Interesting Signs in the West
Other Road Trips
Linfield College Professor Dave Taylor on the
American West . . .

"How does one reconcile the knowledge that it took the
Donner Party five days of hard driving, day and night, to
cross the Great Salt Lake Desert in 1842 compared to
the two hours it now takes on Interstate 80 scarcely 150
years later?  Both of these journeys, which are separated
by a century and a half, occurred on the floor of what,
20,000 years ago, was an enormous inland sea called Lake
Bonneville  The most dramatic feature of that ancient sea
bed is the Bonneville Salt Flat, which is the vast white,
impossibly flat expanse that the Donner Party crossed at
walking speed, that thousands of cars cross every day at
seventy-five miles per hour, that rocket cars race across
at close to the speed of sound, and that the crew of the
Enola Gay flew over while training to deliver one of the
first atomic bombs to Japan."

"And... if it is possible to discern some order among the
occurrences that bring us to this point in history in this
place we call the West; what kind of package can one
fashion to give structure to that understanding?  How
does one begin to craft a framework that draws from so
many ostensibly unrelated types of information."
January 4 Maupin, OR
January 5 Duck Creek, OR
January 6 Bruneau, ID
January 7 Bruneau, ID
January 8 Wendover, NV
January 9 Arches National Park, UT
January 10 Arches National Park, UT
January 11 Canyonlands National Park, UT
January 12 Canyonlands National Park, UT
January 13 Canyon de Chelley NM, AZ
January 14 Tuscon, AZ
January 15 Tuscon, AZ
January 16 Papago Indian Reservation, AZ
January 17 Puerto Penasco, Mexico
January 18 Pinacate Reserve, Mexico
January 19 Las Vegas, NV
January 20 Death Valley Junction, CA
January 21 Death Valley National Park, CA
January 22 Death Valley National Park, CA
January 23 Death Valley National Park, CA
January 24 Death Valley National Park, CA
January 25 Las Vegas, NV
January 26 Las Vegas, NV
January 27 Ely, NV
January 28 Ely, NV
January 29 Drove home...
In January of 1999 I took a class at Linfield titled,
"Resurveying the American West."  It was classified as a
photography class, but I learned a lot about history,
geology, archaeology, ecology, the literature of the West,
and everything in between.  There were twelve others in
the class along with my professor, Dave.  We traveled
around in two white vans and car-camped our way across
Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California, as
well as going down into Mexico to the Sea of Cortez.  A
lifetime of amazing experiences and stories and
photographs came out of the trip and it inspired me to
continue exploring and photographing this place we call the
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