Thursday, September 30, 2010

my trip to Wyoming, and pictures!

Alrighty, I've finally got this all ready to go! The photos took ages to get through, and are carefully arranged in chronological order. No small feat, working from two cameras... I kept a written journal while I was gone but did not post blogs for a couple of reasons, mostly because I wanted to get all the photos on line at the same time and knew I would not have time to do that while I was up there.

Here ya go, this is super long!


Current location: Wells, Nevada.

Well, I don’t plan on actually blogging while I’m gone but I guess I could at least write stuff down anyway. :-) It’s been a crazy and frazzled last few days getting ready to go and getting all packed up, but I was ready to go by yesterday evening and actually had time to chill out and watch a movie.

I hit the road around 9am today. Somehow Nevada seems more scenic than it did when Jan and I were heading back from our cross-country adventure in June (though that’s not really saying much). I’m sure it will be more boring on the way home. Somehow things seem prettier when you’re heading out on an adventure versus when you’re going back home.

The drive is going fine, cruise control mostly set at 75 except when there’s construction or lots of trucks. The Avalon is running great, though to my dismay the CD player is… tempermental to put it mildly. There was a moment of panic thinking I would not be able to listen to any of the books on CD that I brought (because I ran out of time to transfer them to my ipod). Generally if I beg and plead and insert the CD about five times though it’ll finally condescend to play it. I am listening to “Water for Elephants” and totally engrossed, but let me say that you should not listen to it while riding with anyone you’d tend to be embarrassed around. There are some fairly colorful parts. ;-)

I am in Wells, NV tonight. This hotel is pretty skanky but it was slim pickins, so oh well. I am looking forward to getting on the road tomorrow morning so that I can get out of here and get back to the book!


Current location: Jackson, Wyoming.

Okay, I am still in love with this part of the country. I really am. This was such a gorgeous drive today. I headed north from Wells (so glad to get the heck out there!) and through Idaho on my way to Wyoming. You know, this doesn’t seem like it’s all that far away. Two days of driving doesn’t seem like that big of a deal.

Oh, let me just say that it is kind of weird traveling alone. Nice, the solitude in the car has been nice (and I loved the book!) but staying alone in a hotel where there was nobody else I knew… it was odd. I slept surprisingly well though, all things considered.

Anyway, I took a zillion photos today because I kept being in total awe of the splendor and beauty of everything. I took a different route than I anticipated, which is okay because I saw an area I didn’t plan on seeing, but it did add an hour to the trip. Not that it mattered. Must have been some force of nature guiding me. Actually, I just followed the signs, and instead of going over Teton Pass I went through the Swan Valley and then came up to Jackson from the south through Hoback Junction. I had to pull over and consult GPS though, my directions only told me how to get to the house via Teton Pass!

The weather is amazing. I can see the Tetons from the window of the guest room where I sit writing this. I am staying with my friend Bryan (thank you!!!), who I haven’t seen for two years, and it’s sooo good to be here and be able to catch up. It seemed like a million years since I had been here, and yet the moment I got into this valley and saw the Tetons in the distance I just had this weird feeling as though I’d barely been gone a week. I can’t really explain it. Suffice to say I am still wildly in love with this part of the world.

[Edit: if you want to read about two years ago, go to "The Adventure" in the archives. I'd like to get all those pics into an album too, eventually).

Tomorrow is a free day, thank goodness. I need to unwind. So I’ll head into town and poke around the galleries and do some shopping, and admire all the amazing art.

I’m so excited.


September 14, 2010:
Current location: Jackson, Wyoming.

It’s easy to overlook that I have this big work thing going on the next three days. I’m having so much fun it feels like vacation! Oh yeah, I’ve got work to do! Actually, it feels like I’ve been here longer than just a little over 24 hours. Weird, it’s a time warp or something.

Today was eventful. I spent most of my day in downtown Jackson by myself, doing the tourist thing, looking at all the galleries and doing some shopping. There seem to be some changes from when I was last here two years ago. Some of the galleries seem different, I think a few have changed names, or maybe moved? The art is so inspiring. There is so much amazing work here, and yes, some that makes me scratch my head and wonder how it got here. Unlike last time I was here, I’ve found no scrimshaw. There was a store last time that had quite a lot of pretty poor scrim. That store is different now. There’s a place that’s completely selling out, fixtures and everything. I could have gotten a life size hairy Bigfoot replica for a couple thousand dollars but I wasn’t sure how I’d get it back home. ;-)

I had lunch at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. I was told I needed to go there, so I did. It’s pretty cool. The barstools are old saddles. I had a buffalo quesadilla for lunch. That was good, but heavy on the onions and peppers.

Oh, and I did not find a cowboy there. Dang it.

Anyway, by about 3pm I was done wandering and ogling art, so I went back to the parking lot, put the key in the ignition, and… nothing happened. Oh are you kidding me! Hmm, dumbbell here had left the lights on… because there’s no “bing bing bing” to let me know that I’ve done so. Going to have to have my mechanic look at that. Plus the car is rattling more than it was. What the heck! Anyway, I flagged down a kindly fellow (alas not a cowboy) who had jumper cables, and was on my merry way. And in the mean time, I’ve affixed a hot pink sticky note to the steering wheel that says “check headlights!!!”

I was almost back to the house, just turning in the driveway, when a moose stepped onto the road in front of me. I pulled off the side and frantically fumbled for my camera, which of course I’d put away in my purse, and by the time I found it the moose was long gone. Dang it! Foiled again by a moose! I saw three of them last time (geez that does not feel like two years ago, it feels like maybe a month ago, this is WEIRD) and never did get a photo. Sigh.

I worked on some paperwork for a while and then it was off to the Bar J Ranch Chuckwagon dinner with Bryan. This was a new experience. You eat at long picnic tables with lots of other people (I thought people would be real chatty but we sat with people who kept to themselves, not that I’m any different…), and after dinner there is western music entertainment. The food was quite good, and lots of it! BBQ meat, potato, beans, biscuit, cake, and lemonade. But the singers, oh my, these guys blew me away. They were some of the same guys who were serving food and selling dinner tickets. They sounded soooo good, and they’re so funny, I think I had a big grin plastered across my face the whole time and I practically hurt from laughing so much! And I’m completely smitten with one of the fellows, a deep-voiced hunkamuffin named Danny. They are going to be playing a Christmas show at a church near Sacramento in December, I might just have to go! (Church? Me? Hmm… well…okay.) Anyway, all around awesome evening and I will totally put that on the list of things to do again next time I’m up there!

So, I’m all packed up for the show tomorrow. Not nervous now but I’m sure I will be. This is a big deal!

I’d better hit the hay so that I won’t be a zombie tomorrow. The day starts pretty early. “Vacation” is over until Saturday. ;-) And then we’re off to Yellowstone.


September 15, 2010:
Current location: Jackson, Wyoming.

I wasn’t nervous til about a half hour before I had to leave the house this morning to go to the show. Then I was very nervous. Today was the Ladies Luncheon held at a resort near Teton Village. It was a crowd of 170ish women in attendance. All the other “artisans” there were jewelers except one (and me) so I did feel a bit like a fish out of water. I was surprised how many people actually knew something about scrim. The next two days I will be set up at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.

I came back to the house and promptly feel asleep for about a half hour but woke up when one of the roommates arrived home. I decided I really couldn’t waste the gorgeous weather so I went for a drive up into Teton National Park.

When I was here two years ago I saw three mooses. I didn’t manage to photograph any of them. Well, they redeemed themselves today! I photographed seven of them today, including three that were walking up the driveway when I got back to the house! The drive was beautiful, with the evening light sinking down over the Tetons. The weather has been amazing. It rained some yesterday afternoon when I was in town (lots of thunder) but today was fantastic. No matter how things turn out, I’m having a great time here.


September 16, 2010:
Current location: Jackson, Wyoming.

Today the show was set up at the NMWA, and will be there tomorrow too. I’m in a great location, lots of people have seen my work, lots of people are super impressed. It’s been a long day talking to a lot of people. There was a great dinner and a band at the Museum tonight. Sleepy time!


September 17, 2010:
Current location: Jackson, Wyoming.

It’s all I can do to keep my eyeballs open tonight! What a great day though! The day started with a breakfast out at a resort for the artists and their guests. We sat with a fun group of artists. Good food and good conversation! And I’m pleased that I’ve officially made some new friends. :-)

Then it was off to the museum for the last day of the show. It was regular museum traffic during the early part of the day and then the miniature show/sale attracted a big crowd this evening.

I’ve seen some amazing work, made some great contacts, sold some of my work, made some new friends, and learned some things that I think will be helpful on down the road…

It’s after midnight now, past time for bed. We leave for Yellowstone early tomorrow morning.


September 19, 2010:
Current location: Jackson, Wyoming.

I’m pretty much emotional jell-o tonight, getting ready to leave tomorrow. For some reason leaving here seems to do that to me. *sniff*

Bryan and I spent yesterday and today up in Yellowstone and had a great time. We photographed all sorts of critters, saw some amazing scenery (it’s soooo pretty right now, the trees are starting to turn colors) and even got to see some wolves albeit at a distance and nothing like the amazingness that happened two years ago! I saw a bear too, outside the park, but it was behind trees and I didn’t get a photo. Pretty sure it was a grizzly but it was hard to tell. We stayed in a cute little place up in Cooke City, Montana last night. It was particularly fun getting to see some areas of the park that we didn’t see last time. I’d love to have more than two days to blaze through there some time!

I just realized that the last three sweatshirts I bought are as follows: a brown one that says “Wyoming” (got on the way back from GA in June), a gray one that says “Jackson Hole, Wyoming” and a blue one that says “Yellowstone.” Um, I think I’m obsessed with Wyoming.

Yeah, I really hate to leave. But I’d better get some sleep. Got to get up early to say goodbye (man I hate saying goodbye) and hit the road for Nevada.


September 20, 2010:
Current location: Elko, Nevada.

Well, I left Jackson early this morning after loading up the cooler with elk meat from Bryan’s freezer (woo hoo!). I have a hard time leaving that part of the country. It makes me think that’s where I need to be. It makes me think I need to do whatever it takes to make that possible. I don’t know how I’d handle the winter though! I’ve had such a great time in the last week. Admittedly not everything with the show was quite as I had dreamily hoped, but I know what to do for next year and made some pretty important contacts up there, and I know my work was seen by some pretty important folks in the Jackson art scene. Of course it’s great getting to add some fun vacation time and good friendship into the mix too! :-)

I took a different route today, went over Teton Pass and then out through Arco, Idaho and the Craters of the Moon National Monument. That’s a pretty weird place, and in fact that whole part of desert has all these “restricted area” signs (was and perhaps still is much nuclear activity there) and makes you think that everywhere you there’s probably some government agency aware of your every move. At one point at one of these restricted area access points there was a fire truck, an ambulance, a police car, and several mysterious looking SUV’s all with their lights flashing… and I didn’t see anything. Weird. Anyway, it was interesting to see although I didn’t feel like forking over $8 to drive quickly through it, so I just kept going on down the road.

I am in Elko, NV tonight. This is much better than Wells or Battle Mountain, and amazingly this is perhaps the most comfortable bed on the planet. It’s like a cloud, I’m sure I will sleep well (edited afterwards, indeed I did!). I can walk around in here without feeling like I need to bleach my feet afterwards. I’ll be home tomorrow, and I know there’s going to be that weird depressing adjustment period. I have a lot of cleaning and housework to do before I get back to real work.


September 30, 2010:
Current location: Wilton, California.

Okay, I’m finally writing the last entry over a week after getting home, because I finally finished with all the photographs! As expected it’s been strange being back in CA, it’s never easy to re-adjust to normal life. But I come away from this trip feeling the pull of Jackson even stronger than I did two years ago, like some day, some way, that’s where I need to be even if just part time. My art sure as heck needs to be there. I had such a good time, lots of fond memories to look back on. I’ve reapplied for the show for next year, though I’m trying to get into a different category of the show (the miniature art, versus jewelry, it’s what I wanted this time anyway but was reassigned and I really think it’s a way more logical fit in miniatures!). Cross your fingers that I get in. It’s tough working in an art medium that many people don’t understand, but that’s the road I’m taking and by golly I’ll make it work! As they say, “I’ll be back.”


Now, I know you want photos! They are all in a Picasa album, it's much easier that way. You don't need to log in to view them, but you do need a google account to comment (or you can comment here, whatever). I've captioned them all, and done so in a way that the album is free-standing from this blog entry, but of course you ought to read it all. ;-)

Wyoming 2010


Granny Annie said...

I had to just skim your journal of the trip for now but will come back and read it in detail but yes, did get the fact that you are obsessed with Wyoming. Loved all the photographs.

Holly Do. said...

Glad you had a good time and hopefully the show was successful for you. I took time to look at some of the picture (there are tons!!) and love the scenery, what an incredible site. Though were you driving and taking pictures at the same time? I will either call you very talented or a daredevil, you choose!

Katherine Plumer said...

Holly, yeah... I do take pics while I'm driving. There's a method to the madness though, it's a tiny camera that only needs one hand to work. I point and shoot and hope for the best, I don't even look at it while I'm taking photos. :-) It means I end up with lots of reject photos so I try to take a lot! It's easier than tuning the radio. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I loved the chiminea truck falling over sign. -BMc. said...

Will be going through the pics shortly! I love to read the captions, haha!
You know, some day you will make it to Wyoming for good. Places like that are far and few between.