Monday, 6 April 2015

Spring Blossoms: Colorado River and Phoenix Arizona

Following our Mohave stay, we returned to the greenery and spring flowers in Needles. Desert View RV Park divides its campsites with tall Oleander bushes, stunning! The property borders are defined with Royal Palms.  We took a couple of down days there and visited the small western town of Oatman.  The town, formerly thriving on Route 66, is famous for the donkeys that come down from the hills and hang around town to be fed by tourists.  The town’s buildings and signs have been maintained on their exteriors to give the feel of an early century gold mining town.  We did have an enjoyable lunch at the Oatman Hotel where thousands of dollar bills plaster the walls.  The remainder of the buildings contained cheap souvenirs of Route 66 or chinsy western wear.  One small gallery, the only shop worth entering, had a fine collection of sculpture and painting.  We enjoyed the arrival of a bunch of “bikers” on their souped up trikes.  The Oatman family was captured by Indians who tortured and killed the parents, nearly killed their son who managed to survive and escape and kept and tattooed their two daughters.  If you watched the show “Hell on Wheels” one of the female stars bares the traditional tattoo on her chin.  Successful goldmines may have made Oatman a thriving town “back in the day” but is a shabby shell of its former self now.

P1020399

P1020402                 P1020414

P1020417

           P1020420

P1020435    P1020439    P1020440

P1020436

       P1020437        P1020419

P1020418

P1020446

P1020430

P1020422

P1020424P1020448

P1020443

P1020451

We headed up to North Ranch, an Escapees RV Park near Congress Arizona where we stayed a couple of years ago.  The homes and gardens that are attached to the park are great but the park is run down.  The appealing sites near the field were out of bounds due to power outages so we ended up being squeezed into a less desirable, dusty site.  We did visit the fun Cowboy Town of Wickenburg and appreciated an authentic Mexican lunch.  After two nights we left the park early and vowed not to return.  The brightest part of our stay there was seeing the many beautiful landscaping rocks and cacti, particularly the spectacular huge white blossoms on the Easter Cactus!

P1020537

P1020525   P1020536  P1020527

P1020523

P1020540

P1020542

   P1020534        P1020709

P1020535

P1020541 

          P1020532           P1020544

P1020543 

P1020546 Dr. Seuss Cactus?

Our good friends Darlene, a creative, self employed sign maker by trade and Les, a Toronto Firefighter Captain, creative spirit and builder of Motorcycles “Rogue Machines”; were meeting us in Phoenix.  They were on holiday specifically to take part in the gigantic “Bike Week” that takes place in a number of venues around Scottsdale.   Our drive into Arizona was beautiful with our return of the land of Saguaro Cacti and the greener landscape that resulted from frequent winter rains.   We set up CC at the Pueblo El Mirage Resort and Golf Club.  The RV park was huge and quite full with Spring Training (baseball) drawing spectators from all over the country.  One of its best features was its huge swimming pool and spa where we swam for the five nights of our stay.  In the late afternoon, there were only a couple of other swimmers in the pool and it was a great way to usher in the sunset and evening.  The highways are beautifully landscaped in Phoenix and bright with spring growth.  Many homes are built in the adobe-style and blend with the surrounding earth colours of the desert and mountains.

P1020456

P1020469

P1020471

P1020516

P1020491

P1020508

P1020582

P1020589 

P1020585 

On our first outing with Les and Darlene, we spent a few hours at the “Arizona Fine Art EXPO” where a range of media could be enjoyed.  Successful artists displayed their work and demonstrated their materials and processes, working on new pieces.  The high quality work was inspiring and the artists friendly and enlightening.  Stopping at a bar for lunch, Chris and I got a small taste of the upcoming motorcycle show.  Babes, Beer and Bikes were everywhere!  We headed back to the RV Park where we enjoyed beverages on the patio, a swim in the pool and a barbeque dinner and conversation outside.  Darlene and Les were visiting from Toronto where they had experienced the coldest winter since 1932 so soaking up the desert warmth was a great way to begin their holiday.

P1020568

P1020548       P1020549        P1020556

      P1020563

P1020566          P1020557

P1020558 Stellar friends, Darlene & Les

P1020560

P1020570

Taliesin West was Frank Lloyd Wright’s summer home, workplace and architectural laboratory.  Wright and his apprentices built Taliesin West from desert stone and concrete from the surrounding Sonoran Desert at the foot of the McDowell Mountains.  Wright experimented with media and design ideas here, some which he applied to architectural projects.  Today, the property is open for guided tours and is home to the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.   As his philosophy extols, Wright designed his structures to become apart of their surroundings.  His love of geometry and simplicity blend in interesting ways in his desert residence.  Most of the buildings are original with the exception of many wooden supports and accents that did not survive the climate and have been replaced with metal.  Taliesin certainly is different from the homes he built in the East!  

We had lunch out and returned to the RV Park for our swim and lively conversation.  Darlene and Les travelled to Tucson the next day and we had the motorhome washed and waxed, an annual event that maintains the exterior of our coach.  We all met up for lunch to say goodbye as we headed up towards the Grand Canyon and our friends went off to explore the Motorcycle Show.

P1020597      P1020598

   P1020599          P1020604

P1020632

P1020621

    I love the triangular pool and the round garden gate

   P1020637        P1020659

P1020639 P1020655

P1020656

P1020660     P1020676

P1020664

P1020671

my favourite wall

P1020688

P1020703     P1020686

The architecture school

P1020689

Frank’s outdoor sculpture garden

P1020702

Frank’s childhood blocks that his Mom bought him as she wanted him to become an architect

P1020617

P1020606

P1020658 P1020707

                vase 1/2 inside 1/2 outside                                                          Phoenix street sign

 P1020706 Goodbye Phoenix

1 comment:

  1. I've been to every larger venue in the town and this is one of the best. Their menu is small but at least they seem to do what they have on it well. They have a variety of salads and sandwiches at NYC events, and a fresh daily soup.

    ReplyDelete