“I am a firm believer that every few years one needs to shake one’s life through a sieve, like a miner in the Yukon. The gold nuggets remain. The rest falls through like the soft earth it is.”
“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?”
A small town is a strange place to live, but I loved living on the hill looking over Old Bisbee. Up on High Road, this was the view from my deck. I watched winter storms descend in January and monsoon storms roll through the canyons in July. There’s no other place like it in the world.
But life moves on and things change. The view will always be beautiful, but I eventually had to leave.
This image was taken in February of 2012. A crisp, dry morning with snow dusting the hillsides.
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.
After a glorious New Years celebration in Sedona, Arizona, we decided to take the long way back to Tucson. Although it was sixty miles out of our way, Flagstaff was too close not to pass through. As we approached the mountaintop city, whiteout conditions descended from the hills, a big black mass of winter fury.
Naturally, once we passed through the maelstrom, it was necessary to stop and get our boots wet. Virgin snow is beautiful, but even more-so to the desert-rat. It’s a rare sight for Arizonans – and even though I’m from Kansas, I have to admit an affinity for a landscape draped in fresh snow.