Saturday, January 31, 2009

road trip diaries

the first of several posts about my road trip last soon...

September 1: Los Gatos to Pomona

En route I listed to invisible 5 (, although I will admit that I missed several cues and probably had an incomplete experience. It would be easier to do with someone else manning the stereo. I caught the majority of entries, and over and over again was impressed by what a great project that is. A similar audio tour approach could make a difference in a variety of environments.

Heather is working at Scripps Library in Claremont College. It was great to see her (she's been in North Carolina for two years prior). We watched I'm Not There and ate Fakin Bacon. Here she is in her beautiful office at the library:

September 2: Pomona to Phoenix

After an excellent breakfast with Heather and some really strong iced coffee, I plowed through route 10 to Phoenix. I've spent a fair amount of time on 10. Last time I drove it, I was the only passenger car except for a few cars broken down on the side of the road. It was easily 120 degrees outside and I remember feeling insane for being out there. This time wasn't as hot and there were plenty of other cars. My favorite part of route 10 is all the windmills in eastern California.

In Phoenix I stayed with my aunt Lynne. Her son Kaaba had left for Iraq a day or two before I arrived, so I helped her put together a care package. I always send him tea, apparently the tea selection sucks on base. This is his fourth or fifth deployment, so we're almost used to it, but never completely at ease while he's gone. When I arrived he had apparently just called and complained about how he wasn't even flying (he's a pilot in the Air Force) so he didn't even know why he was there.

I met Lynne's new girlfriend Joan (her partner of 21 years died last year) and we ate macaroni and cheese at a restaurant near her house in Gilbert. She is talking about moving into Phoenix proper, and I think she should. Gilbert is pretty sterile, straight, and boring, even for Arizona…

September 3: Phoenix to Navajo National Monument (Botanical Preserve)

On my way out of town I stopped by a botanical preserve and stole some prickly pear pads from this gorgeous plant.

I'm sure I wasn't exactly allowed to do this, but the plant looked to be very healthy and capable of recovering. In order to grow prickly pear, you just cut a pad, let it scab over, then stand it up in some dirt. The pads I took in Phoenix stayed in a paper bag in the back of my car until I got back to California, when I stuck them in the greenhouse. Jury is still out if the greenhouse is the best environment for them. It might be too humid.

I drove on to Navajo National Monument, which would have been a gorgeous camping stop if it weren't for the idiot man who asked me for my phone number while I was looking at the monument. I said no, I'm not giving it to you, and he said, "oh, that's OK, I'll just follow you." So I started walking away really fast and eventually attached myself to a group of tourists, going back down the mountain and back up with them. I saw him later in the campsite but I don't think he saw me. Needless to say, I didn't sleep very well.

This is the monument, and my tent.

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About Me

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Lindsay Kelley is an artist and writer researching bioart, fringe foods, and uncommon modes of food preparation and ingestion. She is currently completing her book manuscript, The Bioart Kitchen. Lindsay holds a MFA in Digital Art & New Media and a Ph.D in the History of Consciousness, both from the University of California Santa Cruz. She works at the Public Library of Science on the PLOS ONE editorial team.