Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spring Break Road Trip - Tuesday

We began Tuesday morning by spending a few more hours down by the Topaz Lakeshore, so serene as it was. We went on a micro-hike through the rocks and brush around the water, meeting towards the end some wrinkly local fisherman who cheerfully informed these sandal-clad urbanites that "there's a buncha rattlers around here this time of year". At this point we tip-toed back to the car and headed to our next stop.

Next stop was Lone Pine, CA, and Google's directions from Topaz Lake to the Dow Villa Motel there couldn't be much simpler:

And indeed 192 miles later there it was, on the left on the main road:
Dow Villa Motel

You'd have been forgiven for missing it, though, in the day's dust storm. Dust storm! The guy at the Dow Villa reception shrugged resignedly and confessed that no, it wasn't unusual for the town---and that yes, it sucks. He'd lived there a few months and didn't seem to be loving it so far. He muttered about the dry lake bed, and looking at satellite images of the area you can definitely see where all the dust comes from.

For a photographer it was something brand new: a cloudless spring day at 3,700 feet and yet strangely hazy and completely deserted:

School School

Bright sun on the dust in the air seemed to make everything glow, although that's not the easiest to capture in pictures. The emptiness of the place was easily recorded, though: when I say "deserted" I mean really deserted:

Double Bar
Empty Street
Deserted Street

We took refuge in a bar, played some cribbage and shuffleboard (we were the only people in the bar apart from the barmaid and her beau), and waited out the storm. After the dust had subsided I took some pictures in the setting sun

Three Trees
and we had dinner in Lone Pine's finest "Seasons".

I uploaded more photos too, including a rare shot of the artist himself.

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