2012 Land Arts Journey 2 Summary
Land Arts 2012 at Texas Tech concluded its second journey on Tuesday 3 October 2012 with the dedication and intensity it began in late August due in large part to the exceptional group of participants are: Zoe Berg (artist), Katy Chrisler (poet), Cade Hammers (architect), Martin Medina (architect), Maura Murnane (artist), Colleen O’Brien (artist), Jigga Patel (architect), Nicholas Pierce (poet), Arie Ruvinsky (artist) and Cecilia Stewart (architect). Jose Villanueva (Land Arts 2009 Alum) was a tireless and outstanding Program Assistant and Chris Taylor continued to direct the program at Texas Tech.
Breaks between journeys always alternate between not enough time for necessary correspondence, bill paying, and deep cleaning, and too much time away from the immediacy of working and living in the field. Everyone was eager to return to the patina of the road as we ventured through West Texas to begin a slower pace voyage with a focus on sites to make work. We were out for twenty-seven days and traveled around 2,500 miles overland. During that time we were visited by a string of outstanding field guests: Land Arts alum and Design Build Adventure member Adrian Larriva, artist Boyd Elder, filmmaker Sam Douglas, artist Amy Hauft, artist and Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at UT Austin Jack Risley, Texas Tech Landmark Arts director Joe Arredondo, poet John Poch, and writer Charles Bowden.
Before we set out for the field Upe Flueckiger of Texas Tech spoke with us about his research on the architecture of Donald Judd partly because our first stop was Marfa, Texas. We camped, as usual, at the wonderfully evolving El Cosmico where Adrian Larriva was working. Filmmaker Sam Douglas camped with us to gain more insight for Moving Mountains, his film in the works about the Land Arts program, and we screened Citizen Architect under the stars. Adrian Larriva talked to us about his work with Design Build Adventure—projecting slides on the side of a van—to help the crew get a handle on the evolution of El Cosmico. It had been a while since Land Arts was in Marfa for open house weekend, so in addition to tours of the Chinati and Judd foundations there were a host of events including a lecture by curator Lynne Cooke, visits from guests Amy Hauft, Jack Risley, Joe Arredondo, John Poch, Boyd Elder, Ester Partegás, and a bevy of Land Arts alumni. It was a grand and busy gathering with time in short supply.
On the way to our next site we paused at Prada Marfa to consider its evolving condition, and we stopped in El Paso for another wonder fiesta hosted by Jesse and Irma Larriva. The next site was Cabinetlandia in the Chihuahuan Desert scrub east of Deming, New Mexico. As a work site it provided a chance for students to engage the Cabinet National Library as well as invest time in their work. Writer Charles Bowden spent a day and a half with us their relaying the trajectory of his recent work looking deeply into the US/Mexico border conditions.
From there we moved up into the Gila Wilderness camping alongside the dry Mimbres River—usually there is a small trickle of water. Another work site it expanded time for students to develop their work across many avenues from construction and documentation to performance and video. Leaving the Gila we stopped for lunch at the Tyrone Mine Reclamation overlook to see the limited progress there. The next stop was up in the Chiricahua Mountains to experience the realities of the sky islands of the Sonoran Desert and the aftermath of a major forest fire that swept through the region a year and a half ago. Work continued.
On the way to our next stop the need for bathing had risen palpably so we stopped at the un-swimmable Roper Lake State Park to avail ourselves of their cold water showers and outdoor hot pool. The next stop was a new and somewhat provisional site in the Tonto National Forest and a visit to the Coolidge Dam on the San Carlos Apache Reservation. The dam was completed in 1928 and demonstrates the complicated and often fraught circumstances of large scale water projects in the west. When we were there the lake was officially closed because it was only holding 1% of it’s capacity. The fish that remained struggled at the surface of the water gasping for oxygen.
After a resupply in Show Low, Arizona we set out for our final base camp on the edge of the Plains of San Agustin, New Mexico. A work site that also served as a base to visit the Very Large Array and The Lightning Field. As the days grew shorter and the nights colder our time in the field drew to a close and we rolled back into Lubbock on 30 October to unload the vans and complete a major cleaning and sorting of the gear so it could be stored for next field year. A select group of images from Journey 2 are included below.
2012 Land Arts Journey 1 Summary
Land Arts 2012 at Texas Tech first journey ran from 28 August to 24 September 2012. The expedition continues to amplify the growing momentum of the Lubbock based program. The exceptional group of participants are: Zoe Berg (artist), Katy Chrisler (poet), Cade Hammers (architect), Martin Medina (architect), Maura Murnane (artist), Colleen O’Brien (artist), Jigga Patel (architect), Nicholas Pierce (poet), Arie Ruvinsky (artist) and Cecilia Stewart (architect). Jose Villanueva (Land Arts 2009 Alum) is the Program Assistant and Chris Taylor continues to direct the program at Texas Tech.
From the wonderfully multivalent introductory site in the shadow of White Sands Missile Range to the remote archeological remains of Moon House our itinerary traversed significant physical and conceptual territory. We were out for twenty-seven days and traveled around 3,500 miles overland. During that time we were visited by outstanding field guests: geologist and Laguna Pueblo tribal member Curtis Francisco, Remote Studio director Lori Ryker, CLUI Director Matt Coolidge, SIMPARCH member Steve Badgett, artist and film maker Deborah Stratman, artist and fabricator Rob Ray, Intrepid Potash plant manager Russ Draper, and writer Lucy Lippard.
Our departure from West Texas began with the rising heat of late summer. The second night at Twin Buttes was punctuated by a prolonged wind storm that immediately tested the logistics of our kitchen as well as a few personal tents. From White Sands we ventured northwest past the Trinity Site highway marker to Cebolla Canyon. From this base camp we spent a day with Curtis Francisco touring the reclaimed Jackpile Mine at Laguna Pueblo. Jackpile was the largest open pit uranium mine from the mid 1950’s until the 1980’s. Ground water contamination continues to be among a host of issues and Curtis was encouraged to tell of recent traction towards Superfund status. On our way north traversed the Grants Mineral Belt, aka the uranium mining epicenter, stopping at the New Mexico Mining Museum in Grants to gain perspective. At Chaco Canyon we explored Pueblo Bonito, Penasco Blanco and Casa Rinconada experiencing the escalation of architectural impulse in North America and becoming aware of the complexity of narratives attempting to make sense of the place.
From Chaco we continued northwest to Cedar Mesa for a work site at Muley Point. Recent rains had filled most of the tinajas and new growth evidenced an ecosystem in rebound. We spent one day hiking out on Snow Flat to the archeological site of Moon House. The permit process to access the site continues to tighten. After the hike we went down to Mexican Hat for a cool down swim in the muddy and refreshing San Juan River.
From Muley we traveled northwest crossing the Colorado and Dirty Devil rivers at Hite, resupplying in Green River and stopping for a night on the eastern face of the Wasatch range at Price Canyon. We needed to break up the drive from Muley to the Spiral Jetty so we could visit the Bingham Canyon Mine the next morning. The open pit copper mine is so big they boast it can be seen from space. (It is often challenged as the largest excavation by the copper mine in Chuquicamata, Chile.)
We arrived at Spiral Jetty by Robert Smithson to join Lori Ryker and her crew from the Remote Studio who were on there first expedition of the semester from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It was great to spend to spend an evening with them and exchange experiences about spending time in the wilderness examining what we find there.
From Spiral Jetty we ventured north around the top of the lake along the path of the first transcontinental rail line to Lucin and lunch at Sun Tunnels by Nancy Holt. From there we were making good time south to Wendover when an error of judgement occurred. Conditions on the playas had appeared dry so a split decision was made to try the pipeline road cutoff that runs across the mud flats north of the Silver Mountains. We would all regret this later, in good cheer, as we spent several hours dealing with getting the vans liberated from the mud they became lodged in. Suppose it’s true what they say about short cuts… The good news is that Matt Coolidge was in Wendover and he was able to help organize the rescue, including riding out on the mud-cat.
Once in Wendover, Utah we entered the orbit of the Center for Land Use Interpretation. CLUI Wendover is always a highlight and this year was no exception. Students were eager for a proper shower (first in two weeks), laundry, learning about the center, and making their own work in this context. People spent time working across the airbase and town, out on Bonneville Salt Flats, and out at South Base where Steve Badgett and Deborah Stratman were in residence. Our poets spent a day with Steve and Deb hiking up a mountain ridge to experience the Hawk Watch program in action. Rob Ray also joined the crew to work with Deb on Power / Exchange. Steve was so impressed with what Jose has done with our kitchen operation that he presented us with a hand crank blender to augment the preparation of more fresh salsas. Time in Wendover always seems to evaporate and energy levels draw low with long days and short nights. It is a fascinating and intensely productive landscape.
From Wendover we ventured south to Mormon Mesa, Nevada and the site of the earthwork Double Negative by Michael Heizer. We arrived in mid afternoon so before setting up camp we continued on to Lake Mead to cool down. Being here ten days later than past years made a ten degree shift in the high temperatures. Everyone appreciated that they remained around 100 instead of 110.
After two days with the work we traveled north to climb the Kaibab Plateau for our approach to the Grand Canyon. Our first night was spent in the alpine forest of Tipover Canyon–waking to frosty conditions. For the next two nights we had a permit to camp out at Point Sublime. Usually we make the trip for a single afternoon and evening. It was fantastic to have more time at such a powerful spot on the rim. While there we made new friends with fellow campers Bruce and Inez who now share their travel post cards with us.
Our return route included a stop at the Red Dog Shed in Madrid with a visit to Lucy Lippard in Galisteo. The students gained much from the exchange with her about the trajectory of her career and what she is working on now. The following day on our way back to Lubbock we visited Bosque Redondo in Fort Sumner, New Mexico–the destination site of the Long Walk of the Navajo and Mescalero Apache. Currently the Little Sister Rug is on view.
Once back in Lubbock we unloaded the vans and did a major cleaning and sorting of the gear to make it ready for our departure on Journey 2 on Wednesday 3 October 2012. Look for more Field Reports whenever we have the ability to make remote posts. A select group of images from Journey 1 are included below.
2012 Field Season
Information about the 2012 Field Season coursework can be found online at: http://arch.ttu.edu/wiki/Land_Arts_2012
Twin Buttes, White Sands, New Mexico
Cebolla Canyon, New Mexico
Jackpile Mine, Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico
Chaco Caynon, New Mexico
Muley Point, Cedar Mesa, Utah
Moon House, Cedar Mesa, Utah
Price Canyon, Utah
Bingham Canyon MIne
Spiral Jetty, Rozel Point, Great Salt Lake, Utah
Sun Tunnels, near Lucin, Utah
Wendover – CLUI, Utah
Intrepid Potash, Wendover, Utah
Double Negative, Mormon Mesa, Nevada
North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Arizona
Galisteo, New Mexico
Madrid, New Mexico
Cabinetlandia, Deming, New Mexico
Gila Hot Springs, New Mexico
Mimbres River, New Mexico
Chiricahua Mountains, Arizona
Tonto National Forest, Arizona
Coolidge Dam, San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation, Arizona
Plains of San Agustin, New Mexico
Very Large Array, near Datil, New Mexico
The Lightning Field, near Quemado, New Mexico
Zoe Berg – artist working on BFA at University of Texas at Austin
Katy Chrisler – poet with MFA from Writers Workshop at University of Iowa
Cade Hammers – architect working on MARCH at Texas Tech
Luis Martín Medina – architect working on MARCH at Texas Tech
Maura Murnane – New York based artist with BFA from University of Texas at Austin
Colleen O’Brien – artist working on BFA at Texas Tech
Jigga Patel – architect working on MARCH at Texas Tech
Nicholas Pierce – poet and writer working on BFA at Texas Tech
Arie Ruvinsky – artist with BFA from Goldsmiths Univeristy of London
Cecilia Stewart – architect working on MARCH at Texas Tech
Jose Villanueva (Program Assistant)
Chris Taylor (Program Director)
Joe Arredondo – director of Landmark Arts at Texas Tech
Steve Badgett – artist from SIMPARCH
Charles Bowden – writer
Matthew Coolidge – director of Center for Land Use Interpretation
Russ Draper – plant manager at Intrepid Potash
Sam Douglas – filmmaker from Big Beard Films
Russ Draper – plant manager at Intrepid Potash
Upe Flueckiger – architect teaching at Texas Tech University
Curtis Francisco – geologist from Laguna Pueblo
Amy Hauft – artist teaching at University of Texas at Austin
Adrian Larriva – designer and builder with Design Build Adventure
Lucy Lippard – writer
Barry Lopez – writer
John Poch – poet teaching at Texas Tech
Rob Ray – artist and fabricator
Ann Reynolds – art historian teaching at University of Texas at Austin
Jack Risley – artist and Chair of Dept. of Art and Art History at University of Texas at Austin
Lori Ryker – architect and director of Remote Studio
Deborah Stratman – artist teaching at University of Illinois at Chicago
2011 Land Arts Journey 2 Summary
Land Arts 2011 at Texas Tech concluded its second journey on Monday 24 October 2011 with the sense of purpose and dedication it began in late August due in large part to the dedicated participants: Alexander Bingham, Luis Bustamante III, Will Cotton, Winston Holloway, Richard Klaja, Celeste Martinez, Zachary Mitchell, Carl Spartz, Rachael Wilson, and Bethany Wood. Adrian Larriva (Land Arts 2009 Alum and TTU MARCH graduate) proved pivotal as the Land Arts Program Assistant, and Chris Taylor continues to direct the program at Texas Tech.
Breaks between journeys always alternate between not enough time for necessary correspondence, bill paying, and deep cleaning, and too much time away from the immediacy of working and living in the field. Everyone was eager to return to the patina of the road as we ventured through West Texas to begin a slower pace voyage with a focus on sites to make work. We were out for twenty-five days and traveled around 2,500 miles overland. During that time we were visited by outstanding field guests: Design Build Adventure founder Jack Sanders, West Texas living legend and artist Boyd Elder, Land Arts 2009 alum Jose Villanueva, and PORK New Orleans designer and educator David Gregor.
Our second journey began in Marfa, Texas with the legacy of Donald Judd through visits to the Judd Foundation and the Chinati Foundation. A healthy wind storm also greeted our return, snapping a weak tie down strap and flipping the kitchen tent. Nothing major was lost and we were able to quickly reset camp. Jack Sanders met us in Marfa to tell us about the evolutionary design and construction processes developing El Cosmico. Learning first hand we also invested our efforts in the process by helping establish newly planted trees.
From Marfa we made the short trip west to Valentine where Boyd Elder and Jose Villanueva were waiting. Boyd’s family goes back to the origins of this small West Texas town and in recent years an old dance hall from the late nineteenth century has come under his care. While the building, called the Saloone (read Sa-loan), needs a great deal of work, it’s thick adobe shell is worthy of attention. Jose has been working with Boyd to get the project moving and lending the collective shoulder of Land Arts added to the momentum. The students got their hands dirty repairing adobe and adding mud plaster to stave off future erosion using a recipe with cactus juice and horse dung from Ron Rael. It was three days of serious work. On our way out of Valentine we visited Prada Marfa with Boyd in the early morning light.
En route to our next site we stopped in El Paso for supplies and to attend a fiesta for the students hosted by Jesse and Irma Larriva. This is the third year the Larriva’s have welcomed Land Arts into their home, fortunately this year Robert Gonzales, Director of the Texas Tech College of Architecture El Paso program was able to participate. On the road again, we rolled into Cabinetlandia at sun set as a cold front blew in. Rain to our east and west dropped the temperature precipitously and the stiff wind filled air, tents, and lungs with dust. The fierce weather broke quickly leaving us clear skies and cold nights.
Cabinetlandia is a project space of Brooklyn based Cabinet magazine and site of the Cabinet National Library. Located within the failed Deming Ranchettes development between Interstate 10 and a major east-west route of the Southern Pacific Railroad the site is an outstanding laboratory to explore and test the ongoing Land Arts conversation unfolding through our regular seminars.
David Gregor joined us at Cabinetlandia to share the aerial photographic techniques he used last summer in China. From New Orleans he brought a kite for sending a camera aloft, a sixteen foot tall stick for elevated points of view, and a series of influential books to share with the students. David was very generous with his deep connection to the land art sites throughout the American West and his reading of the priorities facing design, art and architecture education today.
With our fill of fine Chihuahuan Desert scrubland dust we said farewell to David and ventured into Deming to resupply our food stocks and do a bit of laundry. From there we turned north heading into the Gila Wilderness—straight to the Gila River and hot springs to extend the much needed cleaning. After a brief soaking we returned south to set camp along the banks of the Mimbres River. This was another work site and the students pursued their projects immediately. From hands on fabrication to various levels of mapping this was a very productive place.
On the road again we passed through Silver City then southwest out of the mountains. Mining casts a long shadow across our itinerary and we stopped for lunch at the beleaguered interpretive overlook of the Tyrone Tailings Reclamation.
Next, a site near the top of the Chiricahua Mountains in southeastern Arizona allowed us to experience how sky islands operate in the desert. We also gained first hand knowledge of the impact of last May’s Horseshoe Two Fire that badly burnt the Chiricahua Mountains shifting the focus of this site from work to interpretation. All structured campgrounds around Barfoot peak were closed. Fortunately our regular site did not burn completely and was safe to use. Students worked to make sense of the effects of drought, land use policy that minimizes sustainable cycles of fire, increased human interaction in fragile ecological territories, and shifting climatic patterns. Lessons were palpable in what came back from their excursions and folded directly into their work.
We extended the route to our final camp to rejoin the Gila River and follow it to the Coolidge Dam on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in Arizona. We stopped for lunch at this fantastic dome and buttress structure built in the late 1920’s. At Globe we turned onto Highway 60 heading north through the Salt River canyon and then east through Show Low, Springerville and Quemado. Working against the path of the sun we rolled into our camp on the edge of the Plains of San Agustin in New Mexico just as the last light was leaving the sky. The well seasoned crew set camp and started making dinner in no time.
The next day the group split in two so we could visit The Lightning Field by Walter di Maria. On the way we visited the Very Large Array to ponder astronomers making images with what they hear from deep space. Photography of The Lightning Field is still not permitted and both groups had outstanding visits indexing the daily balance of light with our senses.
Highway 52, the dirt road running along the east edge of the Plains of San Agustin and near our camp was busy with hunters pushing south into the Gila Wilderness for the beginning of elk season. It also seemed to bring poachers of pronghorn antelope as we witnessed a drive by kill site and found twelve abandoned legs. The spirits in the camp remained strong as we neared the completion of our field season and students focus on their work deepened.
With the first clouds we’d seen in two weeks it was time to load up. A bit dirtier and worn down, we packed into the vans one more time and rolled towards home, to clean up, and, to eat Los Tacos in east Lubbock. Now the students are completing their work on campus for the end of the semester critique on December 7, 2011 and the Land Arts 2011 Exhibition at the LHUCA Warehouses in Lubbock from April 7 to May 4, 2012.
West Texas Departure
Collecting mulch for the new trees at El Cosmico, Marfa, Texas.
El Paso, Texas
Cabinetlandia, Deming, New Mexico
Gila Hot Springs, New Mexico
Mimbres River, New Mexico
Chiricahua Mountains, Arizona
Coolidge Dam, San Carlos Apache Reservation, Arizona
Plains of San Agustin, New Mexico
Back to Texas
2011 Land Arts Journey 1 Summary
Land Arts 2011 at Texas Tech concluded its first journey on Wednesday 21 September 2011. The expedition amplifies the growing momentum of the Lubbock based program. The exceptional group of participants from architecture and art are: Alexander Bingham, Luis Bustamante III, Will Cotton, Winston Holloway, Richard Klaja, Celeste Martinez, Zachary Mitchell, Carl Spartz, Rachael Wilson, and Bethany Wood. Adrian Larriva (Land Arts 2009 Alum and TTU MARCH graduate) is the Program Assistant, and Chris Taylor continues to direct the program at Texas Tech.
From the wonderfully multivalent introductory site in the shadow of White Sands Missile Range to the remote archeological remains of Moon House our itinerary traversed significant physical and conceptual territory. We were out for twenty-seven days and traveled around 3,500 miles overland. During that time we were visited by outstanding field guests: geologist and Laguna Pueblo tribal member Curtis Francisco, documentary filmmaker Sam Douglas, art historian Ann Reynolds, CLUI Director Matt Coolidge, SIMPARCH member Steve Badgett, and Rob Ray.
Considerable heat welcomed our departure as much of West Texas has been scorched this summer. It remained with us punctuated by epic rain events tempering the extremes. From White Sands we ventured northwest to Chaco Canyon to experience the escalation of architectural impulse in North America and to become aware of the complexity of narratives attempting to make sense of the place. From there we traversed the Grants Mineral Belt, aka the uranium mining epicenter es, stopping at the New Mexico Mining Museum in Grants to gain perspective. Our usual site in Cebolla Canyon was unaccessible to use in our vans because of washouts through the deep arroyo. We adjusted and found a nice site up Sand Canyon. The following day was spent with Curtis Francisco touring the reclaimed Jackpile Mine at Laguna Pueblo. Jackpile was the largest open pit uranium mine from the mid 1950’s until the 1980’s. Ground water contamination continues to be among a host of issues and Curtis was encouraged to tell of recent traction towards Superfund status.
Our next top was another adjustment. As we departed Lubbock Tom McGrath phoned to followup on our inquiry to visit the Roden Crater Project by James Turrell. It seemed that timing was right and we swapped the North Rim of the Grand Canyon for a Roden Visit. This meant an opportunity to explore a new base site in the Coconino National Forest and spend an afternoon and early evening in the crater–a significant highlight for the students.
Venturing further west our next stop was Mormon Mesa, Nevada and the site of seminal earthwork Double Negative by Michael Heizer. We arrived to intense heat, as usual this time of year, so dips into an elevated Lake Mead were especially welcome to cool down and do a bit of laundry and bathing. While we were at Double Negative we were joined by Sam Douglas of Big Beard Films who is working on a new project about land art tentatively called “Moving Mountains: Land Arts of the American West.” Sam and his crew of David Hartstein, David Layton, and Ben, joined us to document the field operations of the Land Arts program.
A scheduling opportunity brought art historian Ann Reynolds to our group a day early so we made another itinerary adjustment from Goshute Canyon to South Base in Wendover, Utah to take advantage of the fine SIMPARCH sound system for the screening of Sam Douglas’s last documentary “Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the spirit of the Rural Studio.” The other serendipity was that the University of New Mexico Land Arts crew was in Wendover then so we were able to invite them to the screening and spend an evening swapping stories from the road.
Up early the next morning we were off around the top of the Great Salt Lake stopping at Sun Tunnels by Nancy Holt along the way to Spiral Jetty by Robert Smithson. I was particularly surprised with the new road extending all the way to the jetty. What had been before a gradually slowing drive across an increasingly rough road, the last mile at a snails pace carefully picking ones way around large rocks, has become a wide built-up road bed. Now it’s possible to zip all the way out there without pause. Seems a tour bus could even turn around at the end the bright pad is so large.
The Great Salt Lake was at a wonderfully elevated level so the Spiral Jetty was visible as a mirage in the surface of the water with only the highest rocks breaking the surface. The condition meant that it was a work to be apprehended by walking, or “seeing with your feet” as one of the students said. Understanding this work beyond its character as a visual image is essential and a powerful lesson of land art.
It was great to be there with art historian Ann Reynolds and a wonderful seminar took place on the afternoon of our second day there. Given the time to experience both the work and the larger context of Rozel Point and the oil exploration jetty to the south opened several lines of dialog. Sam and his crew also made good use of there time with us.
The next morning was another 8:00am departure heading the rest of the way around the lake. Our first stop was the Bingham Canyon Mine, an open pit copper mine so big they boast it can be seen from space. (It is often challenged as the largest excavation by the copper mine in Chuquicamata, Chile.) Since Robert Smithson has proposed works for the bottom of the pit it was particularly relevant to be there with Ann Reynolds. In the visitors center parking lot we bid our farewells to Ann, Sam and his crew as they set off for the Salt Lake airport and back to Austin, and we went on to Wendover, Utah to meet Matt Coolidge of the Center for Land Use Interpretation.
CLUI Wendover is always a highlight and given this season’s action packed start it is our first concentrated work site. Students have become eager to have time to make their own works and to reflect on the range of conditions and topics we have been exposed to thus far. They are also eager to do proper, well almost proper, laundry. We begin our time in Wendover with a lecture about CLUI from Matt and a day of touring the Wendover facilities and landscape conditions. The following days are spent with people working across the airbase and town, out on the Bonneville Salt Flats, and out at South Base where Steve Badgett and Rob Ray are in residence. Time in Wendover always seems to evaporate and energy levels draw low with long days and short nights. It is a fascinating and intensely productive landscape.
After Wendover our last work site for Journey 1 is Muley Point on Cedar Mesa in the far southeastern corner of Utah. The drive is long and epic across the top of a nearly full Lake Powell, with our usual camp site occupied we set up further west at a site much closer to the 1,100 edge of the mesa overlooking the goosenecks of the San Juan River. The sky is active to the north and southwest so we pitch camp quickly. As dinner concludes a big storm rolls in from Monument Valley dropping a significant amount of rain and lightning. Within an hour the sky calms and people retreat to their tents.
The remaining days were spent both exploring the landscape of Muley Point with filled tinajas and working. We also spent one day hiking out on Snow Flat to the archeological site of Moon House. The new trail remains strenuous however it is much safer than the old one. After the hike we went down to Mexican Hat for a cool down swim in the very muddy and swift San Juan River. The level was so high that there was essentially no bank and it was nearly impossible to walk across the river. So our efforts to float a bit of the river had to be limited to short distances. Still, and even with all the mud, it was refreshing to get in the water.
Our return route included a stop over at the Red Dog Shed in Madrid and the following day a visit to Bosque Redondo in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. This was the destination site of the Long Walk of the Navajo and Mescalero Apache. The audio guide and other programing are particularly moving.
Once back in Lubbock we unloaded the vans and dig a major cleaning and sorting of the gear to make it ready for our departure on Journey 2 on Thursday 29 September 2011. Look for more Field Reports whenever we have the ability to make remote posts. A select group of images from Journey 1 are included below.
Loading up in Lubbock
Twin Buttes, New Mexico
White Sands National Monument
Traveling to Chaco Canyon
Jackpile Mine, Laguna Pueblo
Roden Crater Project
Big Beard Films
Bingham Canyon Mine