Photos, Air and Art

On the way to Sheridan. I think it’s Black Tooth, elevation 13,014.  If not, it’s Cloud Peak, 13,165

It’s a quiet Saturday night; there’s only one other resident here and she’s up watching something in ‘Times Square’, the media room (which has a table made from an old clock face and some other clock motifs but definitely isn’t square).

I’m having a late, light dinner, and writing mostly as an excuse to publish the photos.  I did go back into Sheridan, or at least to its mega-mall street, this afternoon.  So that’s another hundred miles in the last two days. 

I have everything I need now to finish the studio setup and get to work, but tonight I’m going to go to bed early.  I’m having a bit of a physical adjustment to being here, or else having a time of adjusting back to whatever normalcy I might possess, after the five days of nonstop labor before leaving, and then the driving marathon.  I slept very late this morning and now am tired again.

It could also be the humidity, or rather the total lack of it.  Even inland in the Highlands, Scotland had caressing sea air, or the more typical mist and drizzle, but yet did not feel uncomfortable, because the air is almost always in motion.  Catskill was cloyingly still and muggy (and buggy), except when storms blew through, and Chicago was doing its usual extreme fluctuations. Here it is utterly dry.  I’m told that the landscape is unusually green for this time of year, due to frequent short-lived storms like yesterday’s. It’s not a desert, it supports an abundance of life, but it’s also easy to understand how the bleached bones that decorate Jentel got that way.  The sun beats down, relentlessly hot, the air is thinner from the elevation and seems to let the heat through more easily. Yet I can wear my heaviest pair of levi’s (like you see folks do in the cowboy movies) because there isn’t enough humidity to cause sweat.  It’s not uncomfortable, though I don’t think I’d like to live in it for a long time. I am constantly thirsty and I can feel my skin drawing tight. And I can smell water; I’ll smell it and then a few minutes later, drive past a creek that isn’t dried up. Now, in the night, with no sun, it’s quite cool but still dry.

(This is for my friend Mary, who used to always shoot photos of ‘breast mountains’.  We got a million of ’em here.  This one even has a nipple).

On Monday night, we’re all going to get together to show each other our work, though I had an impromptu session of that with one artist and both writers last night.  But I didn’t see or read theirs.  I’m looking forward to that, and to waking reasonably early, finishing the studio, and making paper tomorrow.

The Raw Boundaries show at KN Gallery, which opened on Friday, got a brief but positive mention in Paul Klein’s Artletter, with photos.  It looks like a good show.  I’ll get back just in time to see it.

Here’s some more Wyoming for you; I’m off to bed.  Or better yet, a dram and bed!

Jentel in context.  The bit of building visible to the far right is the director’s big house, across Piney Creek and oh, about the same distance as a few city blocks away from the main residence. The flat green field at the bottom of the hill is relentlessly irrigated, watered twice daily.  Jentel itself has sprinklers that come on twice a a day, even though it’s next to a creek with water in it. This is shot from about three-quarters of the way up what residents call the Cell Phone Hill. That’s where you’ve got to go to use one.

The standing stones of Wyoming.  Some of ’em, anyways.

4 thoughts on “Photos, Air and Art

  1. I knew that I was going to tell you about something that I kept forgetting about! The WATER. The water smell. Serious sulfur business. Chris and I would always be talking about it b/c it manifests in funny ways through the body.

  2. The altitude can really get to you if you didn’t grow up with it (as I did here).

    Drink water.

    Drink even if you aren’t thirsty.

    Dehydration can make you sleepy, tired, pooped, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz………………..

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