The days after the accident really annoyed me, I got stressed out to hell and didn’t really feel like doing much photography, shooting a large format camera is like sketching or writing - you have to be in the perfect frame of mind to do it, otherwise it’s pointless..
Sure - the accident wasn’t my fault, but that’s not really the point. I’m not really 100% comfortable in driving around in a partially damaged vehicle, that and the memory of that fucking golden Kia driving at me on the wrong side of the road, it puts a dampener on things..
I drove round to Shiprock, a large pinnacle of rock that looked very interesting, however I then remembered that it’s on a Navajo reservation and I’d need a guide which I didn’t have. After “David” from Monument valley, I’d pretty much had enough of them so I drove back to Farmington and parked the RV in the Walmart car park overnight.
Feeling stressed and not really knowing what to do, I ended up near a hotel where I could use it’s WiFi from an empty car park across the road. As I drove the RV into the car park, I noticed a porn DVD lying on the ground - being male, 28 years old and having access to the internet I don’t really have a need for shit porn DVDs lying on the floor in car parks - for all I knew it was probably just the case and was infected with HIV or something, so I left it and drove past…. Upon parking I realised that a few blocks down was a large “Adult DVD” sign, obviously ending any speculation on where it came from!.
So, Laptop on, checking the weather, news, IRC, photos etc etc when I notice this battered pickup drive past really slowly, didn’t really pay any attention to it and I forgot all about it pretty quickly… Around five minutes later, the same pickup then drives right up to the window of the RV, level with me sat at the table - the window then comes down to reveal this grinning lunatic of a man, clutching the porn DVD from the floor of the car park “Extreme cream 7” or something it was called, he then proceeds to laugh manically at me, whilst waving the DVD out of the window, before hitting the gas and screaming out of the car park amid screeching tyres and petrol fumes. I haven’t laughed so hard for a long long time. It was almost as though it was his “Find of the century”
So, around 45 minutes pass and I hear a knock at the RV door, “For fucks sake” I mutter to myself as the same battered pickup truck is now parked directly next to me, with the lunatic at my door - the door that no longer opens since the accident. I jump out of the drivers side door to confront the man, a scraggy looking Hispanic guy - thin with rodent features - possibly due to drugs, “What?” I snarl at him, “Say there, er, that there porn DVD wasn’t yours was it sir? the one on the ground - I picked it up!” he asks embarrassingly, “Er, nothing to do with me - it’s all yours, knock yourself out!” I laugh back at him, “Er well, ok you sure” … “Yes, it’s your DVD, do whatever you want with it, Its nothing to do with me!”
By this point I’m just getting annoyed with him, then he starts asking loads of questions, where I’m from, what I’m doing, is this my RV, etc etc. Alarm bells instantly come on in my head, this guy has fuck all apart from his pickup and his precious DVD, I on the other hand have significant amount of money in cash, credit cards, laptop, camera gear, etc etc. That coupled with the way he’s asking questions makes me wonder whether he’s gonna pull a gun on me or something, you can always tell when people are genuinely curious or whether there’s an agenda to their questioning. I turn to stone on him, “Yeah….” I shout casually over my shoulder, before getting back in the RV, packing things away ready to drive off. He also drives off into the corner of the car park before being joined by someone else in a different pickup, “Great, they’re gonna follow me and try to do me over” so I drive off and they instantly follow right behind, I do two circles of Farmington and they stay with me, before I turn into Walmart again - then they fuck off… “Awesome”
Violence, fighting, pain, doesn’t really frighten me, I’m more than capable of taking care of myself as proven in the past, it’s just if someone pulls a gun on you and they want your stuff - what can you do? In Farmington things seem very run down and very poor, many people wouldn’t have much to lose by shooting a tourist and stealing all his possessions.. At the end of the day, I either get shot or stabbed, or I stove his head in with a hammer and get arrested - there can be no “good” outcome, except to drive away as quickly as possible… <sigh>
So, all that shit aside, I decided to kick myself in the butt and “just get on with it” with a few days in the Bisti Badlands. The place is starting to come to life in the evening now and the moonrise is getting good, I hiked 13 miles yesterday and the trip computer on my GPS says I’ve hiked a total of 43 miles in the Bisti in total over the last few days I’ve been there - with a 65lb pack for 3/4 of it, which isn’t bad going! I’ve been scouting out some locations for the moonrise, tonight and tomorrow it should be at it’s best, last night was a bit high, but still good, although this little snapshot camera seems to come undone in low light:
Some of the rocks around Bisti are awesome, they look like desert camouflage:
Last night, I opened my final box of Velvia 50 quickload! Fuji have no discontinued quickload - which is a major bummer for ease. “Bottom” playing on my laptop trying to cheer me up:
Shooting black and white:
I’m cleaning the RV out now ready to return it, plan to do tonight and tomorrow night in Bisti, tomorrow night I’l grab some midday kip before shooting the moonrise, then drive back to Phoenix which is 430 miles away - I need to drop all my film off at ColorMark for processing early on Wednesday morning ready for collection Thursday, I should have around 115 transparencies, and 60 black and white 5x4! Getting a little nervous about the results - but hey we’ll see.. it’s been fun anyway “:-)”