I'm writing an article about the trip that I hope to sell to a local journal. (Current rate of speed: one hour per paragraph. I hope this picks up.) In the meantime, I'll post some photos to give you a sense of how incredibly beautiful this place is. Ethan declared it an "ugly beauty" and I have to agree. It's a desolate, surreal, unsentimental kind of beauty.
Here's the Jetty from above, coiling out into the lake bed. As we were walking out of the spiral Ethan and I ran into a dude coming in (Ethan later nicknamed him Hippie Dave). Hippie Dave was shirtless, wore a braid of hemp around his neck, and had long straight black hair with the top tied up in a pony tail. He (seriously) bowed to us as we passed and then we struck up a conversation about the place and Smithson's philosophies. What a trip. If you look closely at this photo, at the very center of the spiral, you can see Hippie Dave as we left him, his arms raised up to heaven, communing with the forces of art and nature.
This is Ethan, walking the first coil of the spiral.
This is McKay, dancing in the shallow salt marsh around the jetty. Yes the water really is pink. Smithson described it as the color of pale blood and made references to primordial seas.
More water. I took about a million pictures. Be grateful I'm sparing you the whole slide show.
The basalt rocks on the jetty are covered in salt crystals. Smithson was obsessed with the idea of entropy, the dissolution of order in the natural universe. He died 4 years after completing the jetty. I think he would love to see the way his sculpture is gradually returning to the lake.
Me at the center of the spiral. I'm resisting the urge to crop the heck out of this photo (like maybe show it from the nose up). Trying to keep it real...
The only picture Ken would let me take of him. (You can play a little game of "Where's
Gabie eating a Ho Ho after we got back to the car. This is my contribution to the whole "pilgrimage to Spiral Jetty" culture. I take spiral snacks along: this time it was ho ho's and the makings for peanut butter wraps. Last time it was cinnamon rolls. Next time maybe I'll make a whole jelly roll cake.