Thursday, July 12, 2018

A Trip and a Wedding

We are just back from a trip to Arizona.  Our first stop was Flagstaff, for a wedding. 

The last time I was in Flagstaff I was just out of college, visiting the North Rim of the Grand Canyon about this same time of year, and got a temporary job for a few weeks stopping cars to warn them of the extreme fire danger.  On our day off, we (we being one of the flag girls and any fire fighters who had the same day off) would go 80 miles into "Flag" to replenish our grocery supply and have a restaurant meal.
I wasn't too surprised that Flagstaff had grown by leaps and bounds and looked a lot different than it did 40+ years ago.  
The first road through the territory was built in 1857 - 1860 and traveled by the adventurous headed for California and a few sheep ranchers who settled there among the San Francisco Peaks at about 7000 feet.  By 1882 a new railroad carried a population moving west.  Some disembarked near a flagpole in the desert, made their homes, and named the settlement Flagstaff.  

The men who built the railroad were nicknamed "Gandy dancers" from the Gandy brand of tools they wielded and the rhythmic chants they used to 
to work together.  There is a memorial to the men near the old Flagstaff train depot.  
The town became a wild railroad town, filled with saloons, dance halls, gambling houses, and hotels for the travelers passing through.

The Weatherford Hotel is one of the early hotels still in use.  Its builder arrived in 1886 in a horse and buggy, which he traded for two lots in the new town.  He ran a saloon, then a livery stable, then a "gents' furnishings" store which he later turned into the hotel.

My usual favorite thing about a town -- the art -- was once again my favorite thing.  Lots of well-done murals, the first one below juxtaposing the old and the new:

And the main event!  L to R, brother of bride, groom Spencer, bride Alexis, bride's mother, bride's father - The Writer's brother.  It was a beautiful wedding, outdoors in a flower garden following a rain shower that cooled everything off. 


  1. I have very fond memories of a visit to Flagstaff several years ago. It served as our base for birding adventures and a trip to the Grand Canyon.

  2. The Weatherford Hotel could be a country hotel anywhere in Australia.

    The wedding party looks very smart and casual.
    I can see the similarity of Paul to his brother.


  3. We spent the night in Flagstaff when we moved from California to Georgia. All I remember is being tired.

  4. I was in Flagstaff once in the winter in a snowstorm, everything was white:) Good for me to see it in the summer through your photos! Looks like a beautiful wedding:)

  5. Really interesting and attractive looking place. The only thing I knew about Flagstaff was its place in the old Bob Troup number, 'Route 66', which the band I used to be in covered: "St Louis, Joplin, Missouri - Oklahoma City is mighty pretty - You see Amarillo
    Gallup, New Mexico - Flagstaff, Arizona - Don't forget Winona - Kingman, Barstow, San Bernandino... And a lovely photo at the end :-)

  6. Nice post, I have been in Flagstaff long ago, can't remember much of it anymore.

  7. You are right. The art is wonderful.

  8. Last time I was there was 2013 and it was just lunch stop on our way back to my brother's home in Anthem. You have captured some sights we didn't get to see.

  9. The murals looked amazing, looks like a great place to visit so I thank you for the tour.

  10. Now I would love to visit Flagstaff, but would settle for anywhere in Arizona. That is a really good picture of you! Looks like a beautiful wedding.

  11. I love the artworks! Nice to see you there too Cynthia. I'm thinking a trip to the USA is looking more desirable, but not for a few years yet. Hopefully there will be a CHANGE by the time we get there, if you know what I mean.

  12. It makes me want to sing the Route 66 song. Glad you have a wonderful trip!