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questions of place & home

Posts from the ‘Autumn’ category

1-day in the US Southwest: Flagstaff to Vermilion Cliffs, US-89(A)

Above/featured: Vermilion Cliffs loom over the new and old Navajo Bridge at left and right, respectively.

The following takes place on the first half of day 9 (of 15) in our drive through the American Southwest. From Flagstaff, we’re heading north on highway US-89, past Cameron, through the northern limit of the Painted Desert, and next to the Echo Cliffs. At Bitter Springs, the highway splits, and we head northwest on US-89A to Marble Canyon, where Navajo Bridge crosses over the Colorado River. The highway continues west into the Arizona Strip, below Vermilion Cliffs, past Cliff Dwellers, and into House Rock Valley.


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1-day in the American Southwest: Santa Fe to Flagstaff, I-40

Above/featured: Continental Divide. Rising to the north are red Entrada sandstone cliffs (Iyanbito member) from the middle Jurassic period about 170 million years ago. The cliffs are part of a geologic formation extending from northwest New Mexico into northeast Arizona, southeast Utah, and west-central Colorado.

The following takes place entirely within day 8 (of 15) on our drive through the American Southwest. From Santa Fe, New Mexico to our destination Flagstaff, Arizona, the day-long drive began on the short leg I-25 south to Albuquerque. This stretch of I-25 is along a part of the colonial road El Camino Real and parallel to the pre-1937 alignment of the now-famous highway US route 66 (US-66). In Albuquerque, we turned right onto I-40, heading westbound for the New Mexico-Arizona state border and beyond. The total distance was a little over 650 kilometres (400+ miles).

•   Historic Route 66 (US DoT Federal Highway Administration)
•   New Mexico US-66 Association
•   Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona
•   Why Route 66 became America’s most famous road, Vox on YouTube, 16 Aug 2019.


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Lights of Hope, St. Paul's Hospital, Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, fotoeins.com

Christmas on display (LAPC)

Above/featured: Annual “Lights of Hope” display at St. Paul’s Hospital: Vancouver, BC – 24 Nov 2018 (X70).

Display (noun):

•   a performance, show, or event staged for public entertainment.
•   a collection of objects arranged for public viewing.

e.g., a display of Christmas lights, food, and drink in an open public venue.

In Germany, there is no admission charge to any of the multiple Christmas markets in a town or city, and there are no restricted drinking areas, as you’ll see people carrying mugs of hot steaming goodness up and down the open streets. But all the same, it’s about the lights; it’s about food, drink, and frivolity; and it’s all the better if it’s snowing or there’s a few centimetres of the white fluffy stuff on the ground.

Is there a Christmas market where you live or where you’re going to visit? Enjoy the display, and please have a Glühwein for me.

Or two. Or three.

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1-day in the American Southwest: Taos area, NM-68

Above/feature: In the background at right-centre is the sacred Pueblo Peak (Taos Mountain) with a light dusting of autumn snow.

The following takes place entirely within day 7 of our time and drive through the American Southwest.

In a daylong trip from Santa Fe, we’re in Taos for the first time where we meet with nature photographer Jim O’Donnell, whose writings also appear locally in The Taos News. We also marvel in the hamlet of Embudo the collection of paraphernalia associated with American automobile culture at the Classic Gas Museum.

Our drive is on the Low Road in both directions. It’s no real surprise we’re in the Taos area longer than anticipated, but we leave the area a little earlier to catch a couple of sights back in Santa Fe as we must depart the following day for Arizona. It’s curse and benefit, wanting (or needing) to stay in one place for an extended duration with the anticipation of a return, because there’s much more to see and learn.

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Macy's, Bon Marche building, The Bon, Thanksgiving, holiday star, Seattle, Washington, USA, fotoeins.com

Seattle: Thanksgiving holiday star & fireworks

As a wae lad, I was fascinated by comparative branding and marketing, and that’s how I got to thinking about the differences and similarities between Canada’s Hudson’s Bay Company in greater Vancouver and the American Bon Marché in Bellingham and Seattle. But I don’t ever recall a tradition of lighting a star for October/Canadian Thanksgiving.

In downtown Seattle, a grand building opened in 1929 for the locally-owned Bon Marché department store, operating for over 7 decades until “The Bon” became Macy’s in 2005. A holiday star designed by Bob James in 1957 would become a fixture for the city and her residents. In September 2019, Macy’s declared the downtown Seattle location would be closing at the end of February 2020. At the time, the announcement included no plans for lighting the holiday star.

However, the star looks to be coming back for one more (final?) illumination, as a local lighting company agreed to refurbish and reassemble the star in time for the 2019 Thanksgiving season. Festivities occur Friday November 29, beginning with the annual Thanksgiving parade followed by the star’s lighting and fireworks.

•   MyNorthwest, 27 Nov 2019.

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