Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Twin Arrow, AZ on Route 66 - Losing an Icon

When I travel Route 66 I'm always wondering what it was really like to travel it during it's heyday, the 1950's and 60's. In my head I can see travelers stopping for the night at the local motor courts or, their precursors, motor camps and fill up on some local food and coffee at the local diner or 5 and 10. Their eyes widen as the see new wonders traveling west across the Missouri river into wide open country filled with Cowboys and Indians, across the red rocks of New Mexico that blend into the vastness of the Great Basin High Desert of Arizona and finally into the beautiful and unforgiving beauty of Mojave Desert. I can imagine family's heading towards Disneyland packed into their Station wagons, stopping for gas and ice cream at the road side stops that doted the route. For those that drove the whole way, the coastal mountains of California must have seemed amazing after the desert, then only to be farther amazed at the dropped down into the boom town of Los Angles and views of the Pacific Ocean.

Okay, maybe I've gone a bit to far in my description, but these thoughts really tear at my heart when I see an icon of the route torn down to the foundation with maybe, if we are lucky, only it's rotting sign left or a place like Twin Arrows, that should have survived because when the Mother Road was paved over it received its own exit.

Twin Arrows, located about 23 miles east of Flagstaff, AZ, was a classic road stop with a cafe, filling station and a curio shop. It is estimated to have opened sometime in the early 1950's. In 1955 it was purchased by the Troxell Family who, with Mrs. Troxell's parents, ran it until the 1980. In an article for the AZDailySun.com, Jean Troxell, 88, was quoted saying, "...it was one of the biggest in its time. It was very busy. We had signs on Route 66 across Arizona. A lot of good things went on there" After that it was bought and sold numerous times and was finally closed in the late 1990's.

Today the buildings and land are in the care of the State Trust. The state has put of barricades to keep people from stopping there, but had done little to not thing to protect the historic stop. The buildings are boarded up, windows are broken, the gas pumps torn apart, trash litters the area and the arrows that gave the spot its name are falling apart. It didn't looks so bad during my first visit years ago, but after six years it has suffered so badly that now only the feathers are left on one of the arrows, so to be just two polls sticking out of the soil.

Often I think to myself, why did this happen. I remember hearing that the Twin Arrows was loved by truckers. They were known for their classic American road food and a joke menu that included fried pack-rat tail, meteor crater stew, and buzzard eggs to name a few of the dishes.
They even, as I mentioned earlier, had their own exit on the new I-40 Interstate.

My perception is that as gas tanks got larger and cars able to travel farther and faster on the new Interstate and the need for smaller stops was gone. People became in a hurry to get where they were going and wanted something familiar when it came to food and a place to rest. Chain restaurants, gas stations, and motels started dominating the new road, the interstate. It became easy to bypass small town America. Enjoying the trip and stopping to enjoy the local fare and attractions was no longer part of the trip. American's lost the joy of the road and apart of it's history as a result.

There is some hope for this site. The Diner on the site is a Historical Valentine Diner. There has been some effort to restore those diners left around the country. Also, in January 2008 the Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley announced that a site near Twin Arrows "as the most profitable in Arizona." according to a press release from his office. "This site provides the best chance throughout the Navajo Nation for the development of a destination resort,” Shirley said. “In addition to the casino, which will have about 800 slot machines, plans include a hotel, RV Park and conference center, as well as other amenities."

Of course when I heard this news I wondered is this good or bad for Twin Arrows. The site and land are not for sale, but as a whole 872.5 acre site could be acquired for a price from the state. Will someone who believes in the dream that history can be saved and has the funds to purchase it come along in time, or ...? What will happen to this icon of the road?

You can enter to win a free 11x14 in my giveaway post if you enter before the deadline on August 1st.

To purchase the photo above visit my web site:
my etsy shop.

For more information on Twin Arrows visit:
AroundAZ - Twin Arrows page
Fallen Feather

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Time For a Giveaway!!!!!

They say nothing in life is free, but an 11x14 Limited Edition Signed photograph of your choice from my body of work is free, if my daughter picks your name out of a hat on August 1st.
Okay, you do have to do a little something.
--First, I need to know what image you would love to have. So go to my website at www.ljdesignphoto.com, or my etsy shop, or my flicker collection and pick something.
--I also need to be able to contact you some how, so leave me a comment of which image you would love to have and, if you don't have a blog, please leave me your email in your comment.

On August 1st at 9 AM PST I will put the names of everyone entered in a hat, or jar, and have my three year old daughter randomly pick a winner. She will just love playing this important roll. The winner will have five days to claim their prize by sending me a shipping address.

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

This giveaway is part of Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival which runs July 28th though Aug. 1st. Check out all the wonderful giveaways and free stuff you can enter to win at BloggyGiveaways.com.

This are just some of my favorites:

Just FYI: I will not use the info you provide to contact you for any other reason. If you are not a blogger, but wish to enter and don't want to leave an email address in comments you can email me via etsy or my website with your contact info, but be sure to leave a comment and a way to connect the two. This really is totally free, no shipping, no hassle. Thank you for your time.

August 1st. 9 AM PST - Entires are now closed.
Thank you to everyone who participated!!!! I really appreciate all the lovely comments. The winner will be posted very soon.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

School Bag In Her Hand

What a change to my life. What a great change.
My daughter was born just over three years ago and in that time I have only spent a few hours here and there without her. I'm so lucky to be a stay at home mom and to share so much of my time with her.
But this is about to end. In fall she will be starting half day preschool and it will be so strange to not have her there each morning. I'm not sure I'm dealing with it very well.
I thought that separation anxiety happened to the child or the mother whose child is about to go off to college or get married. This seems too early to be feeling this. I'm not losing her, just a little bit of our time together.
We are sending her because she is asking to go, she is asking to learn to read, she wants to learn. We spend a lot of time reading, doing arts and crafts, and exploring the garden, but she wants more. I'm also hoping that it helps her learn to interact with other children better. Right now when we go to group playdates she spend most of her time with me rather then with the other kids, even though she says she wants to play.
What brought this up? I went to see Mamma Mia, the movie, with some new friends in MOMS club. When the scene with "Slipping Though My Fingers" came on I almost cried.

"Schoolbag in hand
She leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile"

It is kind of funny in a way, because I thought that I would be so happy to have some free time. Me time. Time to get things done that I never have time for. But as it becomes more real I'm feeling more anxiety then anything.

I remember holding her small baby hand like it was yesterday. Does it have to happen so quickly? Remember to saver every moment you can with your children.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cool Springs Camp - Route 66 in Arizona

One of the earliest alignments of Route 66 cut right over the Black Mountains of Western Arizona and headed towards the Colorado River and California. This was rough terrain, including some serious mountain grades and a narrow road with hairpin turns. Many cars of the time couldn’t make it up the hill and cars were driven by locals or towed over the Pass. On the eastern side of the mountains that rises up from the Mojave Desert is Cool Springs Camp.

This route existed as the Old Trails Highway and officially became Route 66 in 1926. The increase of traffic created a need for services to assist travelers including water, gas, oil and a bite to eat. Eventually, the Walker family built cabins so weary travelers could get rest along with their chicken dinners.

Thanks to America’s love affair with the car and Nat King Cole’s hit song “Get Your Kicks on Route 66” (written by Bobby Troop), traffic on the road increased to the point where the road through the Black mountains be came extremely dangerous. The heyday of Cool Springs and all the small towns along this alignment was short lived. In the early 1950’s a new and less dangerous alignment of the road was created and Cool Springs was by passed. This new stretch eventually became interstate 40. By 1957 the traffic though the old route had decreased so much that it became increasingly difficult to maintain.

The death of Cool springs came when in the mid 1960’s the buildings caught fire and left nothing but the foundation and the stone pillars. The frame of the station was rebuilt in 1991 for the movie “Universal Soldier”, only to be blow up and ruins once more.

The true rebirth of this historic landmark was in 2001 when Ned Leuchtner was able to purchase the property and follow his dream of rebuilding it. You should visit the Cools Springs website for a more in depth history and/or to learn more about the rebuilding of this landmark.

This photo was taken right after the first phase of rebuilding. Since they have added on, based on the original foundation and photos provided by the original owner’s family. You can stop by and get a drink or some road memorabilia and support the history of the road.

Don't for get to visit my website and/or etsy shop for this and more Route 66 photographs. In my etsy shop I also offer magnets of some route 66 landmarks.


It is happening again! T10T (aka Take Ten Tuesday). Get 10% or more off some great hand made items and artwork. Check out our FAM blog on Tuesday, July 15th for all the stores participating.

I’m having a take 10% off sale on July 15, 2008 between 5:00PM EST and Midnight EST. And if your purchase comes to $25 or more you receive a FREE 5x7 of your choice. You need to remember to put T10T in the notes to seller when you make your purchase and I will send you a revised invoice to pay (so don't pay right away.)

I’m also putting secrets in a few of my listings. These secrets will be Free (just pay shipping) or offered at a deep discount. See my store announcement for details.

And here is my newest listing. A special of two 5x7 prints of beautiful red Gerber Daisies. You save $4 over the individual price if you buy this listing.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sweet Little Humming Birds

Check out my etsy store for my newest item, a set of 5 Humming bird Note cards. This series was taken over a couple of weeks. It was a thrill to watch the babies grow and finally fly away. We have lots of birds visit our feeders, but humming birds are my favorite.

Each card has information on the back, a little bit about hummingbirds and/or the time it was taken. They are made with acid free card stock. The cards are 5x7 folded with a 4x6 size photo and blank inside. I sign each card (but not the photo) and can be easily framed.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Interview with 5 Minutes for Mom

If your a Mom you may have noticed many mom related sites popping up everywhere. Each has a different focus and reason for being. I love to visit Mom sites because I get new ideas and different points of view. One of my favorites is 5 Minutes for Mom. This site is very diverse and their goal is to bring moms together. They have a very active blog with many contributers, a list of readers blogs and interviews, and a list of websites and web stores by reader Moms. This is a great way to find the things we need and support other mom's in the process. They also have some fantastic contest with great giveaways.

Yesterday I got a email from them letting me know that my interview has been posted along with a link to my blog. If your interested in reading it here is the link: http://www.5minutesformom.com/our-readers-blogs/941/photographyartampmotherhood/.
I'm really excited and hoping it brings me some new readers.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Back But Not Settled

I'm Back.
The family is moved. Most of the boxes unpacked. Schedules are starting to fall into place. Daughter is well. And things are starting to feel normal again.
I do not recommend moving to anyone. No matter how fun you try to make it, no matter how prepared you think you are, the upheaval of your life is a momentous event that disrupts everything. I am so relieved it is over.
I thought I would share one funny moment from the moved. My DH (that's darling husband) suck this sticker on my daughter's pull-up (a pack we purchased solely for conveyance during the move, but since has become her favorite item of clothing, ugg) and I just had to get a snap shot.

Our new house is wonderful. We hope to have our daughter grow up here and to grow old here. We live just far away enough from the city and in a community with wonderful amenities and lots of open spaces. The education system is wonderful and there are lots of activities to entertain both children and adults.
While settling in we met some of our neighbors. The first ones we met were in the tree just outside of our living room windows. They had just started a family of their own and I couldn't resist getting a photograph (that is available now in my etsy store) with my zoom lens.
The baby humming birds are just peaking out of their small nest. I'd never seen a humming bird nest before, so at first I wasn't sure what it was. What a joy to discover that it was a precious family of humming birds.

With things getting back to normal I 'm hoping that my posting will to. The plan is to post twice a week. Monday or Tuesday will be focused on Route 66 and a second one will be random. I could be an interview, an opinion on art or an article on art, a new photo, or just some random thought. I'm also thinking of having a giveaway soon to celebrate the end of chaos, so keep checking back.

more great quotes

Don't bother about being modern. Unfortunately it is the one thing that, whatever you do, you cannot avoid.
- Salvador Dali

Living is more a question of what one spends than what one makes.
-Marcel Duchamp