Solbit’s Ordinary Travel Day to Cow Canyon Trading Post

Dear Nicalai,

On our ordinary travel days, I just stay put in Nona’s pocket.  Not much to see or tell.  So today was going to be one of those days, ordinary.  It wasn’t.  I had to — wanted to — get out of Nona’s pocket almost as soon as we hit Bluff, Utah — population less than 300, no kidding.

We had lunch at Comb Ridge Bistro and Espresso Bar in Bluff, Utah. Nona gave it 4 out of 5 stars, and she’s a tough one to please.

Nona gave the bistro 4 out of 5 stars, and she’s a tough one to please. This restaurant has more than good food.  They also have arts and crafts.  That’s what really got me out of Nona’s pocket, although the sunshine salad might have done it too.  I had to see the little figure of a Navajo woman on a horse, carrying a papoose even smaller than I am.  Nona bought it. She likes art. Oh, do you know what a papoose is? It’s a type of bag for carrying and protecting a child.

When we asked who the artist is who made the little figure, the folks at the bistro sent us to Cow Canyon Trading Post to find out, just a short way down the road.

Cow Canyon Trading Post sits across the road from this beautiful scene. Wow!

As we parked our car, we saw this very old car in the parking lot of the Trading Post.

Papa thinks this might be a 1949 or ’50 Buick, maybe a Roadmaster. I think its a rusty old car.

The trading post looked plain on the outside, but Nona and Papa really liked the way the inside was designed, and they liked the arts and crafts that were displayed.

If we hadn’t known about the arts and crafts, I bet Papa would have driven right by this place.

Nona said that, if we didn’t travel all the time and if we had an apartment, she would have bought several pieces of art here.  The woman who runs the trading post was very nice.  Even though we didn’t buy anything, she was happy to give us the name of the artist who made the little figure.

Then, we got back in our car and drove to Monticello, Utah. That’s one of our ordinary travel days.  Not bad, huh?  Oh, the Navajo artist’s name is Elsie Benally, and she’s been making little figures to sell at the trading post for over 30 years

Bye!

I’m your friend.

Love,

 

 

 

Solbit

May 2017

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit asks, “What? Who buys rugs in a remote canyon?”

Dear Nicalai,

If you were going to buy a rug, you’d go to a department store or a rug store, right?  That’s what I’d do, too.  Makes sense.  Not Nona and Papa and our friends, Robert and Carolyn.  (We were camping with them. We’re in a tent.  They have a modest size RV.) No, those 4 got a Navajo guide, Don, and he took us to see his aunt who lives in Canyon de Chelly.  She makes rugs.  Beautiful rugs.

Ms Katherine Paymella sits just like this at her loom to make beautiful Navajo rugs.

She is amazing! She raises her own sheep to produce the wool.  She shears the sheep.  She cards their wool.  She cultivates special plants to make dyes to color the wool. She spins the wool into yarn.  Then she puts the yarns on her loom. Yarns going in one direction are the warp and in another direction the woof.  After all that loving labor, she starts to weave what will become a handmade Navajo rug.

We could select a handmade rug from these and others at Ms Katherine’s hogan.

She said her designs are based on traditional Navajo designs, but she creates her own designs. Imagine how smart and talented you have to be to create a complicated design and then weave it into a rug.  Also, just imagine too that someone — or maybe several someones — took the time and interest to nurture her talent and to teach her how to do all those different things.

Remember that I said we went to a canyon to buy rugs?  Here’s where we went.

Can you tell that we were in a canyon? Ms. Katherine holds up the two rugs that we selected.

Robert and Carolyn got one rug, and we got the other.  I worried that our footsteps would get dirty marks all over our rug, but Nona explained away my worry.  She said that our Navajo rug is a work of art, and we would display it on our wall at home so that no one would ever step on it but many eyes would fall on  it.

Bye!

I’m your friend.

Love,

 

 

 

Solbit

May 2017

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit walks through a “riddled” Tucson

Dear Nicalai,

Guess what I found on our walk yesterday here in Tucson? I found three riddles. What’s a “riddle?” The Merriam-Webster dictionary told me that a riddle is “… a mystifying, misleading, or puzzling question posed as a problem to be solved or guessed : conundrum, enigma..” That’s just exactly what I found on our walk. As soon as I saw my first riddle, it came at me just like that.  Bam!  Then, I saw others.  Yeah, I think Tucson is full of riddles.

Can you answer this Tucson riddle?  What has pedals, wheel rims, sprockets, and you can find it on streets?  I think I know what you’re going to say, “A bicycle!” Wrong!  Look at this photo of my first Tucson riddle.

What has pedals, wheel rims, sprockets, and you can find it on streets? Answer: a trash can.

Isn’t that a pretty receptacle for ugly trash? Someone in Tucson is really good at recycling.

O.K., here’s another riddle that I came upon during our walk. What berry brings to mind the great outdoors?  Here’s the photo of my second riddle.

What berry brings to mind the great outdoors? Answer: That would be Wendell Berry, farmer, author, and environmentalist.

The tile art that Wendell Berry inspired on this Tucson street says, in part, “…and I feel above me the day-blind stars/ waiting for their light/for a time I rest in the grace of the world/ and am free.”  Did you ever feel that way when you lie on the grass and stare up into the vast blue sky with floating clouds?  I sure have.

One more riddle, then I have to go, because Nona and Papa are anxious to go for another walk.  They’re obsessed with getting in 10,000 steps a day.  Guess it’s some old peoples thing, but I don’t get it.  Here’s the riddle: How can the moon keep you awake at night when you’re camping?

How can the moon keep you awake at night when you’re camping? Answer: it makes the coyotes yelp and howl and sing.

I don’t know why the coyotes make so much noise when the moon is out, but the moon does seem to have an effect on them.  Have you ever noticed that when you’re camping out west?

Those are my three riddles from Tucson.  I will probably find more on our walk today, but I won’t write you about them — unless they’re really, really good. Bye! I’m your friend.

Love,

 

 

 

Solbit

April 2017

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit goes into the wild at a museum

Dear Nicalai,

What do you think of when I say, “Museum.”  Quiet? Orderly? Many rooms?  Yeah, well, we just got back from a museum that’s nothing like that.  When you go to this museum, it’s almost like going into the wild. No kidding.

Uncle Jim, Aunt Pat, cousin Michaela, Nona, Papa, and I went to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum here in Tucson.  Tucson is a stop on our 7-month road trip. I’ve never been here.  It’s an interesting town, with old western and modern features.  You should come here sometime.  Oh, but Nona just reminded me to stick to my topic: going into the wild at a museum.

You don’t believe a museum can be wild, a desert-type wild? I met some wild creatures here.  Look at this one.

I got as close as I could to this Mexican Fireleg Tarantula, but I had to stop when my head hit glass. Bonk!

The Mexican Fireleg Tarantula is a type of spider that lives here in the desert. It’s much bigger than this little plastic jurassic.  I’m pretty sure the glass saved me from becoming a spider-snack.  If I were naming this spider, I’d add hairy, the Mexican Hairy Fireleg Tarantula. Guess spiders can’t go to the barbershop.

Among my surprises at the museum was this bird.  I don’t think of water birds living in a desert environment, but let me show you.

I think the heron had my problem. It got as close to Michaela as it could, but then its beak hit glass. Bonk, again!

Look at that beak.  That glass saved Michaela from a hole in the head.  So, it is safe to be at this wild museum.

Ever hear the term, “The Trickster?”  That’s what some Native Americans called a dog-like animal, the coyote.  Nona, Papa, and I have heard coyotes at night when we were camping.  Now, I got to see one running loose in the desert.

No glass between us and this coyote, but we couldn’t get near it, or rather it couldn’t get near us, because of a wall on the desert floor that we stood on top of and looked down from.

Coyotes are related to dogs and wolves.  I’ve seen a lot of dogs, mostly friendly ones, but Papa says to keep my distance from a coyote, if I ever see one.  I guess coyotes are not so cuddly and friendly.

Not all the wild things at this museum are scary.  It’s okay to get close to some of them, as long as we don’t do anything to hurt them.  Here’s my favorite friendly wild thing of today’s visit.

Desert butterflies are beautiful, although they look just a little burnt by the sun, don’t they?

You can see why my favorite museum ever is this desert museum.  I wish more museums could go wild like this one does.  By the way, what’s your favorite museum and where is it?

Bye!

I’m your friend.

Love,

 

 

 

Solbit

April 2017

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”