Saturday, May 30, 2015

Day 14: The Judd-Smithson Family does CLUI, the Bonneville Salt Flats, Sun Tunnels, and Spiral Jetty

Day 14 was perhaps the most epic day of an incredibly epic trip. After a fortifying casino breakfast we headed over to the decommissioned Wendover Airforce Base, which is home to a number of old World War II barracks, airplane hangars, and the desert outpost of the Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI).


The buildings are locked, so you just call the LA office to get the combination and, PRESTO! You're in. 


We like to leave our mark on guest books.


The beautiful, haunting old buildings.


Now many of them house contemporary art by those lucky enough to earn a CLUI residency.

The Enola Gay was stored in this hangar before her mission over Japan. 


Just outside of Wendover are the Bonneville Salt Flats. If you want to set a land speed record, come to this wondrous stretch of land. (The Park Service will clear you a track, don't worry.)





After breathing in that fresh salty and dewy air, we made our next pilgrimage to Nancy Holt's Sun Tunnels (1976). Holt started her career as a photographer, and these four concrete tubes have some very interesting apertures in them. The four tubes correspond with four constellations: Draco, Perseus, Columba and Capricorn.




Come on the summer or winter solstice to see the sun line up with the tunnels perfectly. Otherwise, just come and hang around.


We wandered, climbed, danced, did some yoga, read, wrote, sketched, photographed, and meditated. 


We stopped in the closest town on the way out, Lucin, UT. Here it is:


Then we headed east, across the northern part of Utah and around the Great Salt Lake. We were stopped by this sassy alpaca and his band of sheep. 


And then we made it to Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty (1970), the grand finale in our tour of earthworks. 


The water of the Great Salt Lake covered the jetty up for decades after Smithson completed it, but now the recent drought has brought it into sharp relief.


We strolled on and around it while we waited for the sunset.


It's amazing what treasures await you in these earthworks.


A cloudy and hazy, but beautiful end to a very full day.









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