Arizona Memories Redux

Bridge over the little Colorado.

I was looking back at the weeks we spent in Arizona and remembering the sky … that huge blue dome of a sky, like no sky I’ve ever seen and wishing we could go back again to the west. There are few places I’ve been that I really want to revisit, but this is one. So, in lieu of plane fare and all that stuff that we cannot afford, here is Arizona again … our western adventure.

Big sky over Navajo country.

There are good things and not-so-good things about digital cameras.

Navajo … the sky really does seem bigger.

Among the great things about it are auto-focus (how did I live without it?) and not being limited by the amount of film you have and how much it will cost you to process it.

Door in Tombstone … Welcome dogs, people not so sure

Among the bad things? Not being limited by the amount of film you have and how much it will cost you to process it.

Tombstone, where the stagecoach runs on time.

Good grief, you ask, how can the same thing be the good and the bad? I didn’t really understand it myself until the day I came home from our vacation in Arizona and realized that I had taken thousands of pictures. Not hundreds. Thousands.

The Dusty main (only) street of Tombstone.

I love the names of places in the west … just like the movies I’ve been watching since I was a kid.

The Superstition Mountains.

It was almost a year before I felt able to even do an initial sorting through of the downloaded images and now, 4 years later, I realize that most of those images had never been processed.

There was a great deal of lightning … but I never managed to catch any … but I sure tried hard!

It isn’t because they were all perfect: it’s because the idea of having to sort through and edit so many photographs, many of them very similar to one another, is so daunting a task that I did nothing at all. Procrastination … sometimes it’s the better choice.

The ghost town by Apache Junction.

Today, I gave in and began to approach the project and so … better late than never … I present to you Arizona through my lens.

I should mention that it never fell below 100 degrees the entire time we were there and it got up to 124 — and stayed there — for the entire time we were in Phoenix, so if the current heat wave is bothering you, I share your pain.

You can’t really capture how grand it is.

Among the places to which we roamed were the Grand Canyon, locally known as “The Big Hole,” Tombstone, Flagstaff, Navajo, Apache, Apache Junction (a ghost town), the Painted Desert … we did some serious travelling.

I think I could fall in love with the southwest. I think maybe I did.

Categories: American history, Ecology, Nature, Photography, Travel

Tags: , , , , , , ,

13 replies

  1. Arizona was a great trip!! Especially Tombstone and some of the John Ford country we saw. Hope we can do it again when it is not so impressively hot. “Pappy” would say “you’ll do” after seeing your pictures.


  2. Been there; done that. Loved every minute. Will never forgot what a wonderful time we had.


  3. Marilyn I would love to see your thousands of photos someday. You are a wonderful photographer and I enjoy you collections of photos so much. Many of these places I will never get a chance to see so I love seeing them through your camera lens. I enjoy your blog so much. Keep em coming!!


    • I haven’t actually looked at … well, MOST of my pictures! There are so many and when I was first using digital, I went a little nuts. It’s overwhelming. I shoot fast, but edit slowly, so even if I only do minor edits, it still takes a fair bit of time, I love it, but it’s work and I am determined to go and actually TAKE some pictures today! I’ve been so busy blogging and editing that I haven’t actually gotten out there and summer is slipping away!!


  4. I can certainly relate to your vist to the Southwest. Almost exactly one year ago today I was on a 12 day bus tour of Zion, Bryce, Arches, Monument Valley & the Grand Canyon. There were 35 of us aboard a Green Tortoise bus hiking through the hills of Utah, Arizona, Colorado and more. The scenery was breathtaking. The red rock formations like the hoodoos & arches were something we’d never seen before. The canyons were deep and exceedingly hot in late July & early August. I came home with over 500 frames and could have taken thousands with the gear I had with me. Being with a hiking group limited the number I took. It was a “Bucket List” trip I will never forget. Your photos and description certainly brought back fresh memories of that occasion. Thanks for sharing. 🙂


    • It was my first excursion with a digital camera and a really big chip! It was a great trip … but that was when I realized that I didn’t need 20 frames of anything I liked. I was so used to bracketing for film and stuff … I had no idea how much I was taking! Our bucket list includes a trip to Monument Valley where John Ford shot so many of his westerns. Don’t know if we’ll get there, but we can hope. I’m so sorry that when I was on the west coast, I was in one of the periods when I didn’t have a camera … I missed so many great opportunities. Oh well. If there is a next time, I’ll be ready! Thanks Bob. From you, praise means a lot.


      • Well I can certainly sympathize…, there is so much to see out here…, in the west that is, Arizona that is. Somehow not even photographs can quite capture that feelling of space. So I’m lookin’ fprward to seein’ you cowpersons out this way agin, reeeaall soon, sos ah kin sho ya around some more… uh pardner?


        • I was trying to capture things that you can’t really capture. The vastness of it … the way the sky seems to go on forever. And I don’t think there’s a lens made that will do justice to the Canyon! Not even a movie camera. That one is a feast for eyes. When you are all moved in and settled down and we can figure out when you aren’t working … well, I’d love to!


  5. Yes, it’s best to photograph with restraint. You’ve got some very nice ones here.


  6. Hi Marilyn. I’m glad you didn’t include the thousands of pics. I know the anguish of coming home from holiday and having to decide what to delete. In my case I also do hard copy prints of the ones I want to keep, to put in albums and Flickr. We used to love driving the American West (based out of LA). I think we have covered the full semicircle as far out as Utah & Yellowstone. Flagstaff sounds familiar too.


    • We are hoping to get to Monument Valley in Utah where John Ford shot so many of his westerns. Flagstaff is the city in the north of Arizona near the Grand Canyon. Also near the Navajo and Apache reservations. Big sky country. Much cooler than further south. Phoenix was really really really hot. Didn’t know you lived in LA!


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