

The excitement (other excitement) of the day was visitation by the plumbing crew to be sure my fire sprinkler system and tap water (which they have no idea what a blessing it is to turn on the tap and DRINK TASTY WATER is for a Phonecian who goes to the water machine every few days like the settlers went to the well!  It is heaven!!) and we chatted in the casita.
Good times!!!

Monday, May 22, 2017

DAWN! And Why You Should NOT Be Happy To Sleep In.

I figured it out.
Last night I was so exhausted that I pretty much shoved anything smaller than a boot into a closet.  I tried to sleep about 8, as I was falling asleep listening to podcasts and had a really good 7 or more hours of drawing in public to put toward my "debt" to the Park for this gift.
So, when 3:30 came around and the stars were still up, I threw some food at the cat and all was well.
What was odd was that there was no 4:30 wake up.
I saw the sky dark blue and lightening at the bottom through the window and took a few photos of the low clouds that were actually starting a sunrise.

As I called out, no answer from the cat.
Of course he would not have dropped dead but this was really wrong! He depends on trying to wake me up for his entertainment.  When I am up, and there is sun on the bed... he can sleep again.

So... I track him down.

He is transfixed at the door window panes.  He normally looks up and to the left to see the next of my House Finches, but this was the other direction.

Over the wall I see some brown moving and think it may be a coyote or something so I turned around and grabbed the camera.


It was a gang of young elegant Mule Deer!!

The first shots were before the sun was up but I counted first two, then three and I got about 170 photos, but this was the shot of the morning.  Here they are with the young family from the nest above the door, so it is three of the deer and two birdies!

RIGHT over the wall around the patio.  That is the roof of the casita and I did not dare go out for fear of disturbing them.

This is how close.
Yeah, I had to shoot through the screen, but you can see the corner of the fridge out the north kitchen window:

I watched until they disappeared in the direction of the road with a panorama of the Painted Desert with 15 minutes of sunrise twilight.

NOW the magic happens.
NOW I wake up when he says to!

I took my run into Holbrook and it is a bit before 11 at the beautiful patio of my tolerant McDonalds, with reliable wifi and the ability to reload podcasts and even listening to some tv on the headset!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Jane - Demo at PDI

I got it started last night, and put the watercolor under-painting on this morning. It kind of looked cool! So I figured it would make a great pastel and around 7:30, I realized I'd have to start putting it together to demonstrate.
I drove across and saw Jane pulling in, because I had taken the photographs of her last night I was able to use them for reference but have the luxury of having my model sit, there so people really enjoyed watching it here's a few progress shots:

I got to set up in front of the observation window and she was off to the right making beads it was kind of a perfect spot to be. I also had some of my rocks and some pieces showing other pastels that I made and on the end was the display of all of the actual artwork that I've done so far.

This was how it looked when I started over there. I thought it was a pretty good watercolor which was a big mistake because when you make pastels over watercolor you want the water colors to pretty much cover the paper and be darker than the final colors. It was such a good watercolor..... That I kind of goofed it up.

And this is a few hours down the road.  I did not have any trouble working and chatting.  LOTS of nice folks and interest in my work.

I even scored ANOTHER FREE ICE CREAM from the ranger.

Do I look that hungry.?.. NOT!
 And here is how she looked at 5, when I closed out.
I am not unhappy, but I would not tackle the beautiful and intricate necklace in front of people. I told them I did not want them to hear me swear. I am not unhappy.... I think I just said that.

Forgive me folks I am ridiculously exhausted. I had to eat, and just remembered that I didn't go to the store on my way home. So it was spaghetti and sauce. I have a can of fruit cocktail that I think will be dessert.
Of all days, the wi-fi at PDI was exceptional. After I have recovered I will go over and see if I can edit this on my computer. 

****Well, I got here. Decent wi-fi and forgot to charge the laptop!!!  It is marginally better and I hope the wifi holds for my mail.

Tomorrow the plan is sustenance!  Much as I am not all that cool on driving to town, I must get a few bits of something to fill the coffers for a week.  HOWEVER I did get invited to a little pot lucky thing that some of the resident volunteers are doing for us artistic types on Wednesday.  I am not sure if I can carry on normal conversation with humans for a whole evening but I promise I will spend two days trying to remember how it is done!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Zombie Returns to Where She Belongs... for now.

I did an awful lot in what seemed like absolutely no time! From the Park, the trip home was not a waste:
I brought my own sheets so the loaners were cleaned and folded for the next tenant.  Took the rugs (Thing had some furball issues... and they were obviously not part of the general clean up) to destroy my home washer... and indeed they tried!  So the floor looks all pretty.
I had a hard time rounding things up to leave, as the cat still woke me for sunrise but I was running on 4 hours sleep today.  Only forgot the laundry soap and never got the RUBBER CEMENT so my my birdie will be finished when I get home.
I just kept throwing things in the car.
I traded out most of my paper art samples and brought a few more of my rock repros.  (Like I said... there is still Yellow Horse...)
But when I hit the road about 8, I was physically running on empty.
Nearly got dozey on 377, the last third of the trip and my favorite part of the drive. High chapparral, lots of shrubs and flat.  I started smiling again as I turned on 40 out of Holbrook.
I have a grocery list I gave up on.  I rolled in, and wanted nothing but to sleep.  It felt like a wave of peace and energy poured over me

I am going to try to be more visible.   
I had talked to a weaver and bead stringer named Jane who was up for me doing her portrait.  She was in PDI today, so I made myself walk over with camera and got a couple of good shots.
I determined to pull out my newly tidied-up pastels and see if I can remember how they work.   I am pretty sure I do not... 

I sat on the patio, put the thing in the cage and enjoyed the COOLNESS.  No wind, and just brisk enough to NOT be Phoenix!! I drew and dozed.  

Here is my start on Jane.  I am planning to see if I can do a watercolor under pastel.  I have not done it for a portrait for years.  I also know I will kick myself with the amazing necklace she was wearing.
My boyfriend says he is ready to see more art and less travelogues.  We shall try!!

Friday, May 19, 2017


Got up before dawn looking forward to working and editing on my own computer..... and it has decided it needs overhaul....  SO no computer.

I had new tv stuff ordered before I left and was able to play with it for a few minutes before I ran to get mail.... and some supplies.

The trip home was a small money making visit (just about covered gas) with an old client. Supplies had been sitting in the mailbox for a few days and I needed to come during working hours. Got acres of mail, and as it  began in May 1, I and found my recent cost cutting arrangement with the Broadband company was double what I was told!!! GRRR. My entire generation preceding me worked at "Ma Bell" and although CenturyLink has NO resemblance to it now, I gave up the land line, transferred my number to an internet service, got rid of cable, also for an internet service so this vestigial remainder, already wired into the house, was always good for a "loyalty" discount ... over an hour online with agent who did not actually understand the problem, more holds, a couple of hang ups and finally end where I started.

 NOTHING has gone right.

I was treated to a nice Red Robster late birthday feast by my beau, helped him with some business paperwork, and exhausted, did not sack out until MIDNIGHT.  A barely walking zombie!

I am scurrying back to the desert tomorrow.

What a gift to have 10 more days to recuperate!!
Heaven knows how I will handle it when I return.....

Sorry.... no pix.  No beauty down here in the gravel and concrete...

Cat was not even thrilled to be back...

Thursday, May 18, 2017

66.....Me and the Road.

The cat talked me into getting up to watch the sunrise.  Good idea.
After a night-time rain the sky was dark and shimmery and full of streaks and fog.  

We dinked around and I scrambled up some eggs, cleaned up and hit the road at opening.  Jorge said he saw HIS first snake a few days ago, but me? Still not much more than a ground squirrel that did not wait for me to get my camera.... so I go hit a different aspect of the park.  

I am on the road (literally in McD's in Gallup as I type) doing a senior coffee in honor of my birthday, on the road that has the same numbers!

Just going to snap away and see what I find....
You will note the obligatory keys on a rope, my new (traded the green monster shirt for a slightly smaller brighter one and a jacket for the chilly morning.  

It is a morning full of New Mexico skies.  They have dark flat bottoms and roll back like the bottom sides of sheep in the stratosphere.  I had to pull off a few times.

First stop was the Ortega shop.  you know it looked almost exactly like it did when I came by on car trips with the family!  I was told Gilbert and the whole Ortega clan was from the area.

 No gas in the pumps and an odd trio parked in the side lot...

JUST before New Mexico is the breathtaking cliffs.  With no cat as a copilot, I pulled off the road and found a modern hogan with about 6 tethered pups under the spectacular view!!!
Barely out of view, I pulled off to assess the booty of flakes of sandstone and possible rock art... and more photos.

A little later I made it into town and located my very favorite green chili place. Jerry's.
Of course I took no pictures....... oh no I did!!! CELL PHONE SNAP!  It was the tiniest little table I've ever sat at.

The Green Chili was recommended to me last year on the trip through.  It is microscopic and I decided to eat, instead of only to-go.  This is my enchilada with rice and beans smothered in the green chili!  I am amazed I am still awake.  I stuffed myself...soooo good!
I spent most of my time in Gallup taking pictures of rather said places, not the most exciting neon, lots of run-down stuff. But it was Route 66!

It was my trip home that was fun and games!

I got lost at one point which is par for the course, but I did manage to see a little Shepherd and her Grandpa no doubt as they brought the Sheep home with the aid of two cute little dogs with curly tails. 

And I managed to pull off and find the obligatory Chief Yellow Horse curio shop.

If you've ever traveled from Arizona to Gallup, you have seen the most beautiful Cliff face with the wackiest catchiest most bizarre curio shops at the bottom there are horses on the cliffs and cardboard animals and painted yellow horses and cement teepees... It is the ultimate Indian tourist shops. Almost got killed by a semi, but made my way in and all the way down the road to the second one which is Chief yellow horse. 

Apparently his son now runs the place,  His icons of 66 are a bit off, but in our family, Corvairs were ACTUALLY the means of transport so it is perfect!

Behind this bizarre little yard if you look carefully under the overhang you can see two little cliff dwelling remnants. If you know me you know it drove me crazy. I made friends with the owner. He said he might sell my rocks! This was an opportunity I definitely must mull over.

I came home and decided to get a dipped cone in the new creamery in the basement of PDI.  The dip stuff was not up to snuff, and Kip,  my boss decided to wish me a happy B-Day with a treat!  Got a Cookies and Cream cone.  Perfect topper to a 66 of a day!
Tiny note at the end: I am trying to post this between my phone and horrifying Wi-Fi. I do have a brief respite tomorrow where in I should have actual computer and actual Broadband. Look back and see if things changed, as I hope to edit a little.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Making Plans

I had thought of a really fast up and down to town today, but I got a sinus headache and thought about a possible income opportunity so I opted for Friday....
But when I woke, the sky was so amazing!  Contrails here are beautiful:

Waking up early is such a different way of life. I spend what seemed like a long time at my little desk, cleaning my pastels, as I am nearly ready for a try at them...

 And I had organized a lot of photos for subjects, thought about some more ideas and am going to be looking at Route 66 stuff. 

Went across the street to see my buddy Dennis. (HE is the guy who has never steered me wrong!  He knows where everything is and isn't) and he suggested a couple of spots in the park where the pavement still exists.

I must stay, it made me sad.  I can only imagine myself in a corvette (OF COURSE!) driving past the stunning view from this pile of torn up asphalt!

An afternoon of pretty windy weather, got me sitting on the patio in a break reading about  my possible BIRTHDAY celebration tomorrow as a jaunt to Gallup and a photo spree of great neon signage and remnants of the highway.  

As I sat, I realized I was upsetting my neighbors.

Two house finches (I am told... Or I think I was..) have built  lovely nest above my doorway.   They sat on various twigs and trees all around, waiting for me to vacate!

So I did.

Seems like Dad had a little look back as he went on a second run but mom's tail can be seen peeking out! I know these guys.  They are an honest to gosh couple.  They work as a team, looking for food, and they greet me with a loud WHOOOOSH when I go outside.  I can find them looking from the tops of the trees the whole time I am out.  They are pretty inspiring.  

He is happy to see me indoors.