Tag Archives: Arizona

John Wayne Tree 2013 / Part 2

16 Jul


Take it to the Limit / The Eagles

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

1947.
One year before I was born. 

A John Wayne Production

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. 

Available to watch on You Tube.

The End

John Wayne Tree 2013 ——————-The Full Story / Part 1

10 Jul


Take it Easy / The Eagles

Sedona Jeep Tour 2013

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 was quietly 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

History of Sedona | Sedona Heritage Museum

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.

Photo from the Internet.

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 … 

AWESOME!

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.

We clamour around a bit enjoying the view.

But the best was yet to come …

Next:

John Wayne Tree

 

Sedona … Faces of the Cathedral

2 Jul


Native American Style Flutes / Scott August

I’d guess that Cathedral Rock in Sedona is one of the most photographed places in North America. 
I’ve taken many pics of it myself.

There are dozens of pics of Cathedral rock on the Internet taken by much better photographers than I.

But it’s pretty well impossible to come here and not take a couple of pics of this. 

“You can’t swim at Oak Creek Crossing.” he said. “It’s too shallow.”
“That’s your water.” I answered.

 

Sedona … Revisited

30 Jun


Shadows of Sedona / Scott August

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. 

 

Sedona water hole …

2 Oct


Sedona Spirit / Keith O’Sullivan

I’ve been going to Sedona, Arizona on and off since the 70’s. Love that place. Back then although Sedona and it’s Waterhole weren’t really a secret, things weren’t overly crowded either. That changed. Some major magazine (was it Look?) published an article on America’s great waterholes. Next thing you know the place was packed. Now it’s called Slide Rock State Park. And you have to pay to get in. Like many National Parks in the US and Canada the whole area has become a Tourist Trap. Frankly, many Parks are being ruined by too many visitors. Hell, Yellowstone has had traffic jams for years. Banff National Park in Canada will soon be forced to limit access. Just too many people. And if you want to camp in most any major Park up here you have to book WAY ahead. Sometimes a year ahead. It’s a crisis situation. Some Parks I visited you can’t even take a photo without 10 people in it. Or more. ??? So I’ve been dismayed for many years on how badly Sedona is being impacted. Jeep Tours, ATV rentals, mountain bikers, motocross cycles – a lot of different things. The place is being destroyed. When I hiked up to Cathedral Rock back in the 70’s I felt like I was in a remote area. Not now. Most of the following photos are from a visit in 2013 (?). Here’s what it looked like that day. We snuck in – it woulda costs 20 bucks otherwise.

Here’s where we snuck in. I hear they have guards of Wardens there, but we never saw any. ??

 When it’s hot that water is sweet.

 You can see how gorgeous it is there, so I can’t really blame folks.

 It was HOT so I sat in the shade for a bit. Look how young and wonderful I was.

That’s Rose on that little bridge.

The famous Water Slide.

We didn’t have any swim gear so we did a bit of wading …

… and cooled our feet.

BOY ! Did that feel good !!

You bet !

But if you don’t want the crowds you can still hike into spots up creek.

Or you can always take a dip back the hotel. It’s nice … but NOT the same.

And one time ... long ago ... back in the early 70's ... on a warm summer evening I swam at famous Oak Creek Crossing beneath Cathedral Rock. What a magic moment that was!And one time … long ago … back in the early 70’s … on a warm summer evening 
I swam at famous Oak Creek Crossing beneath Cathedral Rock. What a magic moment that was!

Old Tucson Studios: Part 76

29 Jul


Ripple / Grateful Dead

Old Tucson Studio Star Bar

The Grand Finale of the ongoing entertainment at Old Tucson Studios
is a stunt show. Stunt Set Below:

Old Tucson Studios Stunt Set

Old Tucson Studios Stunt Men

The Stunt Actors make their entrance.

Old Tucson Studios Stuntman

Whipped cream ?

Sadly, none of our stunt photos turned out …  Grrrr.

Old Tucson Studio Star Bar

Old Tucson Studios Old Set

Old Tucson Studios Train Station

Old Tucson Studios Train ride

Here she comes !

Old Tucson Studios Signpost

Old Tucson Studio Star Bar

Old Tucson Studios Stage

Old Tucson Studios Real Train

Old Tucson Studio Star Bar

Old Tucson Studios Camera Boom

We’re rolling …

Old Tucson Studio Star Bar

Old Tucson Studios Crooked Creek Chapel

Crooked Creek Chapel / Old Tucson Studios

Old Tucson Studios Church Altar

Old Tucson Studios Church

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.

Old Tucson Studio Star Bar

Amen

Old Tucson Studios: Part 38

24 Jul

Is this taking a long time? or is it just me?
Well, the fantasy sail on the Bluenose schooner (the only item on my Bucket List) was a nice diversion. 

 Now back to Arizona HolidayOld Tucson Studios.


The Hanging Tree / Norton Buffalo

 Somebody at Old Tucson Studios had a great idea: make a nice picnic oasis rest area for visitors
– with a waterfall, a pond, and a some shelter.
So they did.

Old Tucson Studios Oasis

Old Tucson Studios Oasis 2

Old Tucson Studios Oasis 3

Old Tucson Studios Oasis 4

Old Tucson Studio Star Bar

Old Tucson Studios mine

Rose on the steam drill

Old Tucson Studios gallows

A poor hiding place

Old Tucson Studios sheriff

Good thing I know the Sheriff

Old Tucson Studios foot massage

Have a seat – Tenderfoot’s delight

Old Tucson Studio Star Bar

Old Tucson Studios Chinese Alley

Old Tucson Studios Chinese Alley 2

Old Tucson Studio Star Bar

Old Tucson Studios Pottery

Old Tucson Studios  El Toro

Old Tucson Studios Rose's Cantina

Rose’s Cantina

Old Tucson Studios Blacksmith

Old Tucson Studios Blacksmith 2

Old Tucson Studios Rose's jail

Old Tucson Studios Posters

Old Tucson Studios Signs

Now what ?

Old Tucson Studio Star Bar

Old Tucson Studios: Part 6

9 Jul

The Streets of Laredo / Michael Murphy
Arizona Cowboys

Old Tucson Studios

Old Tucson Studios

Old Tucson Studios Wells Fargo

Old Tucson Studios  Trail Ride

Old Tucson Studios Stables 2

Old Tucson Studios Stables 3

Old Tucson Studios No Whining

Old Tucson Studios Stables

Old Tucson Studios Saddle Maker

Rio Bravo

Next: Old Tucson Studios: Part 7

Old Tucson Studios … Part 5

8 Jul

Old Tucson Studios

Old Tucson 2

Our last stop on Main Street was the Western Movie Museum

Below: Cannon used in The Alamo (1960)

Old Tucson Studio Alamo Cannon

Below: The Alamo trailer – includes Wayne’s classic Coonskin quote
which pretty well summed up Wayne’s personal philosophy.

Old Tucson bar

Below: the great Western Film Director: Cecil Wanna B Ford

Old Tucson Studio clown

“It is easier to get an actor to be a cowboy
than to get a cowboy to be an actor.”
– John Ford

Good, I still have a chance.

Old Tucson bar

Below: Gunfight at the OK Corral (1957) poster. (My Favorite Western).
Note the uncanny resemblance between me and Burt Lancaster!
Uncanny I tell ya!

Old Tucson Studios OK Corral Poster

Old Tucson Studios OK Corral Poster 2

Old Tucson bar

Old Tucson Studios Law and Order

You must be the one they call ‘The Kid’.

Old Tucson Studios Billy the Kid

Earps and Wesson

Old Tucson Studios Earps

Old Tucson bar

Old Tucson Fire / 1995

Nearly 40-percent of Old Tucson, including many of the most-famous wood structures, was destroyed by fire on April 24, 1995.
The park was rebuilt for tourists, (re-opened in 1997) but never regained the magic of its heyday as a Old West filmmaking mecca.

Old Tucson Fire

Fire Ravages Old Tucson Film Studios : Blaze:
Three-fourths of facility’s wooden buildings, seen in hundreds of TV and movie Westerns, are destroyed or damaged. Priceless artifacts are also lost.
April 26, 1995|STEPHANIE SIMON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A sizzling fire has gutted most of Arizona’s famed Old Tucson Studios, which provided the ramshackle saloons, dusty hitching posts and glorious sunsets for countless Western movies and television shows.

The Monday evening blaze, so hot that it melted an antique fire engine, destroyed or damaged more than three-fourths of the park’s wooden buildings, from an old-time barber shop to an adobe mission to a mock city hall. An elaborate sound stage also burned, increasing the damage estimate to at least $10 million, officials said.

Even more traumatic for Western fans, the fire consumed revered one-of-a-kind artifacts: the dress Laura wore in “Little House on the Prairie,” the hat Hoss clapped on his head for “Bonanza,” the set designed for the television series “Young Riders.” A priceless doll collection, Michael Landon’s wardrobe and stacks of old photos also vanished in the flames.

“The sad part,” Tucson Fire Department spokesman Randy Ogden said, “is that much history and so many memories are gone.”

By Tuesday afternoon, officials still had not determined the cause of the fire, which started about 6:30 p.m. Monday and rushed through the three-block main street, fueled by dry wood and stored paint.

Wikipedia: ” In the month following the Old Tucson fire, several other fires were started in the area of Tucson Estates, down the road from Old Tucson; this subject was identified as the primary suspect in those fires. He was located and questioned by detectives, and faced with the evidence from the Tucson Estates fires, at which point he confessed to having started those fires. However, before he could be questioned about the Old Tucson fire, he invoked his Miranda Rights, effectively stopping any further questioning. Not enough evidence could be collected to positively identify this suspect as the arsonist in the Old Tucson fire. No other information pointing to any other individual was ever found, and the case remains open to this day.

Old Tucson bar

Next: Old Tucson Studios: Part 6

Old Tucson Studios … Part 4

6 Jul

Old Tucson Studios

Still working our way down Main Street …
No rush.

Old Tucson 2

Along the boardwalk Rose finds some Posters.

Old Tucson Studios wanted posters

Possible “$100” fine for spitting !! Wow.

Below: Olsen’s Mercantile:
Wish I could afford one of those native blankets

Old Tucson Studios Olsen's Mercantile

Other … stuff …

Old Tucson Studios stuff

Below: Rose gets most of the good shots …

Old Tucson Studios beauty

Old Tucson Studios beauty 2

Nice wagon …

Old Tucson Studios wagon

Below: Adobe schoolhouse …

Old Tucson Studios schoolhouse

Yep.

Heading toward the Movie Museum

Old Tucson Studios main street

Say ! isn’t that … ??

Old Tucson Studios museum

Naw … it can’t be … ?

Old Tucson bar

 

Next: Inside Old Tucson Studios Western Movie Museum

Old Tucson Studios … Part 3

4 Jul

I didn’t know there would be so much to see and do at Old Tucson Studios. Heat permitting, you could easily spend most of a day here.

Old Tucson is truly a monument to the dear Western Movies of yesteryear – where heroes were Heroes and rode off into the sunset …
A worthy time capsule of a different day.

Old Tucson Studio Tribute

Moving down Main Street …

Below: Another look at the Grand Palace Saloon … and just across the street is Big Jake’s – named after a John Wayne’s movie that was filmed here in 1971.
Looks like a guy could get a steak there …

Old Tucson Grand Palace

I could almost hear the clink of Duke’s boots on the boardwalk …

Old Tucson McClintock Mercantile

Passing by McLintock Mercantile

Old Tucson McClintock Mercantile 2

Mandatory photo of the Cigar Store Indian (right).

Old Tucson stable

Old Tucson bar

Here comes the stage … again.

Old Tucson Stagecoach

Stagecoaches were often late. Holdups, hostile natives, bad roads, bad weather,
lame horses, breakdowns, etc. Not really a very romantic way to travel.

Old Tucson Stagecoach 2

Rose heads over to the OK Corral Freight Depot

Old Tucson Studios Stagecoach

Old Tucson Studios Stagecoach

Old Tucson Studios Stagecoach

Suddenly a Tour comes by.
But Rose keeps on shootin’.

Old Tucson Studios Stagecoach

I watch from the safety (and shade) of the Ice Cream Parlour

Old Tucson Studios Stagecoach

Old Tucson bar

Time for some campfire lore and tales by the chuckwagon.

Old Tucson Studios Stagecoach

Old Tucson Studios Stagecoach

Old Tucson bar

Old Tucson Studios Stagecoach

I think I’m getting the hang of this cowboy thing.

Old Tucson Studios Stagecoach

Old Tucson bar

Next: Old Tucson Studios 4

Arizona Holiday continued … Old Tucson Studios: Part 2

29 Jun

Old Tucson Studios is pretty big.

Old Tucson 2

There’s ongoing entertainment at Old Tucson Studios
They have it timed so you can take it all in if you wish.
We took a lot of pictures.

First thing was the well rehearsed Medicine Show.

Old Tucson 2 medicine show 1

Careful though – you might wind up as part of the show.

Old Tucson 2 medicine show 1B

You have to be a skilled photographer to take 2 pictures of a guy
and catch him blinking both times. Grrrrrrr …

Old Tucson 2 medicine show

But the show must go on …

Old Tucson 2 medicine show 2

Old Tucson bar

Next door to the Medicine Show is Town Hall
housing a museum and a gallery …

Below: Badges of the Old West.

Old Tucson 2 City Hall 1

Old Tucson 2 City Hall 2

Old Tucson 2 City Hall 3

Old Tucson 2 City Hall 4

Old Tucson 2 City Hall 6

Old Tucson 2 City Hall

“This town ain’t big enough fer the both of us.”

Old Tucson bar

Onward … to the Grand Palace Saloon

Old Tucson 2 Dance Hall

My photography skills are exposed.
Or underexposed ? Whatever.

Old Tucson 2 Dance Hall 2

Maybe I was distracted.

Old Tucson 2 Dance Hall 3

Old Tucson bar

Old Tucson 2 Bath House

Over at the women’s bath house …
Heck it’s only 15 cents … 25 if you want soap.

Old Tucson bar

Below: We spotted a guy practicing gun tricks …

Old Tucson gun tricks

He wasn’t very good so I decided to offer him some advice.

Old Tucson gun tricks 2

Below: snickering and holstering at the same time.

Old Tucson gun tricks 3

Don’t try this at home folks.

Old Tucson bar

Next: Old Tucson Studios 3

Arizona Holiday continued … Old Tucson Studios: Part 1

21 Jun

On the way to Old Tucson Studios we drove through about the biggest
Saguaro Cactus forest I’ve ever seen.
Turns out we’re in Saguaro National Park.

Old Tucson

Quite a sight for us Northerners. We have castus in Alberta – a few varieties – notably Prickly Pear – but these Saguaro are a novelty to us.

Old Tucson saguaro cactus forest 2

Old Tucson saguaro cactus forest 3

Below: Rest point.

Old Tucson rest point

Below: looking back – Tucson in the distance.

Old Tucson - Tuscon in the distance

Below: rest point 2.

Old Tucson rest stop

Just another Arizona vista.

Old Tucson the view

Old Tucson moving along

Below: looking ahead – Old Tucson Studios in the distance.

Old Tucson - Old Tuscon Studios in the distance

Below: coming in

Old Tucson Studios coming in

Arriving …

Old Tucson entering

At the Entrance – Gift Shop

Old Tucson Gift Shop

Entrance.

Old Tucson entrance

Next: Inside Old Tucson Studios

Colossal Cavern … Part 1

13 Jun

Colossal Cavern … Part 1.

Arizona Holiday … Day 1 revisited …

13 Apr

On the way to Sierra Verde …

DSC00075

DSC00074

Our Sierra Vista home

The Apache Trail and Superstition Mountain … Part 3

19 Nov

The Apache Trail

Apache Trail 4

Finally … we arrive at end of the trail – The Apache Trail.

This is rugged country. The Apache Trail is billed as a “scenic drive”, but I’m sure there are folks who might challenge that. So if this kind of hilly desert country isn’t your cup of tea, and the slow (often only going 5 or 10 miles an hour) drive for three hour (or more) over a gravel road that it pretty rough in places, then you might want to do something else. But we braved it … and it was pretty good.

Below: a sketch of the topography.

Apache Trail Map 2

Below: a bit more detail of local sights.

Apache Trail Map 3

Apache Trail 5

Flora …

Apache Trail 7

Fauna … 

and Roosevelt Dam.

Apology for the lack of photos along the Trail.

All in all, a great experience …

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