Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Out And About -- Oct 20, 2015

Nikko and I are enjoying our stay at the Wickenburg, AZ BLM area.  It's quiet and the weather has finally gotten nice..... meaning cooler!  It's rainy today, but that's okay...it's a refreshing change from sun, sun, sun!  This post will include a lot of photos....put your feet up and enjoy an out and about around Wickenburg!  

We usually get up early to catch the beautiful sunrises....they don't last long!

......then we have a little breakfast under the awning.... then we take a nice walk while everything is waking up.

Still curious about what was ahead, we walked up the road on which we had gotten stuck in the sand when we first arrived here at Box Wash...a "wash" takes us from the RV out to the road.  These deep sand wash areas are everywhere!  It must be some sight to see when they fill with water!

This silky, wispy plant is at the start of our walk up the wash....
I have no idea what it is, but it seems out of place in the desert!

You've seen the distant view of Vulture Peak from the RV in previous posts....

The road, aptly named Vulture Peak Road, takes us toward the peak.

Along the way, there are groves of saguaros and other desert plants scattered around...

These little yellow flowers give way to autumn when their blooms become parchment paper....
they would make a pretty fall arrangement...

There was still a ways to go when we reached this point, but we decided to turn around here....

...but  not before we climbed up on a little hill to see the sweeping view of the far away mountains....

We headed back and noticed some plantings that are almost like sculptures.  
There's always something to see.....IF you look!

The "sculpture" phrase is a fun segue into the Saturday Out And About! My good friend, Theresa, drove up from the valley, arriving a bit after noon.  We hadn't seen each other since I moved from Scottsdale....about 5-1/2 years ago.  We hung out around the RV for awhile...catching up and sipping wine...and then headed into town.

Wickenburg is a small, historic mountain-ish town with little shops, homey restaurants and "saloons", and small shops.  Unless there is a special event going on, it's not too busy.  This was the middle of Saturday afternoon!

Our first stop...

Outside the museum are little vignettes of plants and sculptures....very nice!

In the reception building, where you get your tickets (adults $9 or over 60 and AAA members, $7) there are some very interesting displays of old Native American pottery, wonderful old quilts and a dozen half scale saddles made by master saddlemaker, Carson Thomas. Unfortunately, no photos are allowed ----- they were beautiful!  

Renowned throughout the West and known internationally, Thomas' custom-made saddles are in demand by working cowboys and astute horsemen (including former President Ronald Reagan). At the same time, the saddle maker has become famed for his masterful half-scale saddles and gear. Collectors seek out Thomas' work, with one of his contemporary-style miniature saddles recently selling for nearly $35,000...they each easily take 200 hours to create.  Here's a one-minute Carson Thomas video talking about his favorite place -- Wickenburg! 

We made our way into the actual art museum where a new exhibit had just opened Friday night.  The Sculpture of Michael Naranjo.  In 1968, Michael Naranjo was blinded in both eyes by a grenade accident during the Vietnam war, which also left him with no use of his right hand.  Naranjo thought he would never follow in his mother's footsteps as one who works with clay...something he loved as a child and through high school.  But, something pulled at him when he was in a Japanese hospital while his life-altering injuries were being treated.  He asked for a lump of clay and formed a small figure.

The rest, as they say, is history.  Naranjo went on to become a world renowned sculptor. For more than 40 years, Naranjo has, by touch and intuition alone, created works of splendid artistry.  All of his sculptures are cast in bronze.  In addition to their intrinsic beauty, Naranjo's works are "touchable". Every piece on exhibit beckons the viewer to experience "touch"....just as Naranjo experiences. Again, no photos were allowed, but I did pull these small photos off the internet.  But nothing takes the place of seeing these beautiful works of art in person.  The exhibit runs through February 28, 2016.  If you are in the area, this museum is well worth the stop!

There were also wonderful western art paintings and other western art in the museum.  I want to go back through Wickenburg in the spring to see the 11th annual Cowgirl Up! exhibit featuring the West's best women artists.  There's a big hoopla weekend for the event March 18-20, 2016.  Should be fun!

Where non-flash photos were allowed was downstairs in the circa 1915 replication of city life in Wickenburg.  So many items were things I used to collect when I had houses!  You might want to enlarge your screen if you want to see the details....but you've probably seen exhibits like this before. Nevertheless, they were well done!

After the museum tour, Theresa and I took a drive out to the 730 acre Hassayampa River Preserve...just a couple of miles out of town.  Unfortunately, it was too late in the day to go on the walking trails, but our quick visit spurred a vow by both of us to come back!  It is a birder's paradise with over 230 species of birds which either live within or migrate to the area.  Perched atop the massive trees are some of Arizona's rarest raptors like the zone-tailed hawk, black hawk and Harris hawk.  There is other wildlife around the preserve, too.  Here are a few photos of the entrance garden area where various plants are marked.  Looking forward to going on the trails next spring!

The gigantic palms were something to take note of!  Most of us are used to seeing the trimmed, manicured palms....these are au natural!  

One area of the little garden was planted specifically for butterflies....and there were several monarchs flitting around!

Leaving the Preserve, we saw a small gravesite....The Martin Family gravesite.  The Martins were well-to-do, prominent citizens of nearby Stanton, AZ.  The family was tragically murdered in 1886, presumably by a band of desperadoes hired by Charles P. Stanton, a sinister character who was greedy and disgruntled by failed business deals.  The Facebook group I belong to - Cemetery Explorers - loved the story, albeit a sad one.

From the Preserve, we drove around town a little and then settled in at Anita's Cocina Mexican restaurant.  It was good...especially considering it's only about the fifth time I've been out to eat in the past almost year and a half!   

Thanks for hanging out with us around Wickenburg.  As nice as it is, I'm pretty much ready to leave here and settle in at the winter spot, but I'm waiting for a package to arrive via general delivery at the post office. Hopefully it will be here soon, then we will be on our way to Senator Wash Reservoir.  

As always, THANK YOU for shopping via my link to Amazon! 
Shop Amazon! 

This looks like a fantastic hardback book about Michael Naranjo's art!
Inner Vision: The Sculpture of Micheal Naranjo (2012)
(By the way, Naranjo has never seen his wife of over 30 years or his two daughters.)

Happy Birthday to me and Nikko tomorrow!
Since I don't know his exact birth date, I thought we could share the same one.
Extra treats for him!

Until next time....


  1. A great post, and trip around Wickenburg ! Lots to see EVERYWHERE in this world ! I'm so glad you had a good visit with a good friend! Good friends are so important!
    Safe travels to Senator Wash! Happy birthday to you and Nikko!

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  3. Tiff,
    Spent a month in Wickenburg a few years ago at some of the same places you visited. As your photos are impeccable I was wondering if you'd share what post processing software you use to edit and finalize your photos. I used IPhoto until it became no longer available but nothing as outstanding as yours. I'd appreciate knowing your choice. I read you as often as you post and thanks for sharing.

  4. So glad you and Theresa had a good time! Glad the photos are back...!

  5. Hi Larry --- Thanks for your nice comments! I use Picasa to organize, crop, straighten and frame photos, but then take them all to Photoshop Elements for finalization which might include sharpening/softening, taking out a glaring element like a trash can or sign, if necessary, and converting to B&W if it's a good contrast photo. Thanks for asking!