The Bend Revisited

During our camping trip in Gila Bend last weekend I discovered that the town actually had a Route 66 vibe to it.  We camped there again this weekend and yesterday morning I took a solo journey to photograph some of it.  Here are some of the characters I met:

These gentleman were just settling in for a siesta while their horses took a drink.

Mama Bear watched over her brood with a sign pinned to her chest that read, ‘I’m not for sale but my children are.’

The Stone Turtles were meeting for their morning meditation.  They were quite the stoic lot!

In addition to these characters I saw a few photo ops that included a few old hotels.  Gila Bend has always been a stop along the way for people heading to San Diego or Tucson.  More modern highways have been built but there are few treasures still standing.

I stopped to visit Stout’s Hotel.  No one was around but a little dog that barked at me through a chain link fence.  I think he would have killed me with kisses if given the chance.  A sign in the window gave the history of this hotel.  It was built in 1927 and was called the ‘Gem of The Desert’.  Movie stars would stop there on their way to Tucson to film the old westerns.  I love places like these.

Here is a better view of the sign.  I love that it boasts air conditioning and steam heat.  Given the extreme temps here I’m sure many travelers saw this as a good selling point back in the day.

Here is the last hotel that I stopped at.  It was built probably in the 1950s.  Given that there are so many chain hotels around, it was neat to see one of these older models still in operation.

That concludes my tour of Gila Bend.  I do have some desert photos I’ll be posting later though.  So much beauty that I can barely stand it!

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16 thoughts on “The Bend Revisited

  1. I love the stone turtles and the steam heat. Sounds nice right now. It got down to 24 degrees here last night.

    • Brrr. I’m not sure what the low exactly was here but it didn’t get much out of the 30s all day yesterday. This is the coldest I believe I’ve ever experienced here. Not sure that I like it much. 😉

  2. How cool. If only those things were cared for a bit better that they could last even longer, instead of turning into either ghost towns or being torn down for chain stuff or other big and “blaring” buildings.

    • I’m glad those things were still standing. Stout’s Hotel had an antique/gift shop in the basement but otherwise was closed down. There was a sign in the window that said efforts were underway to restore the hotel but the sign looked very old to me.

      There are a few other towns out here that have completely restored their old buildings. Its so much fun to visit them and take in their charm.

  3. Looks like a great place to visit – and it looks like you totally enjoyed it.

    I have to agree with everyone…truly beautiful shots! I love the stone turtles. 😉

  4. Oooo! Trinkets! That’s my favorite thing about traveling. Looking at all the trinkets. XD I have too many of them for my tiny living space, but my love continues to bring in more. Sounds like you had fun. I like your pictures!

  5. Awesome photos. I agree with Emmy – it’s not easy to photograph such things, and you captured them so well. 🙂

    I need a road trip. 😀

    • Thanks so much LOM. I am just starting out with photography so that is quite a nice compliment. 🙂 Road trips do have a habit of yielding some great photo ops, don’t they?

  6. Oh we drove this way from the Grand Canyon to San Diego. We stayed the night in Yuma too – though not that hotel. When we turned the TV on the screen that came on was a lot of information about visiting the jail! 🙂 Thank you for bringing a wonderful trip back to mind!

  7. What a fun tour. I love towns like this that have lots of character. The bears look like they all want to go home with you, LOL!

    I like your photography style – it’s hard to capture attractions like this without it looking contrived. You seem to let the scene do the talking.

    I’ve only been to one town out West – Wall, SD for an internship. I would love to see more. Looking forward to the desert photos!!

    • Thanks Emmy. There’s not a whole heck of a lot to do there but there were some neat things to photograph. Aren’t those bears precious? I love their little eyes.

      Thank you too for the compliment on my photographs. I’ve just started getting into it. There’s much inspiration here –thats for sure!

      If you are ever in the area please let me know! There’s so much to see here. I’ve never been to South Dakota. I wouldn’t mind visiting, but in the warmer months.

  8. What great photos! What a blue blue sky too.

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