Sunday, August 23, 2020

Evolution of a Ghost Town

Evolution of a ghost town. Back in 2016 while out on a Northern Utah birding and ghost towning adventure with my friend April, Shin noticed the word "Ghost town" on the map just over the border in Idaho. Two ghost towns in a day sounded really rad so we after visiting Kelton headed up north to the once town of Strevell Idaho to check it out. Not much was left of Strevell, just a few foundations and the upright remains of a one building, which my research indicates was likely Mary's Cafe. Once a busy Idaho port of entry town, the construction of I-84 a few miles north essentially put Strevell out of business. This past Sunday's adventure took us by Strevell again, and now the ghost town had become even more of an apparitions left as that last building standing, stands no more. Sometime between the end of June and now the building toppled, I know this because my friend Judi, had posted a picture when she traveled past in June. Soon no one will ever have any idea this town ever existed...
Another interesting thing about Strevell, Idaho. It is home to an airplane arrow. Back in the 1920's when "AirMail" began, the US created this system of giant arrows and beacons that could be seen from the sky to help the pre-navigation system postal aircraft find their way across the country. I was bummed when I found out, after visiting Strevell in 2016, that the town was host to one of these giants arrows and we missed. Well, this time we made it a point to find the arrow.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Another coronocruise to check out a wild life refuge. Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge a wet land about 3 hours north of us up in Idaho. A beautiful day well worth the drive. We saw a wonderful assortment of birds, the sounds of the Sandhill Cranes were joyous. Our big treat was when we were heading down the west side of the marsh and we came across a great herd of elk!

Art-o-mat Inspiration

Heading north for some bird watching I spied porch full of potential Art-o-mats sitting on the porch of dilapidated building in the tiny town of Bennington,ID. One has to wonder where they all came from and why they are there! What a great reminder that it is time to send in my latest submission.

And a second travel treat, spying the nest of a Red Tail Hawk, in very viewable spot!

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Circumnavigating the Great Salt Lake

This weeks coronacruise took us way out around the west side of the Great Salt Lake, where we got to hit a few places that have been on my list for quite some time, the Sun Tunnels and the ghost town of Lucin. The Sun Tunnels are a 1970's art installation by Nancy Holt, the wife of Robert Smithson, the creator of the Spiral Jetty. Constellation adorned concrete tunnels that line up with the sun during solstices. Way out in the middle of nowhere (and I mean middle of nowhere!), what a crazy, interesting and beautiful (and remote!) place for an art installation. It would be really cool to go see this during the solstice...

Lucin was a bit surprising. I didn't expect to find a oasis in the deserts, but the ponds created by piping in water from the far off mountains were indeed an oasis. Lucin was a railroad stop, and back in the day they need the water to fill the steam engines. The train still runs by, but not much is left of the town, just a few root cellars and an odd concrete structure, which after doing some googling we discovered was actually a railroad company phone booth. The ponds make for a nice little wildlife sanctuary, ducks, lots of song birds ( I saw some beautiful warblers!) and a pair of red tailed hawks where living there.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Creative(?) Kintsugi

I wrote about kintsugi once before, and how I thought kintsugi is sometimes used in a manner a wee bit off from my interpretation of the traditional Japanese intention, and we'll, I think this may be another good example LOL. Kintsugi toilet... Found in a local, non Japanese, restaurant... It sure made me laugh though. Does this toilet tank really seem more beautiful for having once been broken? I kinda think not, how about you?

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Sol Duc Hot Spring

Now that was a treat. While visiting my son in Seattle he took us on an excursion... out to the Olympic Peninsula where he indulged his hot springs freak momma with a trip to Sol Duc Hot Springs in Olympic National Park. Yes, I'm a spoiled gal!

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Quotations... Art Inspiration

There's a little Salvadoran restaurant that I frequent, and have become quite friendly with one of the waitresses. She's a gal from Venezuela, a recent immigrant, who, when we first met, spoke little or no English. She was working hard at learning, and since we'd become regulars at the restaurant we would chat and she could to practice her English.

We had a little start one day, when we went for dinner and found the restaurant shuttered and empty. We wondered how we would find our friend again. Lucky for us it turned out that the restaurant had not really closed, but had, quite suddenly, moved to a new location a few miles down the street.

When we finally caught up with our waitress friend again, we told her that we had been sad when had thought the restaurant had closed and we'd not get to see her anymore, so with the idea that someday we would meet for coffee or desserts we exchanged numbers. Unfortunately, I work days and she works most every night, so despite our good intentions, we never managed to make that happen, but we we've continued our friendship at the restaurant.

One night as we finished dining, she came over to the table, three deserts in hand, sat down at the table across from us and told us that since we never are able to coordinate schedules to have our coffee and dessert date, we would just do it now. She went on to say that her father had a saying... "The special moment is now" and explained that he thought it was silly how people are always saving things, like that nice bottle of wine, or the pretty new dress, or the special dinnerware, or whatever, for an off in the future special occasion, when the reality is that life is short and we should enjoy it now. So that night, even though she was working, she declared that "the special moment is now" and we all had a nice dessert together.

As a person who has always been guilty of saving things for the special occasion, I thought that really was an excellent sentiment, one that I really needed to take to heart. I decided that I would put that quote on few coffee mugs as a reminder, and make one for my waitress friend as a thank you for sharing her father's words of wisdom with us.

I threw some mugs and sprigged on little placard on which I stamped "The special moment is now", and a few weeks later, after they had gone through all the drying, glazing and firing steps brought them to my friend at the restaurant. She was thrilled with the surprise, and quite touched that I had remembered her fathers quote. She even cried a little. I always enjoy it when I can make a piece and share it with the perfect person and make them smile! I also enjoy getting new art inspiration. I can see a series of quote mugs in my future!

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Heart Mountain... a Sad Ghost Town

Another ghost town.... This one has a sad story; the time the United States ran concentration camps where American citizens were incarcerated. Now a ghost town, Heart Mountain, Wyoming was home to some 14,000 Japanese Americans over the course of 3 years during WWII. I won't repeat history here, but you can raise all about it on the on the Heart Mountain site

Not much of town is left, part of the hospital, some old foundations and bits of pipes and wires. We were able to peek in some windows and and try to imagine what life was like in this forsaken place. This is one ghost town I'm glad is gone!/p