As a mere boy, Maynard Dixon, 16, quit school and sent some of his drawings to his hero, Frederic Remington, and got this reply: "You draw better at your age than I did at the same age—if you have the 'sand' to overcome difficulties you could be an artist in time."
The term "sand" is an American frontier expression conveying stamina and courage.
Leaving his home in Fresno, California, Dixon traveled down to El Alisal, on the Arroyo Seco, six miles out of Pasadena and met Charles Lummis who assigned him to take a road trip east, to find the true West.
Maynard launched himself east, by train, and landed in Needles, California, in July of 1900. He was determined to draw the people he met, especially the Mojave In-dins and he found them, up the Colorado River, at Fort Mojave where the average temperature in the shade was 120 degrees! Here are a few of the sketches he made, on the banks of the Colorado River.