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moab – along the colorado   no comments

Posted at 6:11 pm in Uncategorized

Church Rock along Route 191 between Monticello and Moab

NOTE: As mentioned some time ago, the comments function of this blog no longer work. I tried to get the problem sorted out before going on the road last autumn, but to no avail. I finally resorted to setting up a new blog at another URL. It contains all of the posts that reside at this URL, but also has all of the missing comments and allows new comments to be posted. You can find the version of this post to which you can post comments here. I’ll try to remember to put up new posts here, but I suggest updating your bookmark to the new URL.

After jumping forward to write about the CSP Mystery Ball here in Bisbee, I’m picking up the trail after my previous post about Lowry Pueblo. After leaving the ruins and crossing back into Utah from Colorado, I approached Monticello from the east, only to find snow falling on the high country just to the west. Any plans I’d had for camping up in that area were abandoned. Checking out the sky in each direction, I decided that it looked better up north toward Moab, so turned the van and headed that way.

I’m quite accustomed to encounters with odd rock formations in the southwest, but the sight of Church Rock practically brought me to an abrupt stop (see above – click on all images for larger views). Fortunately, there are turnout lanes in each direction as this is one of those places where just about everyone feels compelled to stop and snap a photo. Knowing nothing about the history of the rock, I later learned that the hole at the base is alleged to be the work of a group of followers of Marie Ogden who had led them to Utah to form a utopian religious colony north of Monticello.

Marie’s Place – old cabin which was once part of the utopian colony begun by Marie Ogden

A few days later, while driving along a nearby road, I photographed a cabin (see above) which was posted with a sign Marie’s Place, or something to that effect. Thinking it must have been some kind of abandoned B&B, I gave it no more thought until looking for information on Church Rock. There’s actually quite a history to Marie Ogden and her group. If curious, you can read more about Marie and the Home of Truth colony here and here.

map of the area around Moab, Utah, where I camped for about a week in November

This signboard with a map of the Moab area should help to orient some of the places which I visited and camped. Arriving in Moab, I dropped by at the visitor center to ask about camping in the area. Originally, I had hoped to stay at the Devil’s Garden campground which is situated within Arches National Park, but the person on duty said that there was probably no chance of getting a site there as it is always full. From other posts on this blog, I’m sure it’s become apparent that I avoid any place where there are more than a handful of people – the less the better – so camping at Arches was completely out. I asked about other possibilities and was handed a page with a list of other sites in the region – most being small BLM sites along the Colorado River. With the list as a guide, I drove us out of town to explore upriver.

view across the roadway from our campsite at Big Bend on the Colorado

The first site I came upon (Goose Island), was about half filled, mainly with large RVs, so I kept going, on past a couple of smaller tent and camper sites until I reached Big Bend. It looked pretty ideal – there appeared to be no one there other than the camp host. I chose a site off on its own along the river. It was about 3 p.m., so the tall canyon walls were casting long shadows over most of the campground. I got to work setting up camp as I knew that the light would soon be lost. Our campsite was terrific. In one direction, there was a high formation with castle like columns (see above). Just below us flowed the Colorado River, the river banks illuminated by the last rays of sunlight on golden willow leaves (see below). All around us, birds darted through the bushes, stopping to sing a few phrases before moving on. No doubt, at a warmer time in the season, these river campgrounds must be crowded, but at this time of the year, they are all but abandoned. Perfect.

view of the Colorado River from our campsite at Big Bend

After a short walk with the dogs, I began making our dinner. Sage found herself a perch on one of the large rocks near the picnic table. The dogs and I had such a pleasant evening, sitting eating our dinners, listening to the rushing of the river over a set of gentle rapids. I thought of how lucky we were to have chosen this place rather than ending up in a busy campground. So many times in my travels, I’ve passed by busy spots, thinking that if I just drive a little further on, maybe we’ll find a quiet place. Fortunately, this has almost always proven to be the case.

Sage comfortably perched on a rock at our campsite

We had a quiet night and rose early, ready to set out for a day of touring through Arches National Park which actually lies just above where we had camped, but is accessed by driving back downriver toward Moab and then on north up Rte 191. I’ll be writing a post about Arches, so keep watch for that in the next day or two. However, I’ll end this post with a couple of photos taken along the Colorado River canyon.

high red sandstone canyon walls along the Colorado

The sandstone walls of the canyons are a deep red, often streaked with dark desert varnish. Here and there along the roadway, there are hiking trails going up through steep side canyons. I did not do any exploring on this trip as I would have had to leave Sabrina in the van. In many places, there are the beginnings of arches cut into the canyon walls. They will gradually change, eventually wearing away to create the kinds of arches that will be seen in my next post.

the beginnings of arch formations in the vertical walls above the Colorado River

Written by bev on February 19th, 2011

CSP Mystery Ball – 2011   no comments

Posted at 12:19 pm in Uncategorized

detail from Bisbeeland – an outdoor installation by Robert Bennett

NOTE: As mentioned some time ago, the comments function of this blog no longer work. I tried to get the problem sorted out before going on the road last autumn, but to no avail. I finally resorted to setting up a new blog at another URL. It contains all of the posts that reside at this URL, but also has all of the missing comments and allows new comments to be posted. You can find the version of this post to which you can post comments here. I’ll try to remember to put up new posts here, but I suggest updating your bookmark to the new URL.

~ * ~

As mentioned in my last post, for the past month, I’ve busy working on several art pieces destined for an installation at the Mystery Ball fundraiser for the Central School Project (Bisbee’s community center for the arts). The event was held on Saturday, February 5th, and has been declared a great success. Over 20 regional artists created visual, audio, multimedia and performance art installations on three levels of the CSP’s unique and historic building located in the center of old Bisbee.

view of MADEA installation by Joe Klinger and Danny Seltzer

All of the installations were wonderfully creative. One interesting aspect of almost every installation was that they were made from found objects and recycled materials. Although I can only feature a few of the works here, please visit the online gallery which I’ve created to display some of the photos that I and a couple of friends shot during the evening. Just click on any image to see its larger view, and the same goes for the photos in this blog post. I spent a good three hours wandering around all levels of the building, studying and photographing installations, and watching the multimedia and performance art productions. All were fascinating or entertaining in some way.

NoVOGRAFIAS: poembirth multimedia performance installation by Logan Phillips

One of my favourites of the evening was Logan Phillips’ multimedia performance installation, NoVOGRAFIAS: poembirth. It was visually intense and kept many watchers spellbound, standing crowded together peering through the doorway into a small room. I sat on some nearby theater seats and slipped over to shoot photos and a couple of video clips when there was a brief gap in the watchers. Here is a short video clip of the performance which went on almost non-stop for three hours (the clip is in .mp4 format). The other multimedia piece that held my attention for quite some time was the Digital Puppets Brought to Life by Natural Interactions – by the Circus of Tiny Invisibility. The installation featured a digital puppet theater consisting of a cloth projection sheet. Passersby could stand within a certain area in front of the screen and move about in ways which would cause clowns, acrobats and other digitally created puppets to move on the projection sheet. All of this is best seen rather than described, so I’ve put up a short video clip of one mystery ball attendee acting out in front of the screen while a clown figure responds on the screen. Of course, each person who came along had his or her own ideas about how they would like the puppet to behave, making for some rather hilarious innovations.

view of LIFE: the ultimate gamble installation by Jen & Judy Harris

My hat is off to all of the artists, and the many volunteers who were responsible for putting together a terrific evening of art and entertainment, and also to Melissa Holden, executive director of the CSP, who did such an able job of coordinating the event. Everything seemed to run so smoothly.

For my part, I enjoyed contributing as one of the installation artists (see below for a photo of attendees viewing some of the pieces and see the main photo gallery for more images). I realize that others may not realize the significance of my participation in this event, but I feel the need to take note. Since my husband, Don’s death, I have not had much interest in creating art. In fact, it has been almost impossible for me to produce much of anything, in spite of lugging a well-stocked sack of art supplies, brushes, pens and canvases, back and forth across North America through several crossings over the past two and a half years. However, something about putting together this installation finally motivated me to be creative and productive, at least for awhile. Here’s hoping that the momentum will continue.

Note: Here is a link to a gallery of images of my own Life’s Little Mysteries installation.

view of Life’s Little Mysteries installation by Bev Wigney

Written by bev on February 10th, 2011