Grand Canyon 2022, the Swag Edition

Before we get to my conspicuous consumption, two more photos from Monday morning as we walked to breakfast:

That youth has his horns coming in. (They looked crooked; is there orthodontia for racks, or is this poor thing doomed to a life of mockery and disdain?)

So, in Santa Fe, almost immediately as we walked from Las Palomas to the Plaza, I found this beautiful silver medallion:

Navajo-made, it seemed a perfect piece to wear to Alchemy as we take GALAXY for its first burn outing.

On the Plaza, I found a hat similar to the one I was wearing, but nicer.

The brim is wide enough to shade my nose (some basal cell cancer concerns there) and the ventilated crown is nice.

And then we found a very nice hat for evening wear:

I may have a thing for hats.

As we walked Canyon Road’s galleries, hoping to be taken with some new piece, I found a new earring:

Sweet little infinity signs. (For those wondering, I have only the one ear pierced; I have a little box of “spares” for the second one.)

This time as we walked Canyon Road, we ventured into the little side pockets of smaller galleries, where we found Jeffry Schweitzer, an illustrator.

This sweet little book is barely sixteen pages long, but the sentiment is heartwarming. Jeffrey doesn’t know it yet, but he may be the illustrator for my children’s book.

On Thursday, the International Folk Art Market was, as I said, a disappointment in general, but I did find these desert bells from Africa:

They have the most beautiful tones with long-lasting resonance. I regret not getting a few more of the smaller ones to use on my Wilder Mann outfit for Alchemy.

And then there was the Panama hat.

Handmade in Ecuador — which is where Panama hats are actually from — its wide brim and general snappiness made it a no-brainer purchase. You will have admired it in several selfies over the last week, I’m sure.

On to Grand Canyon, where the General Store provided me with two essentials:

…light (this is a little camp lantern; you can pull the top up for a brilliant LED lantern, or push a button for the top to become a flashlight. Very useful on darker-than-usual paths.) … and…

…gin! I ran out of Western Sage a while back and just recently ran out of Desert Rain, so I was gratified to see them still available. Western Sage may be my favorite gin. (There will be a rant about this later.)

Generally when we travel, especially out west, I look for lizard sculptures for my collection. This trip I hadn’t seen any that demanded my attention, until Friday night at El Tovar. There I found this little guy:

A closer look:

Incredibly, that is not paint. It is the technique known as millefiori, “a thousand flowers,” most often associated with Venetian glass. If you’ve ever made or seen pinwheel cookies (or sushi!), you’ve seen the simplest version of this: you create long tubes of dough/glass/clay so that when you slice it the slices have patterns in them.

What you’re seeing on this lizard is astoundingly meticulous layers of polymer clay, sliced thin and applied to the basic lizard shape. This lizard is handmade, albeit not in the U.S.; we saw some large sculptures on Canyon Road that used this technique and they were stunning (and expensive).

At Desert View we came across these stone sculptures:

Just as I collect lizards, my Lovely First Wife is drawn to elk. It’s one reason she gladly returns to Grand Canyon, where they are as numerous as squirrels.

Finally, I could not resist:

Grand Canyon National Park map socks! Am I cool or what?

NEXT: PRO TIPS!

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