A Man Who is an Unusual Weaver, Allison Billy

Georgiana Kennedy Simpson from Twin Rocks Trading Post interviews Navajo Rug Weaver Allison Billy.

Allison is one of the few men in Utah, or in any part of the Navajo Nation, who is a weaver.  Traditionally a woman’s art, Allison talks about how he learned (from his grandmother), and when he learned –when he was nine years old.

Allison is a terrific storyteller, and listening to a rare person is always, well, a rare treat.


Katie Lee, Angel of the Canyons, and Singer

Katie Lee is a great woman who has done her beswt to save our beautiful red-rock canyonlands

Katie Lee, Angel of Canyonlands, folksinger, and Wild Spirit

Katie Lee, born in Tucson in 1919, is an Arizona folk singer, writer, actress and photographer.  We were lucky enough to hear her sing, in a little cafe, here in Bluff, UT.  How fortunate we are to have people such as Katie Lee come to Bluff.

Katie Lee is vibrant, a fighter, a storyteller, and is still achingly beautiful.

She graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. After that, she went on to study with two of the most successful folksingers of the 1940s, Burl Ives and Josh White. Her early albums of folk music, Life is Just a Bed of Neuroses (1960) and Songs of Couch and Consultation (1957) are long out of print, but six more recent CDs are still available. She has also released three videos, including Love Song to Glen Canyon.  That’s the film she came to show is in Bluff.

After joining a rafting trip in the Grand Canyon, she became a regular on river trips on the Colorado River and joined the opposition to the construction of Glen Canyon Dam. In 1964, Lee released an album on Folkways Records, entitled, Folk Songs of the Colorado River. In the 1980s she recorded a cassette-only release Colorado River Songs consisting of old songs popular among river runners on the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon, along with some original compositions. This release was hailed by Edward Abbey and David Foreman among others. Colorado River Songs was expanded and re-released in 1997 on CD. She has also released Glen Canyon River Journeys on CD, which mixes music and spoken word commentary, and is featured on the 2005 Smithsonian Folkways compilation album, Songs and Stories from Grand Canyon.  Quite a woman?  Yes.

She has also written three books: Sandstone Seduction, Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle and All My Rivers Are Gone. Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle is a study of the music, stories, and poetry of the American cowboy. It was also recorded as an album.

Katie Lee met her first husband “Brandy” (Edwin Carl Brandelius Jr.), her book Sandstone Seduction is dedicated to him, on a trip to Baja California. Brandy was a war veteran, a race car driver and a good friend of Turk Murphy’s. Katie Lee noted Brandy as the prime influence on finishing and publishing her first book Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle. Brandy is the father of Jerilyn Lee Brandelius, author of The Grateful Dead Family Album (and four other children) from his first marriage.

Sandstone Seduction, a memoir, relates her continuing love affair with desert rivers and canyons, and reveals her Lady Godiva-style bicycle ride through downtown Jerome, Arizona, where she lives.  The chronicles of her adventures in Baja California appear in the book Almost An Island written by Bruce Berger.

October 1, 2011 Katie Lee was inducted into the Arizona Music Hall of Fame. We are honored that she came to our part of red-rock country, and consider her to be the Singing Angel of the Canyons.  Thank you, Katie Lee, for your courageous and fun-loving spirit!

Katie Lee, Angel of Canyonlands, folksinger, and Wild Spirit

Things to do on Your Way to Twin Rocks

Visiting The Grand Cyn

Things to do on Your Way to Twin Rocks

1) See the Grand Canyon in Arizona

2) Head to Mesa Verde in Colorado

Now, for a tighter view, we give you things to do while in Utah, and every one is just a whisk away from Twin Rocks Trading Post!

1) Hovenweep National Monument:  (970) 749-0510    Isolated, spectacular ruins of square, oval, circular and D-shaped towers.  Primitive camping, no potable water.  Amazing!

2) Wild Rivers — Right here in Bluff! (800) 422-7654    Boat trips down the ancient San Juan River where you’ll visit petroglyphs and plenty of amazing wildlife and sites with no access except the river.

3) Edge of the Cedars State ParkBlanding, UT.  (801) 678-2238    Rare basket collection.  One of the finest displays of ancient pottery in the Southwest.  A restored Pueblo ruin.

4) Goosenecks State Park:  8 miles north of Mexican Hat.    The San Juan River looks like a green snake as it curves back on itself at the bottom of a 1,100 foot canyon.  Camping.

5) Monument Valley Tribal Park:  (801) 727-3287    Fantastic orange-red-neon rock formations that have been made famous by countless of western movies.  It’s also the place Forrest Gump stopped running!

6) Arches National Park:  (801) 259-8161    This has the greatest density of rock arches in the world — 1,500 have been catalogued.  This is truly one of the hearts of red rock country.

7) Canyonlands National Park:  (801) 259-7164    Canyons, mesas, buttes, fins, arches and spires.  The area is primitive and wild and mind-blowing.

8) Capitol Reef National Park:  (801)  425-3791    Contains the unique Waterpocket Fold and the Fremont River. Go wild with the sheer number of petroglyphs, fossils and eerie rock formations.

9) Natural Bridges National Monument:  (801) 259-5174    Natural bridges, hanging gardens, ancient ruins, hiking, primitive camping and a scenic drive.  Terrific.

Anywhere you go for a trek through the Authentic Southwest, you are just a buzz away from Twin Rocks.  A cool porch will welcome you.

Southwest Jewelry for Women and Men


Unique silver jewelry for women and men.  Southwestern silver and turquoise, each piece of wearable art is a masterpiece.

Silver Navajo jewelry with carved rock art and turquoise.

At Twin Rocks Trading Post, Southwest Jewelry begins with ancient Puebloan stone-cutting techniques found in today’s Santo Domingo jewelry.  There is also stone inlay integral to contemporary expressions in Zuni jewelry. We also love silver jewelry techniques mastered by Navajo and Hopi artisans.

WATCH THIS PIECE OF JEWELRY BEING MADE! The designs are rock art and creation stories.

Southwest Jewelry is usually silver and turquoise. Our stones are high quality, dramatic, and diverse.  Some of our turquoise, such as Carico, is green! Other stones are rich with gold veins.  Top grade stones are, among others, from the nearby Bisbee, Demale, Carico Lake, Kingman, Blue Gem and #8 mines.

After the stones are polished and shaped, they’re translated into outstanding southwestern jewelry for women and men. What is your passion? Southwestern jewelry covers the gamut from necklaces, bracelets, buckles, earrings and rings.  Beyond turquoise, we seek the finest in contemporary jewelry using coral, sugilite, lapis, malachite, charoite, and a diversity of agates.

Stop by Twin Rocks Trading Post here in Bluff, UT, halfway between Mesa Verde and the Grand Canyon. Each piece of jewelry is unique.  Every stone has a story that touches your heart and imagination.

beautiful woman, beautiful bracelet