All posts tagged: Bluff UT

Welcome to One of the Most Remarkable Landscapes on Earth

So, you have two guys of approximately the same age (and regular readers will know what that means) in a car driving the six hours from Salt Lake City down to the Southeast Utah town of Bluff (population 150+) through the awesome landscape of red rocks, wide open vistas, mountains, mesas, and deserts. What’s on the musical playlist when you have all day and long stretches of lonesome highway? Why the Stones (Sticky Fingers, double album with Eric Clapton playing on Brown Sugar).  Lyle Lovett and his Large Band. Merle Haggard and Big City. And most appropriately, Leon Russell and the Shelter People singing Stranger in a Strange Land. What better song to remind you that you’re not in Kansas anymore. Tom and I certainly tested the speakers in our little rental car. So crank it up! More to come… DJB

Wrapping up the Western Trip

After the first day back at work, I have pulled together a few final observations from the road and even more photographs from our trip out west. #1 – Acoma Sky City (see Claire’s photo at left) is one of the most moving and beautiful places in America.  If you ever travel near Albuquerque, take the time to travel about an hour west and see this extraordinary place. #2 – Follow your spouse’s good instincts when you travel.  When we pulled into Gallup, NM after spending the day at Acoma, Candice really wanted to attend the Native American Tribal Ceremonial gathering that was taking place, to see the dancing and cultural displays.  I was tired and didn’t follow through, and so we ended up resting in the hotel.  Two days later when reading a regional paper we learned 1) that the event itself was pretty spectacular and 2) that PAUL McCARTNEY was in Gallup that evening and had attended the event to watch the dancing.  Apparently he was traveling on Historic Route 66 and decided …

Bluff(ing) our way to Canyon de Chelly

When last we were in the land of Internet connectivity, we left you in Bluff, Utah – population 320.  After driving through Monument Valley with a stop at Goulding’s Trading Company for some great Navajo tacos, we arrived in Bluff to spend the night at the historic Decker House Inn.  We were met by Sandy the innkeeper in one of the town’s more substantial homes, and shown to a wonderful double room where we could all spread out.  Needless to say, Andrew and Claire were pleased! Bluff is located in the middle of a very harsh landscape of red sandstone and deep gorges.  The town was settled by Mormon pioneers in the middle of the 19th century, and some of the buildings from that era (such as the Decker House Inn) have survived.  Even with such a small population, Bluff had some good restaurants, probably the best quality trading post we’ve seen so far, and a historic preservation organization which had prepared walking tours and great brochures of the town’s history.  After a scrumptious breakfast served …

Sacred Places

After two wonderful days at the Grand Canyon, we headed out on Tuesday – but not before making a stop at Mary Colter’s beautiful Desert View Watchtower at the eastern entrance to the park.  Colter designed this gift shop and observation tower for the Fred Harvey Company in a way that appears to blend into the landscape.  She also brought in Hopi artist Fred Kabotie to paint the interior of the tower with symbols that depict various elements of Hopi mythology and religious ceremony.  There is a great reverence for the Native American culture here in Colter’s work.  Click on the link above for a description of the construction of the tower.  This structure is also featured on the beautiful cover photograph of my colleague Arnold Berke’s wonderful book on Mary Colter. After leaving the Grand Canyon, we headed to Utah, driving through the magnificent Monument Valley of Arizona and Utah.  Read the Wikipedia write up linked above to begin to understand the geological and tourism aspects of this wonderful place, but it is best understood …