Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Grand Canyon

No matter which view you take of it...
...the Grand Canyon always looks different and amazing... is always grand.

Desert View Watchtower

The Watchtower was built in 1932 by Mary Colter.  She had the architectural vision to re-create indigenous, historic buildings. 
For inspiration she traveled around, visiting ruins of the region before drawing up her designs.

The Watchtower is modeled after ancient stone towers, though this one has a steel frame hidden beneath the limestone.

The inside was then painted by a Hopi artist with symbols and petroglyphs.
From any distance, the Watchtower is worth seeing.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Elk in the park

I went to the Grand Canyon to see the magnificent rocks and cliffs and buttes.

I didn't expect to see elk.

Apparently they were imported from California and have taken a liking to the park's vegetation and water sources.
They also became accustomed to the tourists who consistently visit their home.  I wouldn't recommend petting the elk, as some tourists were attempting, but take home a photograph instead.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Desert sky

A beautiful sunset over Phoenix.  I don't get tired of them.

Vulture Mine

I drove a long, lonely road to find a real, non-touristy ghost town; one that would be cotton candy and kitschy souvenir free.

Vulture Mine promised to be just such a place, but I couldn't get in to see.  My arrival was not timed well with the limited touring schedule.

Vulture Mine began in the 1860s and was a thriving mining town until 1942.  With a population of around 5000, it was bigger even than my home town. It was Arizona's most wealthy mine, and the reason Phoenix grew up as a city.
But when the mine was closed, it became a ghost town almost over night.  Today it is quickly falling apart and mostly closed to the public. 
But if you show up at the right time on a Saturday, you can get in to see the old mining equipment, the hanging tree where men were hung for stealing gold, and several of the other buildings--if you go soon, you'll see it before the desert winds blow it all away.