Western Civilization      

My spouse and I toured five western U.S. states (Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, California) in 13 days in October 2019.  A selection of landscape photos from our trip can be found in the Western Skies gallery.  The images in this gallery represent the shots I usually take — quirky, often inscrutable and mainly design-oriented — and in this case they have a dash of Western flavor.

Because this is ART @ CHC, I tried to select images that were more than documentary snapshots.  (Of course, there were plenty of those too.)  Here are the ones I currently favor:

Bobby & Margie’s Cuban Cafe (Cuba, NM)

The village of Cuba, New Mexico — about an hour north of Albuquerque — is a 1.5-mile-long five-lane speed trap with four churches, four gas stations, a dollar store and no traffic lights.  It is also home to Bobby & Margie’s Cuban Cafe, which I captured as we were (slowly) passing by.  I can’t vouch for the food, only the sign.

Shadows of Santa Fe (Santa Fe, NM)

A bicycle stand in downtown Santa Fe.  The railroad logo dates from 1901.  Ironically, Santa Fe itself was never on the mainline of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, and the city is no longer served by its successor rail company, BNSF.

You Call This Art? (Santa Fe, NM)

A non-intentional art installation on the front porch of a Canyon Road gallery.

Variegated Gate (Santa Fe, NM)

Discovered behind another gallery along Canyon Road.

Above the Fray in Santa Fe (Santa Fe, NM)

This overhang protects tourists in Santa Fe Plaza from the harsh rays of the sun.  Santa Fe is, after all, almost a mile closer to the sun than Asheville, North Carolina, another popular tourist destination which is often referred to as “Santa Fe of the East.”

Look (Santa Fe, NM)

I thought I had lost my artistic license but, unfortunately, someone found it and returned it to me.

Chilly at the Railyard Market (Santa Fe, NM)

It was 48 degrees that morning in the market.  I wonder what a person could eat to warm up… wait, I know!

Mayor Leroy Gonzales (Golden, NM)

On our drive along the Turquoise Trail to Albuquerque, my spouse noticed an interesting roadside “art installation.”  We turned around and stopped to take a photo, when I heard Mr. Leroy Gonzales greet me.  I learned that Mr. Gonzales is the self-proclaimed Mayor of Golden, New Mexico, a location that appears to be inhabited primarily by Mr. Gonzales.  We had a ten-minute conversation which would have been longer had I accepted his invitation to tour the other “installations” behind the fence in his yard.  (These have already been documented on another blog.  Mr. Gonzales may be isolated but he is not obscure.)  I demurred, explaining that we had to be on our way.  Before I left, Mr. Gonzales insisted I take a snapshot of his business card and send him this photo, which I intend to do.

Out Back (Tumacácori, AZ)

A little place to share spicy stories behind the spice store.

Color Vision (Tubac, AZ)

On this trip, I was hoping to encounter some old western town that had barely made it to the 1970s, let alone the 21st century.  I never ran across any.  Tubac was a colorful — perhaps overly so — collective of galleries, gift shops and cafes which, while entertaining, did not evoke dusty trails and desperados so much as credit cards and turquoise.

Tumacácori Mission Cemetery (Tumacácori, AZ)

On the grounds of the Mission San José de Tumacácori, abandoned in 1856, now a National Park.

Wind Ballet (near Ocotillo, CA)

More wind turbines than I could count along this stretch of Interstate 8.  The Imperial Valley also has many solar and geothermal energy installations.

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