Southwest USA 2010-2011 The Road

Day 38 – Nobody Said It Was Easy

Written by Wayne

I woke up in Page Arizona still, looked at the hazy cloudy sky. A little bit of light shining through but not looking so great. I was trying to decide whether or not to go into Antelope Canyon. One part of me said to not worry about the money and to trust that more will come when I need it. The other side is becoming more and more paranoid of what I have left and has become very guarded of any expenditures. I flipped the coin and it said to move on. Considering I’ve wanted to do shots in these slot canyons since walking into Peter Lik’s gallery in Las Vegas 5 years ago, this really hurt. As I stretched and gathered my thoughts for the drive I noticed my driver’s side rear tire looked low. Sure enough, another slow leak. Not how I wanted to start my day.

I topped up the tire, left Page and headed South until I got to the turn off for the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It’s a bit of a drive in the Northwest direction then down again to the canyon rim. Again I was torn, looking at my gas gauge, my budget and my purpose for being here. Again I flipped a coin. Almost two hours and just short of half a tank of gas later I was at the entrance to Grand Canyon National Park. Faced with a huge dark cloud descending into the Canyon and a temperature that smelled of snow, a park ranger staring at me wondering if I wanted to pay the $25 entrance fee to go look to see if I could see anything. The pass is good for 7 days but after my assessing my situation and knowing I have to go back to Winslow in a few days to pick up a package that a friend is sending and my bank card for the American bank account I opened (for the indiegogo stuff) in addition to another tire repair to add to my budget I turned around and drove the way back to highway 89.

As I made my way back I stopped at a few places. The Cliff dwellings and Navajo Bridge provided a few shots. I saw both a bald eagle and a condor along the way. As I got back on the main road and passed the turn for the South rim of the Grand Canyon I just felt confused as of course the weather had cleared up somewhat down in this area. I figured I’d reassess everything and be back on a better day.

Just short of the tiny little junction of Cameron Arizona, the truck started to pull to the left but I thought at first that it was the wind. I pulled into one of the gas stations and opened my door, looking back at the rear tire to see if it was worse. It was fine. The driver’s front one however, 90% flat. Once again I got out the jack and put on the spare.

Needless to say I’m not impressed with General Tire at all. These tires came on my truck when I bought it and they’ve been the worst set of tires I’ve ever owned. Before them I had maybe two flats in my life. I’ve had 12 flats or slow leaks on this set including the two used General Grabbers the tire shops “luckily” had kicking around to replace the two of mine that were too fucked to repair. They would have to pay ME a whole lot of money to ever try a set of their shit product again. Funny, I even sent them a message before I started this trip about sponsorship trying to give them a chance to help me out and change my mind on their stuff while on this trip. They didn’t even have the common courtesy to send me a reply.

So in the great mood I was in, I pulled into Flagstaff and immediately sought a hot shower. Finding a nice big clean hot shower at Little America in Flagstaff. After washing the last few days away and trying to recompose my positive outlook, some fresh clothes and a sub on one of my Subway cards (Thanks to my friends) I started to feel a bit better.

Over the next few days I’ll be in the library working on edits but more importantly trying to land a freelance website job. If this doesn’t happen soon, and I mean soon this whole trip is going to be up in the air. I’m already talking to another friend about possibly deadheading to Northern Alberta if I can land a laborer job for the next few months.

It seems my vision of working on remote web work, selling prints, getting followers and advertisers on here, landing possible sponsors and photographing North America as I go was a bit of a pipe dream. Even from all the cards I’ve left in places I’ve been, not one single person has commented on the site in 35 days. Perhaps the reality is, aside from my friends and a few new people I’ve met, nobody cares.

5 Comments

  • Thank you ladies. All of what you all said is true and I know I have to have faith. I get a little down at times but overall I know that this is what makes an adventure and a journey. It’s days like this that make the shots even larger gifts when I find them.

    I’ll be okay, a little soft at times but I’ll make this work.
    Thanks again for following and your comments.
    W

  • Wayne,

    You are an amazing artist and wonderful person. You are living an adventure that the rest of us just dream about. And while it seems tough right now, just know that you are making your mark on the world and there are many of us who are grateful and supportive. Keep the faith.

    Debbie

  • Your Journey is yours and yours alone Wayne…we follow your images through your well worded prose and striking images, and yet it is yours to do with what you chose….
    Your faith in yourself to begin this project should be what carries you through each day…

    How many tangents have you taken?…how many straight lines?….no dream is ever a pipe dream, if we never ask the question of ourselves, the answer will always be “no”….

    In 35 days you have, probably without realizing it, instilled in others the ability to take some of their dreams one step further…..
    SO….let those cards that you have placed out there,the casual chats you have had, sink into their subconciousness… think of W.P Kinsellas “Field of Dreams” …”if you build it they will come”…may sound corny, believe in yourself as we believe in what you are doing…and they WILL follow:)….

  • This journey is “no guts, no glory”. I’m sure you’re nervous about fundage…I would be terrified. Heck, my hot water heater just gave out, and I’m trying to figure out how the heck I’m going to pay for that while I sit comfortably in my cushy office chair at my desk in my nice, warm home.

    I can’t put it more eloquently than the comment above me regarding how priceless going on this trip vicariously through you is for me. I have greatly enjoyed your pictures, blogs and videos so far. Unfortunately, I’m no corporate sponsor.

    I know you’re not necessarily a religious person, but I believe that God will work something out for you. You’re not on this journey for no reason. Keep your chin up. You’re in my thoughts.

  • You are not alone. We care, Wayne.

    Through your artistry, you take us to places our eyes, ears and hearts have only dreamed about. And while the reciprocity hasn’t been what you’d hoped for, what matters most is the value that you’ve gained from this trip yourself. Has it been worth it? In some financial aspects, you may question that. While you may not reap all the benefits of your travels now, the experiences and memories will be priceless for the rest of your life.

    Faith is easy to have when things are going good. Know that we always have faith in you, no matter where your journeys unfold. Thank you for sharing your smart and sensitive view of the world.

    Keep rolling, Gemini. Tomorrow brings new challenges and rewards. And we’ll be happy to roll with them with you.

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