Monday, June 6, 2011

Day 16: Solitude in the Plateau

(listen to today's theme)
With such a deep-sounding title, I will start today's entry quoting a young fellow in a gas station, who, looking at the Scotty stickers on the shiny aluminum, went forth and asked "That trailer, is it for a dog?".

Today, I woke up to be the Marlboro man. What was darkness the day before now stretched before me in its colossal, red solidity: before me lay Monument Valley, the most beautiful landscape I have ever seen with my own eyes. The shapes and silhouettes in the rock are so bold, so distinctive, and so delicately layered and shaded. Not only that, I had woken up at 7am, the perfect time to see the sun carve hard shadows on the many faces of each Monument. There, the Monuments, my rig and I. Everything else was emptiness, even in the clinic where I had spent the night. It seemed as if the world was painted with thick clay watercolor and my eyes, shiny from the night before, were laden with it.

I just wonder what the first American settlers who found these formations may have thought. "I am just way too busy trying not to get shot at by the natives" might be a good possibility; however, in all their novelty, I imagine that at some point of their days, they may have stared like I did, and remained silent.

7000 feet of altitude. My engine feels it, until the turbo starts feeding air into the heart of the beast. I headed to Flagstaff, still wondering about the Arizona members. A quick stop in a local Segway (next to a McDonald's, naturally) solved the issue, and much to the unpredictable course of things, I steered West, ready to meet username ROLLGUY (Rich).

Desert, the Mojave desert. Dryness. Tumbleweeds. Men of burnt, wrinkled faces and squinty eyes. Streaks of melted tar on the road. And then, the noise.

Newport started vibrating up and down, as if it was excited for something. A little further into the road, I pulled over and checked under the hood and under the car. Everything seemed fine. Back on the road, the vibration resumes at about 45mph. My wild guess, the old tires on the car are due for a change. I limped slowly to Rich's, ready for another mind-blowing moment. More mind blowing –Monument Valley, Rich and his wife– would probably result in a violent internal hemorrhage of awesomeness.

Rich and his wife not only live in a fully tailored geodesic castle. Rich collects player grand pianos and has a full Alexandria library of player scrolls. But there is more. His three-legged giants are hooked to a computer system that actuates each of its solenoids, making it possible not only to listen to each song very much like when played by real musician (with variations of reverberation and tempo, true personality in each note), but listen for hours on end rather than keep changing scrolls.

Then we had some tacos. And it was all good.

Not all the money in the world could buy and experience like this.

Taken right on the spot at around 7.30am.

In command of my life.

San Francisco Peaks, they call them.

The perfect Marlboro film setting.

How would you like 7 hours of this?

California is near... I can... smell it!

Just let California become its own country, for heaven's sake.

Not a drastic change from the Mojave desert.

A few scarce miles from Rich's house.

And here is some valley for you.

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Today I have a little extra time to fool around with Photoshop, so I have made you a DESKTOP WALLPAPER out of a slightly modified version of the first picture from today's post. Choose your resolution:

Click HERE for 1024x768p.
Click HERE for 800x600p.
Click HERE for 640x480p.

Hope you like it, enjoy!

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