Saturday, July 14, 2012

Leg... I don't know, fifty billion? Part 485435830 of my trip: Flagstaff, AZ to Albuquerque, NM--

On my way out of Flagstaff, I stopped at Sunset Crater National Park to see Sunset Crater, a dead volcano, and the Wupatki Ruins.

I set out on this trip with the intention of seeing works of land art that are strewn across the American West. As it turns out, I will only really have seen one work--Double Negative--while the rest of my non-city destinations have been parks and naturally formed works of beauty. This list includes Moab and its Arches, the Grand Canyon, and Sunset Crater National Park. While Double Negative was devoid of a single soul, the rest of my stops have been filled with tourists. I suppose I appreciate that Double Negative was mine for the entire day, but I wondered why it isn't a bigger attraction. The hotel owner where I stayed in Overton, NV made fun of me for wanting to see it. When I describe Heizer's work, Smithson's work, etc, to people who inquire about my travels, I usually get less than enthusiastic responses. While there's something impressive to me about earthworks, I think I am part of a small audience. Now this is where I'm surprised by my own response to the things I've seen on this trip: I kind of agree with the skeptics. While on an intelectual level I appreciate what land work artists are doing [and I will stand by my claim that The Spiral Jetty changed my life], there is something much more impressive viscerally about rocks carved by water and time, colored by minerals + atmosphere.

Also, I've gotten so used to driving that even though it's still painful to do for more than 7 hours straight, it feels like home. Home now feels like movement and endless landscape repetition.

When I finally arrived in Albuquerque, it was pretty late. I stayed with my Utah friend Dale. We went downtown to buy meth. I mean to go to a bar. I kept making meth jokes though and I looked for Walter White everywhere, only to find out that Bryan Cranston actually lives in the ABQ with his family. No such luck finding him though. But we did find a delicious 1am meal at The Pita Pit. Then had breakfast at The Frontier Thursday morning before I took off for Texas.

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