Saturday, July 20, 2013

Adventures: Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty, Utah

Ever since Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty became uncovered again in 2004, I had wanted to visit. I studied art history in college and for a few years time, thought I would return to school for a PhD, specifically focusing on land artists like Smithson. I missed on opportunity while driver across the country to San Francisco in 2006, but when driving over 4th of July weekend to my parents new home in Colorado, I demanded--well, politely asked--we stay an extra day to make the pilgrimage.

The drive out to the spiral Jetty changes from grasslands (very dry this July due to a Utah drought) to the martian, rocky landscape; it's beautiful and breathtaking, and completely empty for miles of human inhabitants. 

Along much of the road are these lovely sunflowers frequented by some very happy bees!

Finally, after almost 2 hours of driving and an only slightly rutted road (the Dia site says heavily rutted and recommends 4WD--it's not needed any longer after the dirt road was fixed up this past year. My front wheel drive Mazda did great)we made it! And oh what a beautiful sight. Probably the closest thing I will ever do to a religious pilgrimage--my sceptical self felt spiritually moved by the envirnment, presense and beauty of the sight. 

The Salt Lake is much saltier than you realize--this is salt build up on the rocks! Also, the lake is shallow (not even up to your knees around the jetty) and very warm in the summer months. It's certainly worth a quick walk through but your skin will leave covered in salt--and not I just walked in the ocean salt but coated in a shiny, white, salt film that will dry out your skin...beware! At one point there was a weekend spa on the lake for the restorative properties of the high salt concentration. 

Alta and Willi made the hike out on the Jetty; Alta was quite hot (it was around 100 that day!) and kept trying to drink the salt water. Silly pup! That salt water won't quench your thirst one bit. 

And I made it out all the way to the center of the Jetty--woot! After my trip around, I sat for a while enjoying the peace of no one around and an expanse of lake in front of me. 

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