What a week that was. Monsoons, beautiful aspens, the changing landscape of three states, friends, puppies, hotsprings, freight trains, me and the truckers.
Monday morning, I wake up with the notion that I should get on the road. It has been a dream for as long as I can remember and today is the day. Pack up the car with enough drinking water to sink a ship, rolls of film, three cameras and a good selection of music. Ready to go.
Silk needs an adventure. I answer the call.
The plan? Get to New mexico and get neck deep in the hotsprings.
Driving across California was hot wind and route 66. Abandoned buildings, motels and cafes bring to mind the America of days passed. I didn't see a soul for miles. Turn the music up loud and sing along.
I'm filling my creative well, breathless with the beauty of the landscape. The skies are putting on a great show for me as I cross the state. I am seeing a scarf of fluffy clouds mixed with the trees I have been promised in New Mexico. Excitement.
As the day draws on and the sun sets I cross over into Arizona. Not the barren land that I had imagined the road is lined with tall green trees silhouetted against the sky. I open the windows to smell the air. Nick Cave keeps me company as I close in on Flagstaff, midway point and home for the night.
Pulling into downtown Flagstaff, it's just me and the longest freight train I have ever seen. The sun is set. I am deliriously tired. There is a monsoon warning, how did I not know this is monsoon season. I just assumed everywhere is as hot and dry as LA.
I must have slept like a baby cos I don't remember much but wake up at daybreak starving and excited to hit the road again.
I set off intent on seeing the Grand Canyon and as many meteor sites as I can muster. Why do all the meteors come crashing down on Arizona? Weird.
I stop in beautiful Walnut Canyon. all windy roads and isolation. Bliss for me. I stretch my legs and hang out to add photographs of trees and poles to that project. I'm pulling random cds from the pile so my musical company is mixed, songs I haven't heard for years, I don't mind admitting that when Phil Collins pops up I hit the volume, open the windows and sing loud! This feels great.....
I am driving through Indian country, now I know where to buy moccasins for the whole family. Watch out christmas presents. I pass through Two Guns and Knife City and enough crazy named towns to fill a book, the land has flattened out and ahead I can see black clouds gathering. I can smell the rain coming. The mix of hot road and the threat of rain feels like anticipation.
I want to get to Santa Fe before nightfall so I am cranking out the miles watching fork lightening left and right. As I pass Allentown the rain starts in earnest. Windscreen wipers going beserk doing battle with sheets of rain. I don't know whether to be exhilarated or terrified. I decide on a combination of the two. I can't see a thing, just the hazard lights of the cars in front. I lean over my steering wheel and pray.