Sunday, February 08, 2009

Paul's Birthday

Here's spiritual "John Wayne" macho man Paul posing in the homemade slipper socks his mother gave him for his birthday. A blackmail photo if I ever saw one...but he gave me permission to put it up.

Paul had a photographer's birthday. Spent the morning editing photos then got the itch to go outside. We went on a strange excursion. Away from the closest tourist attractions we could have gone to (The Petrified Forest and Painted Desert) and off on an "explore" to parts we knew nothing about.

For good reason it turned out. Not much to recommend in Concho and St. Johns for the average tourist...although some local tour guides think St. Johns is worthy of a mention for its pioneer Mormon roots. We think Snowflake and Taylor are better for that but I'll get to that sometime later in the week.

Concho is 30 minutes from where we live down the road in the opposite direction from Snowflake. Old Concho, which you get to first, is full of falling down mostly abandoned buildings, a few old and obviously occupied family farms, and mobile homes in a wide variety of conditions. We saw a couple of thrift stores, a community assistance center, a place designated for a farmer's market and not much else. The photos on this page pretty much say it all... but it was an interesting place from a photographer's point of view nonetheless.

A little further down the road was "New Concho" or Concho Valley. Another strange hamlet of a place although with decidedly more commerce (of sorts) and a lot more houses. There's a lake there and some of the houses are surprisingly nice given how little infrastructure there is to support it. There was a gas station and a couple of churches. There must have been a grocery store somewhere in the area...but we didn't see one.

Later we heard that Concho Valley was a speculative real estate adventure that hasn't panned out. The original person who convinced all these people to buy property there disappeared with their money...and the project never got off the ground. At least not as far as we could see! There might be people who think differently.

Not much to say about the rest of our excursion. We had our first Navajo tacos in St. Johns -- ground beef, refried beans, lettuce, cheese and salsa on top of a large piece of fried bread. We liked the fried bread part...but it might have been better with melted butter, cinnamon and sugar.

Then we came home, enjoyed one of the nicest sunsets we've seen here, and settled in for an evening of more photo editing and bad TV.


esque said...

Sounds like a nice and interesting B-day trip! Happy B-day Paul!


The Great Ethan Allen said...

Doesn't he look stylish in those socks! Cool pics of the old "ruins"