Monday, May 5, 2014

Roadside Attraction



While on my way home from Phoenix the other day I passed by a
southern Arizona landmark called Picacho Peak.  It is hard to miss.
It is a huge spire of rock that is halfway between Phoenix and
Tucson.  I have actually climbed to the top of it more than once.
It has stunning views.

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Back in the old days, prior to the interstate highway system, only
a state highway ran along this route.  In a time before cheap air
fares and everyone and their dog owning a car, this location was a
prime rest stop for the weary traveller.  In the shadow the peak
was a restaurant known as Nickerson's.  Similar to a Howard Johnson
or a Stuckeys, it served untold thousands of travelers on their
trek across the desert.  

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Times have changed and the days of these roadside attractions have
long gone.  Nickerson's went belly up back in the 80s and the shell
of its former glory was left to fade in the shadow of the mountain.
That is, until recently.  As time took its toll, so did the elements
and on a recent trip past the peak I noticed that the building had
collapsed.  Well, collapsed partially.  The a-frame roof still
stands, but it has become separated from the rest of the building.

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Like some lumbering beast slowing giving into the ravages of age,
she is slowly sinking back into the earth from which it came.
Soon, there will be nothing left and it will only exist in the
memory of those that once stopped there.  When they are gone, it
will be lost to the ages.  Our time here is only temporary.  If you
want proof, look at Nickerson's.

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(All images shot with a Sony Mavica Digital, images post processed in Photomatix
to produce a tonemapped image.)