Accept No Substitues
From May through August of 2010 I made the American Southwest my home.
I ran & played & turned the minutes into hours, days into weeks.
I lived and slept and dreamt through a seemingly endless summer.
Once it ended, I wrote an opinion piece on how National Park tourism was becoming more about easy access and less about the experience, about cars and contraptions, of taking photos and staying above the rim, so to speak. Looking back, the writing has some conceptual flaws and poor word-choice, but the main thrust has the truth of it: *you* shouldn’t live vicariously through my, or anyone’s photos, that you should travel and experience firsthand; you should get of the car and stay a while. The Grand Canyon was the inspiration for the piece as it sees some 5 million visits per annum, yet only a hearty 10% (500,000) ever venture into the inner gorge (¡mi gente!). In a style that I dare say Edward Abbey might approve of, I ranted about what I perceive to be the acceptance of saccharine when sugar is at the ready.
Conde Nast never answered and the NY Travel section wasn’t quick to respond either and these words were left to dry on the shelf. In 2013, post-graduate school, I another solitary month in the American Southwest. From Moab to Mexican Hat and Monument Valley, from Canyonlands to the Grand Canyon, I returned to my sanctuary. The media here is a blending of that past perspective with my present one. & true to the spirit of those words I wrote in 2010 years ago, there’s but a handful of images from within the Grand Canyon (partly out of practicality: like the friendly hobbit we all know and love, my journey in the Canyon was be one of venturing there and back again: North-South-North. Lots of ground to cover and the less weighted down the easier the passing would be. Still, I couldn’t resist taking a point’n’shoot.)
Recommended post viewing activity: Go outside and genuflect in a cathedral of light and stone. Afterwards, promise yourself that you’ll forever more question drive-by tourism in all its forms.