So Nick, our Guide/Driver, says there’s something else he wants to show us close by.
Lead on …
He points to a nearby tree and says: “See this tree?” “This is John Wayne Tree”.
What?! Really!! How so?
Nick says that back in 1947 when John Wayne was starring in Angel and the Badman
John had posed by this tree for a photo.
I now recalled seeing that photo somewhere? but I’ve been able to find it since.
This did seem seem to be an amazing coincidence though because there’s no way Nick could have known
that I had a blog called My Favorite Westerns where I had extensively featured The Duke.
Nick claimed John posed something like this. (Notice how I bear absolutely no resemblance to John Wayne who was without a doubt about one of the most photogenic Celebrities who ever lived.)
But I really had to wonder though at the odds of this??
We hadn’t planned on taking Jeep Tour at all and these Jeep Tours go to many different locations in the area.
Yet here we were. Pretty amazing.
Angel and the Badman / 1947
One year before I was born.
John Wayne was 40 years old.
He was a Star, but had not yet achieved the unparalleled heights of SuperStardom
he ultimately reached.
Eight years earlier John had Starred the most important Western ever made: Stagecoach. Directed by John Ford which raised Western Film from pulp to legitimate Art. This had been also John’s breakthrough role as a Western Hero.
I never really did tell the full story of our John Wayne Tree adventure at Sedona back in 2013. My previous posts on this were lousy so I want to fix that.
In Sedona my pardner, Rose, won a Jeep Tour prize by getting sucked into a TimeShare presentation. That was the hook. I wasquietly kicking Rose for making me endure the TimeShare thing, but we would never have gone on this Jeep Tour otherwise.Life and Fate, however, often have a different idea that they only let us in on when we’re right in the middle of it all. Sometimes wonderful things happen. Sometimes not. This turned out to be pretty wonderful.
So off we go.
When you realize how many Jeep Tours there are here and the many different places they go,
you have to realize what an amazing coincidence this event turned out to be.
Schnebly Hill Road
A bit of history:
Theodore Carleton (T C) Schnebly and his wife SEDONA Arabella Miller Schnebly
moved to the Sedona area in 1901.
Schnebly Hill Road, of course is named after them and Sedona after her.
The Hill road is an adventure in itself. Below you can see one stretch of the road – and why they use Jeeps. All six of us were all well strapped in, but we still needed to hold on to our saddlehorns. At one point we saw a family in a minivan coming up the road. You can bet they regretted that.
Nick, our driver, was giving us a running commentary on the area as we bumped along. (Can’t remember a thing.)
Nor was there much chance for taking any pics on the way up.
But we did snap a couple.We jostle and jerk our way up to see a viewpoint Nick calls Schnebly Hill Vista
… and jump out for a jaunt.
I look back down and see the old timer still sitting in the jeep. (below)
(He was a very unhappy camper to be along on this excursion – and didn’t hide it.) Possibly another victim of a TimeShare pitch.
Hiking up a short, but steep little path and arrive at the Viewpoint …
Nick was right. This is a hell of a viewpoint.
You can literally see for miles. Sedona in the distance.
There are a lot of such vista views around Sedona area.
I’ve been to Sedona on and off since the early 70’s. On my first visit I hiked up to Cathedral Rock. There were no trails or pathways going up there in those days. And no people. I enjoyed a moment of pure solitude. That evening I swam at Oak Creek Crossing as the sun set. Native ladies and their children came down to sit on the rocks to enjoy a serene twilight. It was truly a magical moment and a once in a lifetime experience. I was One with them. Sedona is not the sleepy secret it used to be, but I hope there is still some solitude and peace to be found here.
The Grand Finale of the ongoing entertainment at Old Tucson Studios
is a stunt show. Stunt Set Below:
Sadly, none of our stunt photos turned out … Grrrr.
Psalm 23 A psalm of David.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Below Colossal Cave there’s other things to see and do in Colossal Cave Mountain Park. Hike, picnic, camp, Ranch, trail rides, field museum, gift shop … and more. We took a quick tour.
Down at La Posta Quemada Ranch we find this awesome sculpture
“The Cowboy” by Buck McCain. It’s almost like finding a Rembrandt
in a barber shop.
THE COWBOY standing 6’8″ high including the a base (32″ x 32.5″) is an edition of 35. He depicts a working cowboy. Dress and gear are authentic reproductions. THE COWBOY stands at the entrance of the Mountain Oyster Club, Tucson, AZ; Evergreen Cementary, Colorado Springs, CO; the Booth Western Art Museum, Cartersville, GA; Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, AZ; Leanin’ Tree Western Art Musuem, Boulder, CO; the Foss Company, Golden, CO and is found in several private collections.
Southern Pacific Rail Road
Booths like this one, were a vital
communication for rail workers and
engineers. They were positioned about
every seven miles. Keeping the booths
operational included ____ing the
glass ____ed wet cell batteries. They had
to be kept filled with oil and battery acid.
This one was recovered form Pantano.
It had to be abandoned during the 1960’s
when the system was modernized
After a hot day of caving we earn a dip in the pool!
Before we go inside Colossal Cave, I need to clarify something: Rose and I are not ghost hunters. It’s not on our minds. Nor are we paranormal researchers, etc. Yet in our journeys in Arizona we seem to be continually encountering ghostly phenomenon – namely in the form of what paranormal researchers call ‘orbs’ – supposedly ghostly manifestations that are often seen in haunted locations. But it’s only pure coincidence that these places we’ve visited in the past in Arizona are ‘paranormal hotspots’.
Our first encounter was in Yuma where Rose photographed an orb in the notorious “dark cell” at old Yuma State Territorial Prison. The fact is that we were only in Yuma because I was getting dental work done across the border in Algodones, Mexico. Otherwise we wouldn’t have gone there at all.
Our next encounter was in Tombstone’s Bird Cage Theatre. This trip to Tombstone was a gift from Rose to me because of my interest (and Blog) on Westerns Movies. I had not planned to go to Tombstone – and hadn’t known of The Bird Cage’s reputation for being haunted. I’d hoped I’d be able to visit Tombstone someday, but hadn’t counted on it.
Now we come to Colossal Cave – where I’ve now learned is yet another famously haunted location. All of these locations are high on the list of people who investigate and seek out ghostly phenomenon. But we didn’t know that. Even if we had known it, I surely wouldn’t have expected to encounter anything. And apart from visiting Tombstone itself we had no intention of going to Colossal Caves – and didn’t even know it existed. Our experiences were not intentional – or sought out – but hard to ignore – though fun and interesting to us. I mentioned them here and shown what evidence we have for your own interest and fun. I’ve known for a long time that ghosts exist and I didn’t need any proof – and truthfully, I’d generally avoid such any such encounters if possible.
Above is the first photograph I took in the caves.
That’s our Tour Guide on the steps.
There’s a small orb right behind Rose.
(You are free to think otherwise, but that’s exactly what it is.)
Below and above: Broken stalactites are evident. There was a lot of this throughout Colossal Caves which had been inhabited, used and visited for hundreds of years by local natives – then miners – then outlaws. This is just one of the reasons the 2 cavers who discovered Kartchner Caverns kept them a secret for 14 years. Soot from fires in the cavern also can be seen. I’m sure there was plenty of graffiti and garbage that was needed to be removed as well.
The second shot with a very visible orb right in the middle.
(No, that is not from his flashlight.)
Pardon my finger in the shot.
Below: 2 orbs appear quite clearly at the top center.
Below: When you Tour these caves, keep a tight grip on your cameras and purses. There are lots of places where you will not recover them if they fall.
Not as spectacular as Kartchner Caverns, but definitely some decent things to see here.
We finally make it to Tombstone’s legendary Boot Hill. The resting place of Clanton’s, McLaury’s, assorted bad guys and ordinary folks – most of who probably died with their boots off – now immortalized at this famous location – though some are marked “Unknown”.
It’s not the only Boot Hill around – just the most famous. A place of graves and ghosts.
The “Hill” has a nice little tourist shop.
Plaques out front.
As cool and clear as an Arizona morning.
Rose puts her boots on Les. I told her that wasn’t cool.