blogging kp!

some of my travels with random musings & silliness mixed in

Riding April 30, 2012

Re-read this the other day… it so perfectly describes how I feel about riding my bike…

“You see things vacationing on a motorcycle in a way that is completely different from any other. In a car you’re always in a compartment, and because you are used to it you don’t realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You’re a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame.

On a cycle the frame is gone. You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re IN the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming. That concrete whizzing by five inches below your foot is the real thing, the same stuff you walk on, it’s right there, so blurred you can’t focus on it, yet you can put your foot down and touch it anytime, and the whole thing, the whole experience, is never removed from immediate consciousness.”

~~ Robert M. Pirsig

 

The Hoop Dance May 29, 2011

This year for Memorial Weekend, I rode my Harley around Arizona. Part of my trip included riding up to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. While walking around the Rim taking pictures, I heard the very distinct sound of what I will refer to here as powwow drums.

I walked over to where the sound was coming from (the side of the Hopi House) and found a show (ugh… I hate that word in this instance) of four or five Native American dancers performing various cultural dances… so, I slowly inched my way forward and soon was able to take some pictures. This series of photos is of the Hoop Dance.

The Hoop Dance is a form of dance that a solo dancer performs to tell a story with anywhere from 1 to 30 hoops at a time…. each formation of hoops can represent an animal (ie… snake, eagle, coyote) that is integral to the storytelling. Also, each hoop represents the circle of life. The various formations of the hoop occur all around the dancer’s body. To create the various formations, the hoops are arranged to interconnect. While interconnected, the hoops are extended from the dancer’s body to create the “wings”, “tails”, etc of the animal they are creating…. all this is done while the dance is moving very rapidly.

More of my pictures: http://wp.me/pyPkl-cO

 

Airports, People, Zombies and the Apocalypse May 21, 2011

Today I am on my way back to the Midwest for my cousin’s funeral. I never would have thought I would be saying this as he was only 20 years old. A complete shocker to me and my family. I admit I am having a difficult time wrapping my head around this and feeling somewhat anxious as I travel back East.

On the way to Concourse C

My anxiety has kept me from sleeping, so, as I sit in the various airports crossing the country, I am people watching… and there is a lot of people watching to be done! Young, old. Big, small. Immense. Slow, fast. Military. Families. Bachelorettes leaving for Las Vegas.

Everyone seems to have headphones on. White ones usually indicate an Apple product. One such set just walked by attached to someone singing to whatever they were listening to. (They probably shouldn’t give up their day job… American Idol contestant they are not.)

As I sit in front of the flat screen tv at my gate, CNN announces that the CDC has released guidelines for how to deal with a zombie epidemic/breakout. Seems I (we) should have food, water and a first aid kit. This seems remarkably over simplistic to me. Shouldn’t we have this already?

**** Newsflash! Today is supposed to be the beginning of the apocalypse. ****

CNN just reported it on the flat screen, so, it must be true…. right? Do you think I will need food, water and a first aid kit? What should be my last meal today? Yikes! Am I only gonna get to eat from an airport food court? This could be my last blog entry!

What an anticlimactic end to my life it would be…. We have an apocalypse and I am sitting in an airport… not riding my motorcycle or hanging out at my local watering hole with my friends…. nor am I camping somewhere among the red rocks of Utah.

I think the Detroit Airport (DTW) has become my favorite of all the ones I have been through. Dallas / Ft. Worth (DFW) used to hold that honor with JFK and London Heathrow as the worst.

DTW water fountain

DTW seems to be new. Shiny. Modern. Right smack in the middle of Concourse A is a water fountain. The fountain is one of those that intermittently but in a series of patterns shoots streams of water up and out of the base of the fountain. Children stand around it fascinated.

I think I will go over to the Harley Davidson boutique. Yep, a Harley store in the airport. It is actually one of two that I am aware of…. Chicago has the other. No bikes for sale, just shirts, jackets, key chains, mugs and any other chotchkies they can squeeze the bar and shield on. (5/26/11… Due to weather… I was rerouted through Minneapolis on my way home… they have a Harley store as well.)

Tunnel between concourses

My favorite feature of DTW is the long hallway between Concourse A and Concourses B/C. It is a tunnel. The walls have the appearance of brushed aluminum. There are moving sidewalks on either side of the tunnel. The best part…. the walls change color! Blue. Green. Pink. Red. The music pumped into the tunnel is surreal new age-y…. I stood there for twenty minutes just watching. Well, two hours of my four hour layover down…. two to go.

RIP Andrew. I will miss you. XO

All pics are from DTW Airport and were taken with a cell phone… if you want to see more… click here… http://wp.me/pyPkl-cf

 

Getting Out of the Well March 19, 2011

Filed under: Travel,Waxing Philosophic — photographingkp @ 7:25 pm
Tags: , , ,

“… the frog at the bottom of the well thinks the sky is only as big as the top of the well…

… If he surfaced, he would have an entirely different view.”

~ Mao Tse Tung

 

Arizona Route 40/66 – The Wigwam Motel January 3, 2011

Have You Slept in a Wigwam Lately?

That is the slogan of one of the most beloved attractions on Route 66… The Wigwam Motel.

Built in 1950 in Holbrook, Arizona, The Wigwam Motel was opened and very quickly developed a very enthusiastic following.

The Wigwam Village concept actually began in 1935 east of Holbrook in Horse City, Kentucky. Frank A. Redford was the gentleman behind the concept. All of  the “rooms” are individual concrete wigwams… errrr…. teepees.

While visiting Cave City, Kentucky, Chester Lewis, saw his first Wigwam Village and decided he wanted to build one in Holbrook. Chester and Frank talked and hammered out a deal to make this happen. Frank would provide the building plans. Chester would build out the plans in Holbrook.

Back then the franchising concept wasn’t really around.  So, all fifteen rooms would have a radio in them. Motel guests who wanted to listen to the radio, would drop a dime in the radio for 30 minutes at a time. Chester would collect the coins from the radios and the proceeds would go to Frank. This agreement was in place for awhile.

The Holbrook Wigwam (#6) was one of seven built from Kentucky to California. Ole #6 was quite popular since it is located on Route 66. At the time, Route 66 was the only way to cross the US… it was the “Mother Road”.

Unfortunately for the Wigwam, the new highway… Interstate 40… opened in 1974 and bypassed downtown Holbrook. Business slowed and eventually, the hotel was closed. Chester’s children renovated the motel and re-opened it in 1988. In 2002, the motel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  

Classic car buffs will enjoy walking around the parking lot. Fords, Buicks, Chevys all found their permanent place in the Wigwam’s parking lot.

Oprah fans might remember the Wigwam from her roadtrip across the United States with her friend Gayle. Unfortunately, Oprah couldn’t stay. The interior of the room was too small for her and her claustrophia kicked in.

While I understand claustrophobia… the inside of the wigwam can feel small and there is only one small window… I felt the editors of her show portrayed her issue in such a way that made the Motel seem subpar. I have stayed here and have always enjoyed my stay. Remember, this is a 60 year old MOTEL not a Hyatt.

Those of you with children, might recognize the motel as the “Cozy Cone Motel” from the original Disney / Pixar movie “Cars”.

Today, only three the of the original motels remain: Cave City, Kentucky; Holbrook, Arizona; and Rialto (San Bernardino), California. Now I want to stay in the other two Wigwams!

 

Arizona Route 40/66 – Holbrook, AZ

Pow Wow Trading Post

Once I left Exit 303, I continued on to Holbrook, Arizona. Holbrook is a great little town full of all the old vintage signs I love and the history of Route 66.

What’s crazy is that five days ago on my way to Santa Fe, NM, I drove through Holbrook and I was in the middle of a BLIZZARD. Driving through it today, there is hardly any snow on the ground. Pretty amazing how quickly the weather can change… like “on a dime”!

I have always wanted to go back to Holbrook. I have been through once or twice and have always been in a hurry. I really want to photograph the vintage signs at night… get them in all of their glory. However, I never seem to make it through at night.

I pulled off the 40 onto Navajo Boulevard into Holbrook. Straight down Navajo is the Pow Wow Trading Post. I have always loved that place, but alas, it appears to be closed. There is a large chain link fence all around it. I really hope that somehow new life is breathed into it. I got my camera out anyway and took what photos I could… the chain link fence and electrical wires made it difficult to get some shots but I was out of the car and enjoying myself.

The Plainsman

My next stop is a little further down from the Pow Wow on the opposite side of the road. It is a fairly famous bar called Young’s Corral. I have never been inside but the horse’s ass on the sign always makes me laugh. On the side of Young’s there is a mural the length of the building. The mural is an homage to the desert, motorcycle riding and classic cars. Of course I stopped to photograph the mural. I wonder to myself why residents look at me funny… you would think that being a big city on Route 66 a tourist taking photos wouldn’t be an oddity!

I turned right onto West Hopi Drive and found myself in old motel / restaurant sign HEAVEN. My favorite is the Plainsman… a steakhouse whose sign is in the shape of a rifle with a powder horn! I’d get out snap some photos and then drive to the next place… I was lost in my own little world.

Sadly, the one sign I want to photograph…. is somewhere in Holbrook (I know because I have photographed it before.) but I could not remember where. It is of a large neon Indian Chief… not the motorcycle… I suppose I could have asked but I really needed to get back on the road. sigh. Next time I WILL FIND IT!

Next stop on my photo expedition… The Wigwam Motel!

See more of my photos here: http://wp.me/pyPkl-dM

Young's Corral

 

Arizona Route 40/66 – Exit 303 Stewart’s

I suggest exiting now!

So, after perusing and photographing Route 40’s Exit 303 and all of it’s “attractions”… I crossed over to the other side of Route 40 and found Stewart’s Petrified Wood.

What first caught my eye was the dinosaurs and the tiger… but as I drove closer all the signs and goofy other statues… dilapidated school bus and other crazy things really caught my attention.

All the dinosuars had female mannequins hanging from their mouths… some were bloodied… some were not. One dinosaur (looks like a Brontosaurus) is wrapped in lots and lots of lights… I imagine at night he’s brighter then a half dozen Christmas trees!! Upon closer inspection, I noticed some of the dinos appeared to have mechanical parts, so, maybe they moved at some point in time.

Rumour has it the owner (Mr. Stewart) and the owners of the the trading posts across Route 40 had a disagreement over who owned the rights to a dinosaur. Stewart apparently put his handmade beauties up AFTER the people across the street did. But alas… there are no rights to ownership of a dinosaur and Stewart’s look significantly different.

The dinosaurs are not the only items in / around the parking lot to capture your attention. I would be remiss not to mention the tiger, the ostriches and the old cars. The cars sit in the parking lot to try to fool the passersby into thinking the store is busy.

I would really like to go by at night and see Stewart’s all lit up… it would be even better to see the mechanical monsters moving too!

Click here to see more! (You won’t regret it!) http://wp.me/pyPkl-dq

 

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.