A Five Hawk Day   4 comments

I’ve been friends with Terry Lee Ballard for a very long time, since early college days at least, and I graduated from college more than 40 years ago.  He is the man whose wise advice turned me to a career in librarianship, and that has been a very good career for me.

Terry Lee Ballard--librarian, photograjpher, amigo.

Decades ago, Terry went east to seek his fortune, and he found it as an academic librarian in New York.  From time to time, he returns to Arizona–he still has family here–and when he does we usually get together for a few hours–have a meal, talk about old times, catch up with what’s happening in each other’s lives.  Good times!  When he called me to set up something for his current trip, I suggested we do a photographic expedition together–Arizona is full of interesting places to photograph.  I suggested Wickenburg as a place to go, and he did some research and made a counter-suggestion of a trip past Wickenburg to a hole-in-the-road called Nothing–Nothing, Arizona.

When he arrived at my place yesterday morning, we got into his rental car, and took off for the Arizona desert and wild small towns northwest of Phoenix.  The rest of this blog is a photographic record of that journey.  He also took photos and should be telling his side of the story in his own blog.

Now, to be fair, these two blogs are designed to be a bit of a friendly competition.  After you look at mine, please go look at his, and then leave a comment on whatever you like the best.  Terry’s blog can be found at: http://terryballard.blogspot.com/2011/06/hometown-blues.html.  You will notice that he is much better at integrating words and pictures into a connected flow than I am; however, whatever the reason, I think I got the better pictures on the trip.  I really enjoyed the expedition, and hope we’ll get a chance to do it again some time.

Beautiful downtown Wickenburg.

This was my first photo of the day.  How often do you see a horse on the roof of a building?  I guess that’s not too uncommon in the West–the Big Apple Restaurant in Phoenix also has livestock on the roof.  But you have to admit, it’s not a common sight.  The horse is a pinto–a common cow pony type.  No, it’s not a real horse–just a wooden effigy of one, but it looks good.

We got out of the car here and walked around town for a couple of blocks.  The following pictures were all taken on the streets of Wickenburg.

Flags and Flowers

Sun-blasted map. I like the ironwork above it.

Can you read the beer signs hanging down? They say "Stay Thirsty", and it's an ad for my favorite beer--a Mexican brew called Dos Equis (Two Xs), On the sidewalk ahead of me are my son James and Terry forging ahead in search of who knows what?

I almost took a picture of the Mexican pots in front of this bar.  They were very pretty.

I really liked this window. We almost had breakfast here. I kind of wish that we had, although the other place was ok.

Notice the key word “almost”.  It turned out the be the best description of the day.  Things almost worked out the way we wanted them to.

Terry, posing by the Wickenburg Jail Tree.

Before Wickenburg got big enough to build its own jailhouse, prisoners of the law might find themselves chained to a tree until they sobered up or met the Hanging Judge.

The Jail Tree itself. Such a tree would have to be over 150 years old, and I don't think this tree is that ancient. I suspect they made up this story, or maybe this is the son/ddaughter of the original Jail Tree.

It's a public clock for people who don't carry watches. Cool store beyond it--I must return to iit some time.

Wickenburg was gold mining country. Here's an old prospector, fully provisioned, and heading back out to the desert.

You can almost hear the music. Ay ay ay ayyyyyy! Canta y no lloras!

High point of the morning--breakfast. My friend is a restaurant architect.

Horses are things of the past. This is how today's western outlaws get around. These are some sweet rides.

You've heard of the Iron Horse . . . ?


The turning-back point. We didn’t find Nothing, Arizona. Here’s Terry again in front of Arizona desert.

We found this ruin that symbolizes all the ghost towns of Arizona. Desolation, but judging from the graffitti, also the scene of some good times.

The last picture of the day--a truckstop trading post that symbolizes all the back country of Arizona highway life. Everything you need can be found inside, and a good time when it gets dark.

We never made it to Nothing, Arizona–took the wrong turn in Wickenburg.  But, we had a good time–a pleasant ride through the desert, a good meal, interesting scenery.  Why do I call it a Five Hawk Day?  I saw five hawks gliding over the  desert during the trip.  They have a distinctive look, and I always enjoy seeing desert wildlife in its own setting.   When was the last time that you had a five hawk day?


Posted June 5, 2011 by atroll in Blogging, Uncategorized

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4 responses to “A Five Hawk Day

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  1. I’ve been to Nothing. It’s not a real town, so doesn’t have an official town sign, making it easy to miss. I did pick up postcards though. And they had a friendly dog who was also on the postcards.

    Keith or Nothing
  2. Well, I found over 10 blog sites credited to Terry Lee Ballard, but none of them included a post about this trip, so you win by default, Ken.

    You know something, I don’t believe you took that second-to-last picture.

    Cheesy biscuits!

  3. Ken – I used to drive past Nothing, AZ at least once a year on the way to Las Vegas. Last March I drove by, and there wasn’t anything there anymore. I think it burned down last year, sadly. It was only a cheezy souvenier shop, but it was amusing. They sold empty paper bags with “This is a bag of Nothing from Nothing Arizona” printed on them!

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