Friday, August 20, 2010

Back from Bonneville

Hmm…after ten days on the road living out of my van and sleeping as a guest at my sisters in Utah, it’s good to be back home in my own surroundings. What is it about a road trip that leaves you wiped out and tired when you get home? The ten hour drive? The Red Bull overload? (I don’t care what they say; it does not give you wings!) The seat of your pants going numb from hours of sitting? Who knows? It’s just good to be home, but I find myself already planning my next trip! Am I insane? I haven’t even been home twenty four hours!

As I pour over the photos I took, I find myself wishing I had shot even more. The Bonneville salt flats are such an enormously large expanse, you almost need to be cloned to see it all much less try and capture it’s essence with a camera. Besides shooting race cars I got to borrow a four wheeler and drive miles out to the edge of the salt and collect the spent shell casings and bullets left behind from the aviators target practice in WWII. I’ll write more about that later. See you on the road.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Paranoid in the Nevada Desert part II

Ok, here’s another story from the Nevada Desert. It’s Saturday evening. The first race day at Bonneville is officially over, I’m at the historic and decaying old WWII airport photographing a 1958 Corvette gasser. The last rays of the setting sun illuminate the beautiful colors on the Corvette. A beat up old Ranger pick-up truck comes rambling up towards us and skids to a halt. The driver is an angry town local that quickly lets us know how much he hates Speedweek and how much he hates hot rodders coming into his town. He claims to be the neighborhood watch and accuses all of us (and I mean every human being attending Speedweek ) of being there to steal parts off of his cars and his friend’s old cars.
“You people come here every year and steal parts from our cars”. We told him that we are shooting cars and are not here to steal anything. He keeps on ranting and raving how we are all thieves and don’t belong in his town and how we had better tell all our friends. He then pulls out a gun from his side, sets it on his dash board just above the steering wheel and angrily says “We got ways of taking care of things around here.” Then he speeds off.
We all stare at each other wondering did this really just happen? Then I get mad! Im not happy about getting a gun pulled on me from an angry desert dweller while we are on public land minding our own business. I call 911 and meet up with the Sheriff at the Sheriff station. I fill out a report and the Sheriff asks me to describe the man, as Im describing him and the Sheriff is taking notes, just then the crazed gun toting local pulls up right next to the Sheriff’s patrol car “Why that him right there!” I exclaim. The sheriff yells at him to keep his hands out of his pockets. The Nevada nut job starts ranting and raving to the Sheriff and at me, he stars accusing me of every thing that has happened during Speedweek since the 1960’s!!!!!! The sheriff calls for back up, three other squad cars come screeching up with lights and sirens. Turns out this dumb bastard had been drinking and drove up right to the sheriff’s department, didn’t have a license to carry a concealed weapon or even have a weapons permit. So they throw the cuff’s on the clod and walk him 15 feet into the jail! A DUI, a class A misdemeanor weapons charge and what other charges are associated with concealed and unlicensed weapons. What a dumb bastard! That’s two run-ins with crazy Nevada desert dwellers in three days time. Well, I guess this is the state that elected Harry Reid, so what should I expect?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Paranoid In the Nevada desert!

So, Im on my way to Bonneville. Actually, I have already arrived here in Utah, but I have an entertaining story from the road. So my son and I are taking all the scenic byways and county roads from California through Nevada and Utah. While traveling along hwy 266 we stop at a ghost town named Gold Point. Its a fantastically preserved little town with probably four residents still living there.
This is my story of one of them we ran into. We are walking around photographing the sights. We run into a construction worker who temporarily lives there. He tells me of some old trucks about a hundred yards away. So we go to this section of town. Im there for 15 minutes and some haggard looking old man comes wheeling up on his quad. "You're trespassing!" I explain to him what I am doing, taking pictures, and that a construction worker living there told me about old trucks. " I called the Sheriff and he is on his way in from town" I again explain all I am doing is taking pictures of old stuff. Now dig this next bit, you'll get a kick out of his response. "For all I know you could be taking pictures of the place to come and blow it up!" I said " Oh my god, what do you think I am Al-Queda or something?"
At this point I think he realized how stupid he sounded and tried to back pedal on his statement, but was still mean. So we left before he decided to kill us and eat us. Desert people are paranoid. But I did manage to take a few shots before we were run out of town.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's August! And that can only mean one thing for race fans and gear heads alike. It's Speed Week at the Bonneville salt flats. The fastest race course on the planet! It is time for my yearly migration of salt, sun, speed and photography!See you on the salt!