Friday, June 18, 2010

Day Twelve: Truck Day

The start was in Arkansas, the morning so hot and humid that my sunglasses fogged up as soon as we left the motel room.

Arkansas looks a lot like Tennessee, which looks a lot like Virginia, which looks a lot like West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania ... you must understand that aside from the topography, and the strangely brown rivers, ponds, streams, we weren't seeing much that was different. I saw a few butterfly weed wildflowers today, but nothing took my breath away.

After the first hour of "same old" I saw a truck carrying something (I have no idea what) with massive chains securing the load to the flat of the truck. I wished my camera had been ready to take a picture of it.

That's it! A quest! I unpacked my camera and prepared to take pictures of Things on the Back of Trucks.

My friend Bill (see above post of Day Nine) is fond of doing projects that are a series, in part because once you have a series, you find yourself doing multiple works instead of just one effort and then lying down on a sybaritic couch with wine and goodies to congratulate yourself. Thus, the idea of a photo series excited me with the prospect of at least six hours to exercise my photographic skills.

I snapped pics of trucks as we overtook them, looking for something interesting, juggling the zoom, trying to ride the bumps in the road. A silly project, to be sure, but instead of hating the slow trucks we got stuck behind, I welcomed the prospect; and it kept me alert and watching, rather than yawning and checking my watch and map over and over again.

As we overtook trucks on the two-lane I-40 West, I felt giddily akin to the Plains Indians as they rode alongside the buffalo on horseback, poised to let fly an arrow into the heart of the thundering beasts at close range. Rumbling along the rough road, I would position my camera at my window: if Bernie was passing them too quickly, I'd miss my shot; if a bump in the road bounced me, I'd get something I wasn't aiming at; if I didn't aim right, the camera would automatically focus on the smashed bugs on the windshield and not the truck I wanted.

No, it wasn't an exhilarating experience, but it did make the day pass quickly. In fact, by the time the drive was nearly done, and I had to put the camera away, I was moderately annoyed that about four trucks with really interesting loads appeared.

What to do with the pictures? I'm not yet sure, but I'm encouraged that I want to play with them in some manner.

Having vowed to stop early on the far side of Oklahoma City, we did so, but defected from our preference of Holiday Inn Express when we stopped there, only to find that they lied on their website and did not indeed accept pets. Over the fence we went, to La Quinta Inn, whose rooms have very high ceilings (airy-like) and is very pet-friendly. (Howie approves.) Though the wind and the heat made us feel blow-torched when we arrived, a swim in the cool indoor pool helped us to relax; I have two bottles of water in the mini-fridge for the morning draught, and their soap smells very, very nice. Tomorrow should put us in New Mexico.

I haven't decided whether or not to continue the "Trucks" series, but my camera battery is charging anyway.

1 comment:

Alexandra said...

Do something Andy Warhol-esque with pastels and the trucks.