December 08, 2007

Deep Springs

Deep Springs Road

A few years ago in the middle of nowhere — a dozen or so miles further down the remote desert road in the California / Nevada border region shown above — I was taking photos of dead cars and things like that off the side of the road. I rarely saw another (live) car while I was in the area. It was hot, very dry, and, as always out there, windy. After a while I noticed something moving a mile or so away on the side of the road — a sign flapping in the wind? Some discarded clothes stuck on a fence? I didn't think much more about it and turned back to taking photos.

About twenty minutes later I looked back at the road again. The distant movement had turned into a tall, wiry, bearded guy maybe fifty metres away striding purposefully along the side of the road towards me (and, presumably, towards Big Pine, the nearest settlement, some forty miles further up the road). He looked fairly well-dressed and healthy, with a little pack on his back. He ignored me.

I made the mistake of shouting across the road to him: "Need a ride to Big Pine?" Without looking at me, he gestured and yelled "Fuck Off!" (in what sounded suspiciously like an Australian accent). Okaaaaayyyyy, I thought... and turned back to the photo work again. The next time I looked he was a couple of miles up the road towards Westgard Pass, still striding steadily. I never saw him again.

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