Sunday, December 19, 2010

The End of Kodachrome, Pt. I: A Meandering Travelogue

Absolutely spectacular day at Bryce Canyon. Rainy, windy, and slushy, but majestic overlooks none-the-less. Spent three hours in the canyon shooting film and video. Didn’t see one tourist. They were up top at the overlooks, but no one braved the trek down. Only my buddy Jim and I were so foolhardy. Every turn of the trail offered yet another breathtaking, one-of-a-kind view. The light drizzle had me worrying about my camera a little. I must have packed it up 10 times, promising myself no more shooting. Yet at every subsequent turn, I pulled it out again to get some more footage.

This is a funny trip. Only last week did Mr. Granato plant the seed to head to the Southwest to burn through some rolls of Kodachrome, which will no longer be processed as of two weeks from now. My desire to shoot Kodachrome, or super 8, is strangely nil. I guess I’ve shot enough of it over the years. Not really feeling the need for one last hurrah. But what a gloriously brilliant excuse for a trip. I’m excited about playing around with an hd camera. So Jim is shooting super 8, I’m rocking the hd, and we’re having a blast. Not sure what the end result will be. One film? Two films? Zero films? Doesn’t matter. We’re out here shooting stuff, documenting nature, experiencing the winter majesty.

Flew into Vegas. Stopped at the Neon Museum, the bone yard for discarded neon signage. Beautiful. They don’t let you shoot any film or video. Jim tried to sneak in the super 8. The unmistakable rattle of the super 8 motor alerted the hip young vixens that run the joint that mischief was afoot. I don’t think Jim shot more than 5 feet of film before being busted by the man...who was a woman.

Almost didn’t come on this trip. Money and winter were discouraging factors. I would never think of coming to a place like this in the winter. Alison and I once went to the Grand Canyon in November. All I remember is cold, cold, cold. Now that we’re here, I’m ecstatic we pulled the trigger. The snow is beautiful. It’s a whole other look to this area that I’ve never experienced and would likely never have experienced. I can't wait to come back with my son, whose mind will be blown.

The rest of the trip could be cold and miserable, but today’s hike makes the whole trip worth it regardless of what happens from here on out…unless of course we drive over a cliff edge. That would not be cool, nor is it out of the question.


On the way from Vegas to Bryce, we drove over route 14 through The Dixie National Forest. 10,000 feet, near whiteout conditions. Not from snow, but from fog or clouds. Much snow build-up on the road. A little slipping and sliding during the night time drive. But the rental Hyundai handled it sans chains. I have to imagine those were the worst of the conditions we’ll face…other than Jim’s snoring…which hasn’t been as bad as advertised.

Right now, I’m hanging in the lobby of our Best Western. Hundreds of rooms. Ten cars in the parking lot. It has some Shining potential.

Tomorrow, off to Kodachrome Basin State Park and Monument Valley. Lunar Eclipse on Tuesday night.

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