January 20, 2016

It’s 420am and I’m awake in my hotel room. Outside it’s 24 degrees and there’s a fresh coat of icy snow on my car. I can see it from the window, parked next to the oil crew trucks.

I’ve been awake for an hour, reading from the unending stash of magazine articles I keep saving to my phone. A former FSB agent poisoned, a French jihadi, an American criminal who uncovered the Stingray secret police surveillance device.

But I should be writing.


Spent yesterday, all of it, driving from my house to Wellington and then up through Nine Mile Canyon to Myton. It’s a 78 mile trip, that last part, and there are no services. Very little traffic of any kind at this time of year.

I made it in a car with 301,000 miles, with the thought of becoming stranded on my mind the whole way.

My only optimism came from the stores of water, chocolate and half a foot of a Subway sandwich I’d saved from lunch.

The assignment was vague, at least the subjects of the assignment were vague, so the trip ended up being very similar to how I started out in photography – driving remote roads and making photographs.

After I while I entered the oil fields in Duchesne County and the landscape became more visually interesting as far as my assignment went.


After the drive I arrived in R@osevelt, one of the worst towns in Utah. Listing the hardest places to find myself, R@osevelt and Bl@nding, two very similar towns, come to mind.

From lodging, to food, to the culture clash between the white and native populations, these towns feel oppressive.

The horrific meal at the Frontier Grill, topped with patriot country music and the ignorant table next to mine talking about how they’d be kidnapped if they traveled abroad (as if they would ever leave the country, let alone Utah, as they tried to figure out the cheapest way to order only a salad).

It’s depressing and reassuring how quickly the mind can turn critical.


Today I’ll wake up and drive south through the Ashley National Forest, looking for photographs along the way.

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