MONTANA WEST

Following our workshop in Calgary, we drove back into the USA to cross the Rockies in Montana. Driving through Glacier National Park on Going to the Sun Road is one of the most spectacular drives. We plodded our way slowly, stopping every chance we got to take in the view and do some walks.

© John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018

© John Lovett 2018

© John Lovett 2018

© John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018

The weather closed in as we reached the top of the mountains, but the rain, snow and fog sure added a wildness to the spectacular atmosphere of the mountains.

© John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018

Driving out of Glacier National Park, we headed west across Montana. The country flattens out and is dotted with small ranches.

© John Lovett 2018

© John Lovett 2018

Mobile road block occupying 100% of the bitumen.

© John Lovett 2018

We met this guy and his wife, who live in the woods at the foot of Glacier Nat. Park. Their dog chases away bears.

© John Lovett 2018

Kootenai Falls where The Revenant was shot. © John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018

Crossing Idaho and into Washington the landscape turns to rolling hills of wheat and canola farms.

© John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018

We reached an interesting little town called Hunters in Washington State. It looked like nothing much had changed there since the 1950’s. From here we turned North, drove back up into Canada and the Okanagan Valley for another workshop in the town of Kelowna.

© John Lovett 2018© John Lovett 2018© John Lovett 2018© John Lovett 2018

BEAR RIVER POW-WOW

Dillmans Bay Resort, the venue for our Wisconsin workshop, is situated in the Indian reservation of Lac du Flambeau. We were lucky enough to be there when the annual Bear River Pow-Wow was being held. Lots of drums, chanting and dancing as the sun went down made for some great photos and an interesting evening.

© John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018

© John Lovett 2018

© John Lovett 2018

© John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018

© John Lovett 2018

© John Lovett 2018© John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018  © John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018

HWY 80 to NEW MEXICO

After leaving Bisbee, our plan was to head east across the bottom of Arizona to the Chiricahua Mountains. This road took us through the small settlement of Apache near where Geronimo surrendered to the Us Army in 1886, ending the Indian wars.

© John Lovett 2018

Crossing into New Mexico, we stopped at a roadhouse in the little town of Rodeo. It was an interesting place with great food and an entertaining passage of local ranchers stopping in for coffee and gossip.

© John Lovett 2018

© John Lovett 2018

© John Lovett 2018

Further down the road a Museum had a great collection of local desert snakes – all safely behind glass. We hadn’t managed to see a rattle snake in all our wandering around, so this was a good opportunity to get a photograph.

© John Lovett 2018

Crossing back into Arizona, we headed up to Portal in the Chiricahua Mountains. The mountains were spectacular with birds and wildlife everywhere.

© John Lovett 2018  © John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018

 

 

© John Lovett 2018

Hummingbirds were a lot of fun to photograph, being so small and moving so fast. Even at 2000th of a second their wings are blurred.
© John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018

From Portal we climbed the mountains up to around 10,000 feet, passing the huge Morenci copper mine.

© John Lovett 2018

© John Lovett 2018

© John Lovett 2018

© John Lovett 2018

Old Indian cliff dwellings outside Camp Verde

© John Lovett 2018

LOWELL and BISBEE

Bisbee is a copper mining town that has, some how,  flourished since the mine closed. The steep landscape and opulent architecture, from the boom days, make the town uniquely attractive. Lots of interesting pubs, bars and restaurants, and an atmosphere of 1960’s counter culture, have given Bisbee a whole new life.

Just outside of Bisbee is, what’s left of, the town of Lowell. In the 1950’s the mine pit was expanded to extract more copper and most of the town was consumed in the expansion. What is left (Eire Street) appears to have been frozen in time. Crumbling buildings, closed businesses, old cars, weeds and debris. A fantastic and confusing place.

© John Lovett 2018
Reflections in a junk shop window

© John Lovett 2018
Bisbee graffiti wall

© John Lovett 2018
Chainsaw on a roof

© John Lovett 2018
Rustys Snacks

© John Lovett 2018
Main Street Bisbee

© John Lovett 2018
Captivating display of ancient dentistry.

© John Lovett 2018

© John Lovett 2018
Bisbee mine  head

© John Lovett 2018
Mine Site

© John Lovett 2018
Shell servo, Lowell

© John Lovett 2018
Cadillac from space

© John Lovett 2018
Outside Lowell Gym.

© John Lovett 2018
Welcome

© John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018

© John Lovett 2018© John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018

ON TO TOMBSTONE

After the workshop at Tanque Verde Ranch, we picked up a hire car in Tucson and headed over to Tombstone. The old town is still pretty well intact, but relies heavily on tourism, so has a bit of a theme park air about it. Lots of cowboys, bar girls and guns, but the old historic locations are all well preserved and very interesting.

From Tombstone we drove out to a few old ghost towns and abandoned mining towns in the region. We discovered some great old buildings in various stages of decay.

© John Lovett 2018
Rain across the prairies between Tucson and Tombstone

© John Lovett 2018
Main street Tombstone

© John Lovett 2018

Cowboys on the boardwalk

© John Lovett 2018
Stage coach into town

© John Lovett 2018
Stage coach out of town.

© John Lovett 2018
Some local beer and wine in the Crystal Palace, followed by a mighty meal and a band that didn’t play cowboy songs – well not many anyway!

© John Lovett 2018
Beautiful old Hotel on mainstreet.

© John Lovett 2018
Well preserved backstreet cottage.

© John Lovett 2018
Not so well preserved facade from more recent times.

© John Lovett 2018
Slowly crumbling cottage in the old mining town of Gleeson.

© John Lovett 2018One of the last surviving cottages in Gleeson.

© John Lovett 2018
Once a thriving business – now part of Gleeson’s collection of decaying buildings.

© John Lovett 2018
Remains of the old Gleeson Jail – no wardens, no prisoners but plenty of patriotic flags.

© John Lovett 2018Well preserved store in the old town of Pearce

© John Lovett 2018

More – of I don’t know what?

TANQUE VERDE RANCH

Just outside Tucson, Arizona, is the Sonoran Desert. Tanque Verde Ranch is situated in the desert and joins the Sonoran Desert National Monument. The ranch was our venue for an enjoyable 5 day painting workshop organised by MISA.

Tanque Verde Ranch was a large cattle property in the early days, but now runs around 200 horses for visitors to explore the many desert riding trails.


Old, now abandoned, homestead.


Original Homestead


One of the ranches horse wranglers


Desert riders – heading for the blueberry pancake breakfast overlooking the mountains


Desert Bunny


Wagon from the wild wild west


Cowboy singer at a dinner under the cottonwoods – only sang cowboy songs.

Javelinas.


Wrangler with his horse


Outside the wranglers Quarters.


Horse yards


I love these American cowboy saddles.


Used horseshoes


Black and White, Red and Brown

Big old French Percheron


Wranglers Ropes


Tired and dusty


Desert Bathtub


Across the desert to the mountains

Saguaro Cactus

© John Lovett 2018
Sticks from the dead Saguaro cactus used for building.

© John Lovett 2018
Cactus Flower

© John Lovett 2018
Humming Bird

© John Lovett 2018Desert House Finch

© John Lovett 2018
Gambel’s Quail

© John Lovett 2018
Happy Horses

© John Lovett 2018
Tanque Verde Ranch accomodation