Monday, July 02, 2007

Mormon Lake Remembered

The heat we're suffering this week makes me think longingly of the really high country. For instance, I recall that when I was a very young child, I spent time at Mormon Lake. In the late 20s and early 30s, my Phoenix grandparents owned a summer cottage up there at a cool 7000 ft. This painting of it by my late Aunt Blanche inspired me to ask The Google for other early pictures of the Mormon Lake settlement. None of those vacation cabins below look nearly as inviting as my aunt's pictures!

What do I recall of that time? The tall pine trees, soughing in the wind. The seemingly random railroad tracks one came across in the forest, which was being logged back in those days. There was the "little house" out back, my name for the privvy. And, most wonderful of all, the family --grandparents, aunts & uncles & parents -- went raspberry picking. To me at that age, the plants were frighteningly tall. Thorny, too, like proper wild berry plants. Grandma baked several wonderful pies. Oh, yes, the mountain blue jays -- a beautiful midnight blue!

Mormon Lake is the largest natural lake in Arizona, but it might well be dry this year. Though it covers 12 square miles in wet years, the lake is a shallow 10 ft. deep. So enough of the wist! Besides, I am not doing too well at higher elevations these days; the sins of my youth are catching up with me! Time to recall that the 4th of July week is always a hot one, but this morning the sky looked like the moist air is beginning to stream in -- the Arizona monsoon is almost upon us. Wonderful for the mountains, miserable for desert dwellers whose dry heat turns to a bit of a steam bath.


hermano said...

'Tis sad that our quest at Mormon Lake didn't bear fruit. It just ain't the same place after a mere 70 or so years. Hermano

sheoflittlebrain said...

Love Aunt Blanche's paintings. They make me think of stained glass windows.

SoCalFan said...

Wow, your Aunt Blanche was very talented. I can see those paintings as greeting cards (blank inside), or as larger prints in the artists' Co-op on Whiskey Row. Please write a post about her one day. If you have more of her art, please share!

Granny J said...

Bro-- I doubt very much if such a modest cabin lasted into the days of affluence.

Brain and Socalfan -- 1920s Aunt Blanche was an artist by trade. I have in my office a box holding many of her works, including a fascinating series of pastels from a class in clothing design.

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