Wigwam Memories

Camped once again in Scottsdale, AZ, my head is turned toward nostalgia. As a family, we first journeyed to Scottsdale way back in 1972.  This was one of our legendary family trips orchestrated by my wonderful in laws. December school vacation, 1972, we had reservations for a week at the Wigwam Resort with horse back riding, chuck wagon cookouts and a good taste of life in the west in store for all of us. Paul bought his first pair of cowboy boots on this trip and perhaps, his first cowboy hat as well. Our boys were 4 and 6, my gosh, 43 years ago.

In search nearby farm markets and our continuing quest to support locals Tripadvisor pointed to a farm market in Litchfield rated 9th out of 10 markets:  location the Wigwam front lawn. Who are we to pass up a trip to the past. The market was disappointing (perhaps time of year) 


only 6 vendors, one luckily had lovely organic produce, so all was not lost. The Wigwam was very much a presence and going strong. Our curiosity was at high pitch, yes it still exists, but in 4 decades much had to have changed. I interviewed some of the locals, telling me that there was nothing surrounding the wigwam but bare land and farm land, as I recalled. 

Sprawl of course has inflicted itself
upon this area, not a surprise, but the Wigwam grounds were still vast and lovely. Many of the buildings are new or refurbished and we believe our rooms were in similar buildings as depicted in the second photo. When we arrive back in our home base, we will search for photos of that trip. I do remember splendid buffets of food, very attentive waiters and staff, the horse back rides and oh so sore thighs, cookouts on the plain and on Christmas eve the staff had “snuck” into each room leaving wrapped gifts for all patrons. The children awoke to see these gifts and tore open the wrappings as eager to have gifts, even on Christmas, not our usual celebration. Life is made of 50% memories I believe and I cherish our trip to Arizona. As an aside, we arrived home after the usual winter weather delays, late at night. We had just moved into our new house and were asleep when the workman arrived to start renovations. We all slept until late morning, not bothered by the noises and launched into the next phases of our lives. 

Pruning the Palm Tree

Motorhomers know that Elk Lodges (with membership) offer wonderful places to camp. Once again, we are perched on a site next to the Scottsdale, AZ lodge. I walked about with a storm blowing in from the west and with my camera slung on my shoulder. Self imposed photographic themes have shaped my work through the years and through one of those I was in search of shapes in nature, natural materials and happenstance composition. Some worker had recently pruned a Palm tree across from our rig. The cuttings were strewn neatly under the tree. The wind and setting sun were tough obstacles but  of course, I had to make images and clicked away.  I felt that after the storm the fronds and stems forming my subjects would be soggy and limp. Here are some of the shots to share;

After the storm, indeed the subject
matter was limp and soggy and had lost color and luster. But the Palm tree stands tall and proud with its new hair cut, a lone tree on the Elk Lodge grounds. Our neighbors come and go, as we will in a few days, but we have met a variety of folks from different states including Alaska and all with stories to share. Camp grounds of every type are rich mines for learning, meeting and making life long friends. Perhaps the tall and proud Palm tree stands as a symbol of welcome and caring, a few moments of silent thought and escape from our everyday cares.