My husband Eric & I went wandering around northern Arizona on Saturday. I started the story yesterday, talking about seeing a condor and its nest at the Navajo bridge. http://tangibledaydreams.blogspot.com/2017/05/northern-az-roadtrip-part-1-navajo.html
So, after marveling at the condor and the view of the Colorado River, we headed westward along 89A, skirting the southern border of the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. Vermilion Cliffs is one of the national monuments that President Trump has put up on the chopping block to have its monument status reviewed, and I wanted to see what was at stake for myself. For the record, it was a gorgeous drive, and I wish we had been in a sturdier vehicle so we could take more of the interior roads. But, I digress.
So, soon after leaving the bridge, we came to Marble Canyon, and a strange little view. On a whim, we turned off into a dirt parking lot, and found the ruins of this strange little house.
I wandered around the main house, too. The roof was missing, save for some remaining beams, but there were still wood frames around the door and windows. The front window gazed out onto the road.
Well....not exactly. Internet to the rescue. This was the home of the Ziegfeld Follies dancer Blanche Russell, back in the prohibition era. Her husband Bill was diagnosed with tuberculosis, so they decided to move to the southwest climate for heath reasons. On their way, their car broke down in this spot one night. When they woke up, Blanche loved the spot so much that they just bought the land, and built the house. They started selling food and such to travelers, and ended up running a restaurant and trading post for a decade. You can read more about the story here: https://frametoframe.ca/2014/10/blanche-russells-rock-houses-marble-canyon-arizona/ and here: http://theproperfunction.com/the-cliff-dwellers/.
I love the story about the elves, but I think I like the real one better.
Anyway, back to our own travels. After leaving Blanche's place, we drove to the western edge of the Vermilion cliffs, and up to the condor viewing station. This is where the endangered California Condors have been being released back into the wild. It was a gorgeous drive!
At the Canyon, we got down to the reason that we had actually made the trip. I've been weaving ruanas for the Etsy shop, and I thought that it might be a fun idea to take some product photos, showing the garments as they'd be worn. Eric manned the camera for these shots, while I modeled.
We watched the sun down, and then made our way back through the deer and back to Flagstaff.
Well, with one more stop. Just north of Flagstaff is the Wupatki National Monument, which we know from past trips is very, very dark at night. And so, we turned off the highway into the monument a little ways, just far enough to get away from the lights of the passing cars. And, I made my first stab at night sky photography:
So, all in all, a most excellent adventure!