Oct

19

in a wonderful retro move, yellowstone has the original buses that were used some time ago to transport tours round the park. i didn’t ride in one, but shot detail after detail from them– beautiful motor cars, complete with roll-back canvas roofs so the people could stand up and ogle and mug for the camera. their grilles and front windows remind me of some large beast baring it’s fangs– pretty fierce!!
time to get to the geysers, right? i mean, you’ve certainly waited long enough!! “old faithful” was great, and a marvelous show, but not so wonderful for pix– the light was a little lacking– so i am going to press on and go to something a little more dramatic. excuse any run-on sentences i write, i just finished up reading jack kerouac’s “dharma bums” and it’s rubbed off to an extent.
“old faithful” was not our only stop that day, not by a long shot. they have realy built up the lodge there, and my memories of it are a little different from the reality. they have painted the entire structure a dark (i shall not utter the adjective i have always given it) brown color, not too evocative, but the interior quite beautiful and huge. people lounging around on the many chairs inside.
the geysers are many and varied and ever so difficult to photograph in a way that gives one anything like the experience of being there– it’s ATMOSPHERIC– foggy and misty and there are a lot of smells in the air– sulfur being the most prevalent– after all, you are basically in the caldera of the largest volcano on the face of the earth. in some ways it looks desolate and destroyed, but it is really blood and sinew EARTH IN ACTION AND MOTION, with the scab torn off, maybe bleeding a little and messy, but right IN YOUR FACE impressionistic– a world in the midst of creation.
volcanic activity is everywhere, in the form of minerals trickling up to the surface through vents filled with super hot liquids. they spew across the surface of the land like pure pigment squoze directly from the tube, colors vital and almost violent in their appearance, full of texture, steam and menace. i’d be spouting cliché if i were to compare it to conan doyle’s “lost world”, or the many caveman movies coming complete with dinosaurs, but it IS elemental and oh so PREHISTORIC in how it meets not only the eye, but the olfactory and even deep within it resonates like the bell at the end of the world!
copper is also quite prevalent in the mix of elements–this pool, a very famous one, looks exactly the color of my test tube of copper sulphate from my home chemistry set when i was a child. what occurred to me when looking into the depths of this wide maw was that i would have loved to have a thermally protective suit to DIVE the sucker– your ultimate cenote dive, getcher tickets right here folks!!
these photos are but a taste of the whole– time for YOU to buy some tickets and go there yourself.
all too soon it was time to go– a little tired from getting up and “doing dawn” someplace, then moving a little and shooting more pictures. two photogs in one vehicle is CRITICAL MASS– but we had a great time. our plan the first day of travel was to stay in a small town called pinedale, but we stopped so much as we went along that we only made it back to jackson that night. i’m anything but sorry though– the next morning showed us this perfectly SPLENDID mist in the trees, and so we left jackson late instead of early as we had planned. it was like that all the way back to salida as well– always something to catch the eye and imagination!!
this photogenic barn with the grand tetons in the background, f’rinstance– this is an infrared shot, giving it a hint of something different.
we were ever so late getting back to salida, and it could have been later yet, except the light was so poor between minturn and leadville that it did not lend itself to shooting any images. we vowed to do something about THAT when i went back to denver though.
and after a couple more days in salida that’s what we did. there was a time when we were as much as an hour plus ahead of time, but when we entered minturn we were already twenty minutes late. worth it all though, as those aspens were gorgeous– FABU!!
i had the boo’s breakfast burrito with green chili (and an extra side of green chili, just like i used to when living in that area) at the turntable cafe– it had been– well– YUPPIFIED!! hard to recognise inside, but the burrito was just as i remembered it, and a real highlight of my trip.
i won’t say that the rest of my trip was anti-climactic, as it wasn’t, but not really fodder for a blog. it was all over too quickly and i was back home on the island again wondering if it all had really happened. however, all i have to do is to think about yellowstone and the tuning fork in my soul begins to emit a perfect tone.

Oct

19

i can’t believe that it was over a year ago when i last began a blog. this one was called “if it isn’t one thing it’s your mother”, but it barely got off the pad and i just couldn’t bring myself back to it, for whatever reason. it lay fallow til this morning when i deleted it and began this little message in a bottle.

not that i haven’t been busy– far from it. i finished up yet another painting, this one called “natasha”– i did a pen and inker of this piece way back when, but always wanted to paint it. the subject is someone from my distant past, a tantalising gal i once knew, lost in the river of time now. “natasha” is not her name, either– i used to call her by that though, as in “boris and natasha” from rocky and bullwinkle.
this piece came out of me smoothly and quickly, almost effortlessly– as if i had been doing it for a long time, and i suppose you could say that i HAD.
after some time i began another, a little project i had always wanted to do SOMETHING with– scaffolding!! i’ve always loved the way that scaffolding lays shadows down upon a freshly-plastered wall. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR they say, and i cannot disagree– just sketching in those interesting shadows took a couple of weeks or so!! after i got to the actual painting though, things went quite smashingly– i was experimenting with a couple of different brushstrokes, and it gave an amazing look to the canvas. then the diving season got more and more intense, and suddenly i ran into a bit of a reef with it. this photo is months old and i haven’t done a single brushstroke since– but i feel i am finally ready to get back into the piece once again.
so, you’re probably wondering what the hell i was talking about at the beginning, with my summer vacation and all. yeah, i salivated for it over a period of months, and when the day came to go i was ready. of course, the day came earlier than expected– three days before the flight i got both a “check in early” email AND a “your flight has been cancelled” email– “EGAD!!” i cried (well, no– that was NOT the word i used)– and frantically did the sudden reshuffle shuffle to get me out of town a day earlier than before.
spent a couple of days in denver with a friend, getting a great feed of SUSHI and SASHIMI in, making some food of our own, and buying lots of stuff– you have no idea all the crap one CANNOT buy down here in the tropics!!
then it was time to go– first up to salida to visit with a friend– the photo at the top is from a lake we would walk by often, a beautiful still bit of water, in places covered with gorgeous green algal SCUM– very photogenic!!
we then packed up and left for yellowstone park. it was a long day of driving, exacerbated by the fact we are both photographers, and prone to yelling– “STOP THE TRUCK!! I WANNA TAKE A PICTURE!!”. when we finally rolled into jackson wyoming there was not a lot of light left– just enough to snag some pix of these loverly swans a-swimming round. they were real hams and hung about for us.
next morning it was off to the park. i had been here for a short time in the mid-70s and then again sometime in the 90s, and had some pretty strong memories of it. WRONG!! so much of what i remembered was, to be charitable, “off”– and usually my memory is pretty trustable. however, we went out and did “old faithful” on a bit of a grey day (all those fires north of us in wyoming, montana and idaho were spewing a lot of smoke into the atmosphere). it subsequently cleared up a lot as our time went by, whether because of wind or diminution of the fire i have no idea.
y’know, if i were reading this missive i would be running out of steam by now,so i think i am going to write this sucker in two parts. you have just arrived at the end of part 1