Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 171 - Phoenix - Tombstone

Distance travelled (by bike): 20,870 miles

Another hot day! The first point of call this morning was Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home, studio and architectural foundation. Taliesin West is unchanged since Frank Lloyd Wright died in 1959, it is still home to the Frank Lloyd Wright school of Architecture, the studio space he designed in 1937 is still used and almost unchanged. 
The complex is based around the concept of connecting the exterior and interior, made with predominately desert rocks, timber and concrete. The use of natural light throughout the complex played a major part in the design, using canvas instead of glass to soften the light. The complex was constantly changed each time he returned at winter. All the furniture, fixtures and decorations were designed by Wright for this complex and built insight by his apprentices, this was where he pioneered the use of precast concrete, now a staple part of most construction.
Leaving Taliesin in the midday heat i headed south through Tuscan to San Xavier Bac Mission, the oldest and best preserved mission in the south west US and considered the finest example of colonial architecture in the US. The bright white building rise from the stark surrounding desert creating an imposing and slightly surreal sight.
Leaving i headed east over towards 'the town to tough to die' - Tombstone. The sight of the legendary gunfight at the OK Corall between The Earp brothers (with Doc Holliday) and the Clanton gang. With the temperature dropping slightly it was a great drive, arriving at Tombstone with enough time to look around the Boothill graveyard, where some of the Clanton's are buried.

Taliesin West

San Xavier Bac Mission

on the road to tombstone

tombstone - Boothill graveyard

the main street in tombstone, just like being in a western!!!

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