Solbit Just Wants To Be Like Everyone Else

Dear Nicalai,

Hey, guess where we are?  We’re up the creek.  Don’t worry though.  We’re quite happy being up the creek, because we’re camping in the heart of Moab, Utah at Up the Creek Campground.

Our campground is near a wonderful national park called “Arches.”  We go there everyday with our friends Robert & Carolyn and DeAnne & John.  This is a scene that I see everyday here …

If I weren’t taking this photo (with Nona’s help, of course), you would also see me  looking in the same direction as all these folks.

“What are all of them looking at?” you ask.  Well, I’m going to show you …

Here’s how this national park got its name, Arches.  Arches of rock are everywhere we look.  Girl, these are BIG arches, not like the arches of your feet.

I’ve always wanted to be like everyone else.  Maybe that’s because I’m so much smaller than all the people around me.  Maybe because I look different than everyone else. Maybe because I feel so different from others; you know, I have bumps all over me.  Or, maybe it because I’m a dinosaur in a human world.  Do you ever feel like that?  Sort of feeling out of place?

Here at arches, I feel just like everyone else! I’m standing with groups of people looking at and enjoying the same view, and no one stares at me.  We’re all staring at the arches together. We’re a community of admirers staring at great big rock arches!

Almost all the visitors to Arches National Park want their picture taken with an arch.  Me too!

If you ever get bored by all the arches and rock towers, no problem.  You can enjoy the Ute Rock Art that’s here.

The sign here says that this rock art was made by indigenous peoples between 1650 and 1850. Also, very important, don’t touch the art; protect and preserve it.

I’m going to miss Arches when we leave, but, at least, I’ll have my picture with an arch to keep with me.  It’ll remind me that I’m really just like everyone else. 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, “Does This Picture Look Upside Down To You?”

Dear Nicalai,

Another thing I want to show you about Canyonlands National Park:  A lot of things appear to be upside-down, but they aren’t!  It can be weird being in some of those spots that look upside-down but aren’t. Weird but fun.  Really, you’ve got to visit this magical place.

This picture confuses me. The big heavy rock should be at the bottom, right? We saw this on the Cave Spring Trail.

When I first got near some of these upside-down places, just looking at them made my head feel funny, and my eyes wanted me to stand on my head.  I’ve tried standing on my head and am no good at it.  I think my head is too pointy.  Can you stand on your head?

How can I explain what happened to make these upside-down places in this huge park?  Again, water and gravity went to work on these rocks and, over millions of years, just whimsically sculpted out weird formations.

These magical, upside-down rocks make me think that they want an audience to look at them. Nona walked me under a lot of them, and they didn’t collapse on us.

Wow, did these places have an audience when we were there.  We weren’t the only ones enjoying these mind spinning views.  On the other hand, it wasn’t too crowded, and everyone was very nice to each other.  You know that everywhere we travel around the world and here in the US, the people we meet — plus the occasional plastic dinosaur cousin — are friendly and helpful.

The lizards here seem to like the right-side-up type of rocks. Look at those long toes, good for climbing and hanging on!

If I were living here, I’d be like that lizard.  I like my world right-side up.  Going to upside-down places is ok for amusement once in a while, but for day-to-day living I want right-side up.  For example, who can work on an upside-down desk with and upside-down computer? I would never get a letter to you written!

9332 – pocket garden, Caption: “Ever hear the song, “Islands in the Stream?” This is more interesting; it’s an island in the Rock. A lot of these islands can be seen in Canyonlands.

Those island gardens started me thinking.  I asked Nona, “Can we please make some island gardens like those when we settle down in a place some day?” She’s thinking about it, but says that where we’re going won’t have those big rocks to hold an island garden.

Ever hear the song, “Islands in the Stream?” This is an island in the Rock. A lot of these islands can be seen in Canyonlands.

That got me to thinking some more.  I suggested that we could pour lot of concrete behind our place — if we ever stop traveling — and shape it like those rocks and make the garden in the depression after the concrete gets really, really hard. We just dump a pile of sand in the depression and put plants in it!

Nona said, “Yes, we could do that, but we won’t because our neighbors would not appreciate a huge lump of concrete next to them.”  She is so practical, and, as you can see, she really thinks about the other person, not just what she wants.  I’ve got to work on that in myself. I guess I’m too focused just on what I want.

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 Wanders Magical Canyonlands on a Cloudy Day

Dear Nicalai,

Do you have any idea the strength of water?  Yes, that stuff you drink, bathe in, and that just slops through your hands into the sink and disappears down the drain.  I never, never thought of water as having strength.  Muscles have strength, dynamite has strength, but I thought water was just a weak liquid.  Wrong.

When Nona and Papa took me to a national park called Canyonlands, I learned about the amazing strength of water.  Canyons opened my eyes to what water can do.

Oh, I read this on Wikipedia: Author Edward Abbey, a frequent visitor, described the Canyonlands as “the most weird, wonderful, magical place on earth—there is nothing else like it anywhere.”

When you see rocks in the distance like those in my photo, you’ve got to ask yourself a question, “How did those rocks get like that?”  Papa says that asking yourself questions and seeking answers to them might be the best part of growing up, although he liked riding his bike, too.  So, that’s when I popped my question, “How did those rocks get like that, Papa?” He replied with a question, “What do you think, Solbit?” He does that a lot.

Meanwhile, Nona’s thoughts were up in the clouds.

Nona, our photographer-in-chief, says that she likes cloudy-day lighting for photos — not for lightening but for lighting.

Girl, I like clouds too, but no way clouds made these deep gouges in the earth that we call canyons.  “Nona, let’s forget the clouds and focus, please,” I appealed to her.  “Let’s think about my question, what made these canyons and these towers of rocks?”

Papa and I like cloudy-day lighting for hiking. He doesn’t get so sunburned, and I don’t get more orange than I already am.

That’s when Nona and Papa chimed in together, “Clouds, Solbit.  Clouds drop water on the ground. Clouds begin to answer your question. Now, tell us, what happens after the water hits the ground?”

Well, I knew the answer to that.  The ground soaks up the water. “Yes, but, Solbit, what if there’s too much water to soak up?” I knew! Then we get creeks and rivers and waterfalls where the water moves.  “Right. Rivers like the Colorado and the Green Rivers. Now, what makes the water move?”  Gravity? I asked.  “Yes, and over millions of years, what does that moving water do to the ground and the rock?” It gets worn away, right? “Right!”

Just imagine how may strong bulldozers and workers it would have taken to make these canyons and towers.  Couldn’t be done.  No way! But water did that.  Well, water and gravity.

Papa led the way through this deep slot in the rocks. Water and gravity carved out this lovely place.  We enjoyed going into places like this and being surprised by what we saw on the other side.

Canyonlands is full of surprises…all thanks to water and gravity! What a great day we had wandering around the canyons and asking questions.  Just one of my best days ever, magical.

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’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 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.”

Solbit Sees Marilyn Monroe, a famous long gone actress!

Dear Nicalai,

We’re enjoying our time in Washington, DC, and it just got better with visitors.  Uncle Jim and Aunt Pat came out from Ohio. On Saturday morning, we all got together at Uncle Tom and Barbara’s. Uncle Tom made pancakes for all of us.  Then we went for a walk on Capitol Hill, and we did have fun.  Doing guess what?  Seeing more art!

First, we stopped for lunch at the National Museum of the American Indian; they have the best food there — you have an amazing array of choices!  After lunch, we walked over to the National Gallery of Art’s newly renovated East Building. Girl, did we have fun there looking at all the art, going out on the roof to see the blue rooster, yes blue, and visiting the gift shop, too.

Let me show you some of the art that we saw. Even though a woman takes up the whole thing, the artist gave it a man’s name,  “Gordian Puzzle.” Go figure.

Marilyn Monroe, a famous actress, was photographed by Richard Avedon in 1957. Then artist Via Muniz turned her into several jigsaw puzzles in 2007!

I get the “puzzle” part of the name, of course,  but Gordi or Gordon?  Nah, doesn’t make sense to me.  How do you explain that? Let me know if you figure out what a Gordian Puzzle is.

Nona said that guests are allowed to go out on the roof of this great big tall art gallery.  Really?  Yes, really.  She invited me out there to see the blue rooster.  Rooster? What, they raise chickens on the roof in our nation’s capital?  I just had to see that.  Look at this …

Katharina Fritch, the artist, can turn glass fiber, polyester, and resin into something big and beautiful, but who ever saw a blue rooster? Do they come in blue?

Never before have I seen a rooster that big or that blue. Have you?  He hadn’t turned blue because of the cold outside, either.  It was a perfectly comfortable day. I wonder what got into the artist.  Do you think she just woke up one day and said to herself, “I’m going to make a big, blue rooster today, and I’m going to put it on top of a big art gallery?”  Whatever, I have to hand it to her, she got it done, made it happen, over came all the challenges.  After all, a lot of people must have complained about a blue rooster on the roof of an important building. She’s my kind of woman.

One thing I noticed as we rambled around this big art gallery was how a piece of art could set off Nona and Barbara talking and talking and talking about something they were looking at on the wall.

Nona and Barbara liked to stand and stare at certain paintings. A painting could keep them chatting for a long time.

Really, girl, how much can you say about this painting?  I just don’t see all those words being generated by a piece of canvas and oil paint brush strokes.  Guess I’m just a plastic Jurassic that doesn’t understand humans, yet.

Here’s another painting that baffles me. It doesn’t have in it what the name says as far as I can tell.

From left to right: Aunt Pat, Uncle Jim, Nona, Uncle Tom, Aunt Barbara, Orange Purse in front of several paintings called “stations of the cross.” Didn’t look like gas stations and where’s the cross?

Papa told me that “stations of the cross” has something to do with western religious traditions.  I didn’t get it all, but I get it that this painting wasn’t about gas stations.  Did you know that Papa studied Comparative Religions when he was in college? Yeah, surprised me too.  Well, maybe that’s why he took this family portrait in front of  this painting? I guess it’s religious, whatever that means.  I don’t know.

As you can see, Papa’s photos are not as good as Nona’s.  I think he doesn’t try hard enough.  Know what I mean? I mean he could have asked them all to turn around. Also, maybe he should use a real camera and not just his phone camera.

Hey, we’re going to see you in a few weeks.  We’re flying to the west coast pretty soon. Bye! I’m your friend.

Love,

 

 

 

Solbit

December 2016

*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.”