During the first (and only) full day in the Pinetop region, we were disappointed to see that a lot of the roadways were closed off. Many of them are closed down during the winter due to heavy snowstorms. We weren’t able to go to a couple of the locations we wanted, forcing us into an impromptu day-trip. Rather than following an itinerary, we drove where the mood took us.
“Should I go left or right,” she’d say as we approached a fork in the road.
“I dunno. How ’bout left?”
It’s a surefire way to see things you wouldn’t expect, including one of the most depressingly impoverished towns on the indian reservation, White River. It felt like an industrial purgatory, and it was sad to see huddled beggars kicking stones in the parking lot, asking shoppers for food and money as they brought their groceries to their car.
But in these small communities, and in the outlying primitive roads, there’s a lot of old-world beauty. As I looked through my photographs at the end of the day, I was struck by how timeless many of them looked, reminding me of old photographs I’ve picked up at estate sales, or dug out of of my grandparent’s shoe-boxes. The image above was, in particular, reminiscent of a lot of old west photographs I’ve stumbled across in my years living here in Arizona.