In 2006 I took a Road Trip from San Francisco to New Mexico and back over the course of a month, writing and taking photos all the way. Two years later I had a show of paintings based on those photographs. This is a series of posts of those paintings accompanied by the relevant diary entries.

Yosemite Head, oil on board, 9 x 7 inches (approx.)

8. May 3rd, 2006

I went into Yosemite National Park on May 2nd for the day. The same thing hit me as had hit me in San Francisco:all the big sites were either too over familiar from T.V. or in the case of Yosemite, and later the Grand Canyon, too big to know what to do with in such a short space of time. That’s why the landscape paintings are rarely straightforward, there’s often something in the foreground or in the way-e.g. my head (sunburned or cranky), the car, a plate of chips…

Yosemite gave me my first taste of what its like to live on a continent where everything is big and nature gets in your face. I had to drive for three hours to the south entrance of the park as the entrance near where I was staying was blocked by a rockfall. The Sierra Nevada also made getting to the desert difficult. It’s hard to understand that mountain range can force you to drive through a couple of time zones (I exaggerate a tad) in this day and age. The nearest experience in Ireland is trying to get from the M11 to the M9 across the Wicklow Mountains or perhaps across the Bluestack Mountains during a frozen winter. Childs’ play.

The Tioga Pass is closed until June at least. Don’t know where to go next…well I am going to Arizona, but it’s  going to be a pain in the arse to get there with the Sierra Nevada in the way.

So much for the mountains…

The park is very confusing, couldn’t find the information centre (Grizzly Adams how are ya). Some roads are one way, some aren’t. The maps aren’t clear nor are the signs on the trailheads. Wanted to take the John Muir Trail back down but I think it was closed for the winter and its unclear whether it’s still winter here…

Wasn’t really prepared for the grandeur, the size, of the Domes…

…that’s what he said…

…hard to take in. The only way to really appreciate the environment would be to live in it I suppose. I wonder what it would do to a personality to live with such grandeur, such a statement of natures hugeness, harshness, unforgivingness…

I did a half day hike-wasn’t really prepared for anything else. Went up to the Vernal Falls and beyond to the Nevada Falls. Beautiful…but what do you do with it?It would be nice to share it. No one talks to me-I don’t talk to anyone, barring a fat American boy who lectured me for letting a squirrel get its paws on a piece of a gherkin that fell out of my sandwich which I was eating as I sat on a log. Asshole....the boy not the squirrel…although the squirrel must’ve known he was going to get me into trouble as feeding the wildlife is frowned upon, so maybe he was an asshole. As I had a sandwich stuffed in my mouth I wasn’t quick enough to point out to the boy that he was the only overfed one present.

Tomorrow the desert…


6 responses to “ROAD TRIP : YOSEMITE

  1. It would’ve been great!I only realise now going back over the diary how much being on my own affected me…my head started to eat itself…I get very philosophical!Brace yourself!

  2. I took meself off to Cornwall for a long weekend on my own once, in a headmess at the time. ”Twas the only time in my life someone mistook me for a bloke. Possibly because I had short dreadlocks at the time. I lost the photos sadly 😞 so am not so much bracing as travelling along, only in Cornwall not USA where I’d much rather have been!

  3. Dreadlocks by god! Hah they make an appearance in my diary, though I didn’t mention them yet…I am not a big dreadlock fan…I fel like telling the young people to comb their hair 😀 :D…I would LOVE to do an English Road Trip and Cornwall is high on the agenda…I was there when I was wee baby, love to go back. My head was in a bit of a mess on this trip too but to be honest it usually is if it doesnt have people to distract it

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