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Showing posts from 2012

Zion in Winter

Life has a way of keeping us unexpectedly busy.  It also has a penchant for overtaking our free time, hence, my recent absence from blogging. I do, however, have some good photos to share, which will hopefully make up for the lack of words.

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to travel to Zion National Park in Utah. Most hikers prefer to take on the trails during the summer months; I, however, love the winter. The snow, fog, and even the rain all offer extraordinarily unique scenes.  The barren trees pierce into the sky like skeletal fingers grasping for something just out of reach, and the fast moving clouds offer ever-changing sights that disappear just as quickly as they come into being.

The mountains of Zion offer spectacular views in any season. The peaks are only enhanced by the dark, stormy clouds. The variety of trees and foliage are so diverse that you may see evergreens intermingled with contrasting barren, leafless varieties.

Another advantage to the winter visit is the la…

Coffinwood

Coffinwood is just the type of place you always expect to find in one of these little rural Nevada towns but never do. Well, if you are ever driving through Pahrump, you just might stumble upon it. Coffinwood is not only one of the only places you can still purchase a wooden coffin, made to fit, but also any other item you can conjure up can be made coffin shaped. Out of Coffinwood, Bryan and Dusty Schoening run a coffin making business called Coffin It Up.

Many of their clientele are Europeans who want a traditional burial. While coffins have fallen out of fashion here in the U.S. and have been replaced with caskets, across the pond, wooden coffins are still widely used. Considering the variety of different cultures on the continent, it is difficult to find a mass producer that can appeal to all of them. Coffin It Up has the advantage, as every one of their coffins is hand made and customized  to every customer’s tastes and preferences.

They also serve the Jewish community of Nevada.…

The Devastation of Cathedral Canyon and The Life of Queho

“May the warm winds of heaven blow softly on this canyon and may the great spirit bless all who enter here.” -- From the sign over the entrance to Cathedral Canyon


A few miles outside of Pahrump and fifty miles from Las Vegas lies the remnants of what was once known as Cathedral Canyon. Twenty years ago, the sight of it would have been awe-inspiring; stained glass windows adorned the natural crevices in the canyon's walls, small statues blended in with mesquite trees, and the whole place was lit by Victorian style streetlamps. Now, after years of vandalism, looting, and neglect, only a few empty stone alcoves and a horribly desecrated, headless Christ are all that remain of it.



I first visited this sanctuary in the desert in the early 1990s in its heyday. My parents and a family friend decided to take me there one night on a whim. After driving for what seemed like forever through the pitch black desert, we pulled into a gravel parking lot. It was only then that the lights from in…

The Wendigo

Algernon Blackwood’s “The Wendigo” is not what I expected. Before going into the story, I knew the Wendigo was a werewolfesque creature of Native American mythology and expected that to be what the story was about. Having read Blackwood before, I should have known better. Instead, this is a deeply psychological journey into the dark recesses of the mind.

The tale begins with a group of four men going on a hunting trip in northern Canada. Simpson, the young protagonist, and his uncle, the wise psychologist, Dr. Cathcart, team up with Hank and Dfago as their guides into the backwoods. The trouble begins when they split up into two groups (the doctor and Hank in one, and Dfago and Simpson in the other) to cover more ground. After behaving strangely, Dfago disappears into the night, leaving Simpson to fend for himself.

No story better encompasses the dread of nature felt by the late Victorians than this novella. The ever rational, modern men of science are confronted with the unimaginab…