Route 66, Peebles and Taliesin West. (June 2015)


After the glitz of Vegas we headed south to Arizona.

Just out of Las Vegas we stopped at the Lake Mead Lookout and got our first glimpse of the mighty Colorado River.

This is one of the principal rivers in the South Western United States, running for 2,330 km and taking water from seven US and two Mexican states.

It’s also the principal architect of the Grand canyon.

We detoured via Kingman to travel on the ‘Mother Road’ or Route 66. Unfortunately this wasn’t in a Chevy Corvette, Ford Mustang or even on a Harley Davidson but a rather slothful Nissan Versa.

It’s not the road that it used to be, as the Interstate Highway System replaced it or it has been buried under development.

It was originally created in 1926 and was a major route from Chicago to California and has been imortalised in songs and on TV.

That night we spent a very pleasant time in Peeples Valley with Thea’s friend Ruby – she even cooked us a turkey roast.

The next day the three of us visited Taliesin West. This was Frank Lloyd Wright’s Architectural school and winter house in Scottsdale, Arizona.

It was built in 1936 and is the current home of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and sister school to Taliesin in Wisconsin.

Built, using local materials in the Organic Style, this property almost hugs the earth with its low profile design of timber and rock.

I felt that the layout was disparate and lacked the visual cohesion of his other houses. Well the ones I have seen so far.

Wright not only designed the building but all the furniture and light fittings.

Navaho Red was his favourite colour and there were splashes of it everywhere.

The only way to visit Taliesin West is by guided tour. This was conducted by a very knowledgable but rather effusive retired teacher.

His views were very blinkered as to the genius of Frank Lloyd Wright, especially in comparison to European architecture.

To his credit he tried to imbue a sense of the aesthetic for architecture into the group, but I found his approach rather condescending.

One Response to “Route 66, Peebles and Taliesin West. (June 2015)”

  1. Alex Mifsud says:

    Ah…so reassuring that things are back to normal – on the road again and describing varied and new experiences. PS: What car are you driving and what are the road conditions like and do you recommend the Route 66 touring??
    Cheers, Alex.

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