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.
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.
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.
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.
Crossing back into Arizona, we headed up to Portal in the Chiricahua Mountains. The mountains were spectacular with birds and wildlife everywhere.
From Portal we climbed the mountains up to around 10,000 feet, passing the huge Morenci copper mine.
Old Indian cliff dwellings outside Camp Verde
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.
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.
Cowboys on the boardwalk
More – of I don’t know what?
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.
Placing figures in a painting often adds life and interest that can make the difference between an average painting and an engaging one. Here are some simple tips