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Showing posts from December, 2013

Thunder Mountain - Indian Monument

Driving along Interstate 80 through Nevada I spotted a structure and asked Erich, “What is that?” He promptly took the off ramp and we headed down a snow packed frontage road leading to Thunder Mountain Indian Monument. A fantastic folk art building right off the highway made out of discarded debris found within a 50 mile radius of the site. Mr. Frank VanZant, (A.K.A. Chief Rolling Mountain Thunder), a WWII veteran, sheriff’s deputy and Methodist Pastor, built his monument for the Native American Indian. It was modeled after a similar bottle house he saw as a kid in Death Valley. The Great Eagle Spirit came to him in a dream and told him to build a nest here. The structure consists of bottles, car windshields, gas pumps, old dolls, potbelly stoves, rebar and concrete sculptures. Although some of the structures have burned down a three story house remains and is cared for by his son and visitor donations.
The site is located in Imlay, Nevada, 130 miles northeast of Reno.

Arches - Utah

Put on your coat, gloves and fuzzy hat because Utah is cold in the winter. Arches National Park is 119 square miles of over 2000 iron oxide rich, red rock arches at roughly 5000 feet above sea level, just minutes outside of Moab, Utah.
We stayed at a cute, old western themed hotel in the center of town. Santa was driving a covered wagon in front of the bunkhouse style exterior aglow with holiday lights. The tiny room was equipped with a mini kitchenette and knotty pine paneled walls and furniture. Very comfortable and warm!!
We missed a winter storm a few days earlier, which left a dusting of snow on the monumental weathered rock formations, revealing depth and contrast to the otherwise predominately red landscape. Driving up the paved passage into the park, Park Avenue is the first formations you see and a little further is the Courthouse Towers viewpoint.

Bundled up like an Eskimo, I rolled out of the car and waddled around the car to grab my came…