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Wendover and Beyond

After being stranded in the Bonneville Salt Flats all day, we cruised the strip in Wendover, Utah; the nighttime streets lined with $35 motels. On the Nevada side of the border, bright Vegas-style lights advertise penny slots, $6.55 senior discounts, and all-night buffets.  A weird neon glow rises up into the desert sky. A place for Vegas dropouts, and vagrant Mormons to drown their woes, Wendover was clearly not built for high rollers. Technicolor temples of debauchery are seemingly the only things West Wendover has to offer.

After scanning the strip, we decided to get some cheap grub at a casino. Inside the Red Garter, patrons sit hypnotized by machines ringing out the merry music of paychecks being tossed aside. Countless slot machines and who-knows-what-else awaits the avid gambler inside these establishments. We ate our dinner at the Prospector Lounge, a neglected section of the casino with busted-out satin chairs and dull historical paintings commemorating the old west. The food was good enough; a simple biscuits and gravy for myself, and two eggs and toast for Steve. After reflecting on our day in salty hell, we chose to move forward and immediately made tracks for Twin Falls, Idaho. Driving up an old dusty portion of 93, I stayed wired on caffeine and chewing gum.

A view from our journey at the Bonneville Speedway.
A view from our journey at the Bonneville Speedway.

 

It was 3:00 AM before we settled into a RV park, a few miles north of our intended destination. Out in the open, surrounded by rural-suburban sprawl, our choice of campground was anything but ideal. Instead of a tree-lined grotto in the woods, the desolate concrete pad was lined with water and electrical hookups. Steve was furious about my decision to camp here as we rolled up to our pseudo campground. As we drifted to sleep in the parking lot, distant footsteps shocked my dull brain with a jolt of paranoia. Exhaustion took over and, before I could peek out of my sleeping bag, I was overtaken by troubled sleep.

Thursday morning in Jerome, Idaho, the fair grounds where we camped were milling with lazy preparatory activity for an upcoming event. Having expected to be harassed by the police, or worse, twisted local bumpkins whose motives and ethical standards would be no doubt questionable, rising to the gentle murmur of friendly fair grounds employees was a relief. The clanking of tent poles and humming of diesel engines quietly emanated from surrounding lots while we slowly and crustily rose from slumber. Despite our ratty appearance, we — wild-eyed, dusty punks passed out in their parking lot — were greeted with an offer of showers, friendly conversation and use of a hose to clean off our van.

SnakeRiver.ScenicHighwayView
Scenic Viewpoint in Twin Falls, Idaho

As I hosed-off the salty mud caked onto the bottom of our vehicle, I was struck by how fortunate we’ve been. All along our journey, the kindness of people we encounter continues to surprise and amaze us. From gifts of Girl Scout cookies to perfect strangers offering a place to stay, we’ve are grateful for everyone’s generosity and willingness to help two road-worn travelers.

Many thanks!

-Team Brownie In Motion

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Final Hours of the Brownie In Motion Campaign on Indiegogo!

Hello Readers! I wanted to let you know that we are now approaching the final hours of our fundraising effort for the Brownie In Motion project on Indiegogo. Please consider donating to the campaign at: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/brownie-in-motion/contributions/new before midnight tonight! There are lots of great rewards available for backers, including limited edition prints, postcards, and even the chance to have the camera obscura travel to your town for a visit! Help us document disappearing trades across America with the world’s largest Brownie camera!

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If you’d like to hear what Japan Camera Hunter has to say about the project, click this link!

 

The Brownie In Motion IndieGoGo Project Launch

The Brownie In Motion IndieGoGo Project Launch

My Indiegogo campaign to bring the camera obscura out west and begin a new series of ULF photographs of artisans launched on Friday at Imagine400 here in Columbus. The turn out was amazing and I was proud to be part of it such an interesting mix of creators! Many thanks goes out to the organizers & my fellow exhibitors (including Gavin Bruce, Roman Holowinksy, Reese Nader, Mikey Thomas, TLA, Linda Diec, Chris Howel, Stephen Pence and the whole Art Party crew.) I appreciated everyone who donated money and sat for a portrait at the event AND a great big thank you to everyone who has backed this project online!

A shout out goes to my fellow artists Amy Ritter (http://amybritter.blogspot.com/) and Lauri Lynnxe Murphy (http://www.laurilynnxemurphy.com/) who made the first donations online on Friday afternoon. You guys rock!

Please share this link and help make this project happen!