Two Weeks for Utah & Idaho — here we go!

Hot.  Hot. Hot.  Besides the stunning scenery, that was the theme of the day.  At 9am in Vegas, it was already 90 degrees.  I think I saw 105 later on someplace in SW Utah.   I saw plenty of locals out running and playing football in this heat.

I’ve been debating about whether to blog or not to blog during trips.  But for tonight anyway, I have the stamina.  So, let’s have at it and start the photo marathon in Baker with this photo from Baker, CA.  The building on the right has a Stuckey’s-like roof — matched in the sign itself.  Closed since forever:



On to New York City, er, I mean Las Vegas.  I was just here a couple of weeks ago but had a few things on my list that I wasn’t able to get to.



I stumbled upon a stash of signs just south of Cashman Center.  The Neon Museum has lots of stuff in storage in “undisclosed locations” — so this must be one of them:

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I don’t know when this was built — but it looks 1970s to me.  It’s hard to believe it hasn’t been demo-ed & replaced by now.  Vegas is all about that.  The steakhouse inside it was evidently used for the movie “Casino” starring DeNiro, Pacino, etc.



A few more photos from Nevada — this one is in Overton:



From Mesquite — I love the radiator part.  That’s a faded Ford sign at the top:



This one is right next door.   The teddy bear or fat mouse holding the ice cream must indicate this was a restaurant or ice cream stand — but the place is all storage-y now.



One more from Mesquite:



On to Utah now!  This one is in St. George:



This photo is from Ivins.  I was there to shoot the horse statues for my website’s “Giant Animals” section.  But I left some landscape in this shot for ya.  It looks totally fake, doesn’t it?  Like a mini diorama.  It might be a good time to mention that all the photos in my blog are “clickable” (clicking on them opens them to a larger photo):



This is just across the Utah border in Fredonia, AZ:



There are lots of sign “treasures” in Kanab — including this one with the neat light bulb thing.  Scary clouds in the distance but they didn’t come our way:



Another one from Kanab:  a well-protected (plastic over the neon) sign:



From Mount Carmel:



From Hatch.  I’d love to find a vintage postcard to see what the original colors were:



A strangely adapted Best Western sign in Hatch.  Is that a mountain and a bridge?



Two unusual scaffold type signs from the Purple Sage Motel in Panguitch.  The main sign (not shown) was a boring plastic sign — so maybe it’s not even the original name.  Here’s a nice sign on the office roof:


And on the roof of the motel building itself:



Tucked away in an alley in Panguitch so the sun hasn’t faded it all that much — or they did a very nice understated job of restoring it.  Usually these painted wall signs are garishly overpainted and then… what’s the point?  No history or character left (in my opinion).



Two more from Panguitch:



Did they really have to tacky-fy this sign with those plastic “crusing” and “Rte 66” add-ons?  Gawd…



Last two for this post from Bicknell where I ran out of daylight.  Way up on top of the otherwise boring Aquarius Motel sign.  I’ve never seen one of these light thingies in action.  I believe they didn’t spin but the lights were lit sequentially.  Sure to catch the attention of passing motorists and low flying planes!



These plastic stick-on-letters signs are really growing on me.  Does anyone remember Colorforms?  They were stick-on vinyl people or parts of people that you could stick on a board, move the pieces around.  I had a bunch of those sets as a kid — including alphabets — which is what these signs are reminding me of now.  I’m thinking probably same era of development.  I also love the random, remaining bulbs on this sign:



I can’t promise a post tomorrow night — but I’ll try!


14 thoughts on “Two Weeks for Utah & Idaho — here we go!

  1. I’ve been debating about whether to blog or not to blog during trips.

    Go with the flow dj…see how you feel.

    Terrific group of photos …that western sky is amazing !

    • It’s like a lot of things in life: a lot of work but feel so much better after I’ve done it. Like going to the gym – ha!

      The mountains and red rocks and all that are unreal. I’ve been to Utah before but not to Bryce Canyon or the upper NE corner. Utah should be on everybody’s bucket list.

  2. DJS – I’m so glad I’m not the only one who feels “a lot of work but feels so much better after I’ve done it” about blogging/writing. I think the thing for me is that I have to get in “the zone” in order to focus and really figure out what I want to say, and sometimes – especially on the road – it’s hard to do that. Do whatever works for you!

    I wish I had known you were going through St. Georges Utah – Retro Roadhusband lived there for a few months when he was a little kid and they stayed at a motel called (no lie) the Bones Motel.! I have a few snapshots of him as a tot at the pool, but none of the sign etc. I’ve never been able to find out anything about it on the interwebs. Guess we’ll have to go out there and see if it stirs up any memories!

    Stay cool!

    • I don’t think there’s a Bones Motel in St. George anymore. There are some good things to shoot though and the nearby mountains are gorgeous. It’s a direct hit from Vegas on I-15 if you want to combo sometime.

    • Oh — and as for writing. My blog writing is not all that difficult — just jabbering and sometimes staying up later than I should including links or whatever. This trip has been grueling with the heat and the driving. Tonight, I went on a mission to shoot neon in SLC and came up pretty dry. No way I’ll be getting any blogging or anything else done tonight. It’s a matter of “homework” vs. sleep.

      Writing for “real stuff” (SCA articles, etc.) takes me much longer. Mostly because I make a million phone calls to dredge up info and fact-check. But the writing also takes longer since I have to logically organize all those tidbits. Writing just a short article can take me an entire weekend! Good think I didn’t actually follow thru on the writing for a living thing (I graduated from NYU in Journalism) — but then maybe I’d be better at it by now.

  3. Oh so great DJ – I’ve decided your commentaries really hit the perfect note. Sometimes figuring out the history of a place is irrelevant – what’s left is what’s left! Period! Lots of great starbursts and such on this round – maybe because of all the nuclear testing that went on in that area? or just the signs of the times?

    • I don’t think there was a lot of nuclear testing in Utah. I can only think of one that still exists: the Atomic Bar in Vegas. Stars, moons, and suns were very commonly used on motel signs all across the country in the 1950s and 1960s.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying my blog. Don’t forget about my website which is really what all this work is about!

  4. The restaurant at the Plaza (Oscar’s) was previously a Firefly (tapas). From what I have read, it was built as a pool, if you can believe that!

    • Hmm. Yes, I see info about it being Firefly until at least 2010. I can’t find anything about the building being used as a pool. But it’s 1am here — not much time for research on the road. There’s got to be SOME article about the origins of this building.

  5. I’m the owner of the Purple Sage Motel in Panguitch, UT, I just wanted to let you know this is the original name of the motel. It was called the Crystal Inn for a short time and that’s the reason one of the original signs disappeared. We wanted to get it back but found out it was destroyed. Old postcards show it with the original signs.

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