Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tim Shows me the Other Side

I have been very fortunate to have been guided by many strong men during my life. I cherish the things they have taught me about life, nature, and history. Tim O Neill has taught me a great deal about the wonders of the South West. He has taught me about the history of the Spanish Conquest of the Pueblo People and how they revolted and eventually expelled them. He has shown me how to find gold in river beds that look to be full of nothing but rocks and dirt. He has taught me how to find turquoise, to polish it and turn it into jewelry. All these things I cherish deeply. On my recent visit, he took me to see some petroglyphs just outside of Santa Fe. These petroglyphs were done before, during, and after the Spanish left. They were done up until about 400 years ago. Until you are right on them, you would never know they are there. Tim knows where to look and even more importantly how to see them. We saw thousands in this one location. There were thousands we never even saw. In all I took 386 pictures. I will just give you a sampling. I do not know what they all are, so I will attempt to only explain the ones I do know.

This would had been done after the Conquest. It depicts a Church connected to the death symbol. A serious commentary.

We saw many of these Kokopelli. There were all different lengths of horns or flutes being played. For this next description, you might want your kids to look away...

Richi you are an ASSHOLE....

Here is the work of another ASSHOLE. Someone attempted to steal this solstice symbol. They broke it in half instead. Unfortunately we saw many signs of this sort of theft. Now, back to the real art.

On this panel you see many things that look like octopus. They are glyphs for comets

Whole herds of animals.

A Thunderbird or Phoenix.

A cross stabbing a raven? The raven is the animal attributed to the creation of man in many South Western cultures.

The spiral is a symbol for the solstice. This one is divided in half most likely representing an equinox phase of the sun. The six fingered hand is a sign for a shaman.

We came upon this at the end of out walk. The cans are hung in the tree to provide homes for the dead ancestors. The Pueblo that use to be here lies buried and un excavated, so this is the next best thing for them. Sometimes people have imitated these can trees, but this one is the real deal. I am very honored to have been given this experience. Tim, Thanx.

Unfortunately, this is where the New Mexico story ends. A few hours later we were on a plane heading for home. Unfortunately the adventures are going to have to wait for a while. I am way behind on my work and we need to bring the bank account back to normal. Hopefully something will pop up soon to post about. Until then, see ya up the road.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

One last Tourist Trap for the Tourists

When Beth and I were newlyweds and we traveled, we always tried to get off the beaten track. We tried hard to go where there were no tourists. A few years ago we realized we were tourist anywhere we went. On the beaten track were actually some very cool things we were missing out on. Road Side America had very little listings for New Mexico, but one caught our eye; Tinkertown. It was on the way from Madrid to the Airport.

I really did not know what to expect, but when we saw this sign the curiosity was tweaked.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Here is 1021 words then. It kind of explains the museum...

The guy who built this place must have had a lot of fun doing it. There were all kinds of metal bits transformed into sculpture.

It takes a lot of time to take it all in.

The museum is built of all kinds of salvaged materials collected in the surrounding hills and desert. When it was began, there were very few people out here. Now as people commute to work, many houses and developments have sprung up in the area.

Everything is free form construction using stone, wood, bottles, and lots of mortar.

I have seen bottle houses before. What makes this place so unique is the combining of materials.

There are a lot of bottles...

and a lot of whimsy...

There are a bunch of these dioramas. There were all kinds of buttons for the kids to push to make things move. Every element of the circus was present there.

There was this Freak Show diorama also. There was a representation of every freak possible. The only one missing in the display was me. This was one very cool museum. Very worth the $8 it cost our family to get in. I could have spent another two hours here looking at it all over again, but we needed to eat before going to the Airport.

As good as this meal looks before we started to eat, it was far from good. We made the mistake of going to Old Town Albuquerque and wound up in a tourist trap. Yep, a total tourist trap unlike the very worth it Tinkertown. We left dissatisfied for the Airport. I dropped Beth and Halle off and headed back to Tim's. Oh, did you think it was over? We had a free ticket and we had some vouchers. In order to use them, we had to split up on the airlines. Ava and I still had about 30 hours to do something fun. In my next post, I will tell you all about the killer adventure Tim took us on the following day.

Friday, July 23, 2010

La casa de Tim es mi casa

A few years ago my friend Monty introduced me to a friend of his in Madrid New Mexico named Tim. We have visited Tim every time we go to New Mexico without fail. Tim is a gracious host and we take full advantage (but not for granted) of the hospitality he offers. No trip would be complete without a visit to him. Set course from Durango to Madrid...

There was nothing but rocks and dirt to see. Lots of rocks and dirt.

... and the Ghost Ranch. The Ghost Ranch is where Georgia O'Keeffe painted many of her works. She was a fairly well known painter that found solace and inspiration in the New Mexico landscapes. Her works hang in many museums around the world.

You probably know who I am talking about, but for a biography, here ya go... LINK

Some of them were actually not vaginas disguised as flowers. Just sayin'...

Tim has a very comfortable adobe house that just makes us feel at home.

The view from his house and studio commands a 280 degree sight line of some very beautiful terrain.

Those mountains are called the Cerrillos Mining District. From those mountains have come hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gold, silver, lead, and turquoise over the past 400 years. There are a few others that were mined there also. Tim has a turquoise claim out there in those mountains and has taken me there many times. I didn't get to go this time, unfortunately. Tim took me to see something even more spectacular instead. I will tell you all about that in my next post. Maybe the one after that.

The views are breathtaking. Maybe it is the altitude that was taking my breath, also. Many of you have commented on my photos. I usually only let out my photos that illustrate my story that is being told. I take hundreds during a trip like this. I have an MFA in sculpture, and many of the photos you never see are influenced by my formal training. I am going to share a few this time without any commentary or story telling.

There was work involved in this trip, no, really. Tim wants to get an Airstream. He had spotted a number of them in his area and wanted to have me look at them before he goes knocking on doors, tracking down land ownership, and making offers. We went all over the place and I came to a strong realization that I know where the "lost" 35% are. Airstream keeps claiming that 65% are still on the road. The lost 35% are all in New Mexico. Holy crap, are there a ton of old Airstreams there. There are also a bunch of cool vintage SOB trailers.

I was captivated by this girl looking forlorn in the junipers.

She is more a house trailer than a travel trailer. I was told the tenants were more interested in homemade pharmaceuticals than paying rent and had to be removed.

A very common thing to see on many New Mexico trailers is hail damage. Oddly enough, the older Airstreams have less than the newer ones. Most every trailer we saw had this condition though.

Tim is still looking. My favorite one we looked at was a 52 Silver Streak. It was about 16 foot long and I will NEVER tell you where it was. Not even going to post pictures, for someone out there will be trying to find it if I do. I will be going back to do some knocking, some land ownership investigation, and some offering, for sure.