On the Road Again: Cody

..just cant wait to get on the road again. As it happens, this was playing in the café the other night by some Stetson-wearing, boot-stomping, musical cowboys. Loving Buffalo, Wyoming.

We mapped out our traverse of the mountains pretty thoroughly, making notes of all the potentially interesting places we could shoot - but of course everything changes in actualization. Our shots have been inspired moment to moment and our plans are usually greatly influenced by time, light, surprising finds, whims and fist fights (just kidding).

Cody has no lack of inspiring backdrops, and we did our very best to make use.

More Bison with capital Bs.

A funny antidote from my awkward planning session to find a boat.

Tedious because I had to collect all the numbers to call and drive up to the top of the hill, one of the only locations nearby with cell service. I called the Horseshoe Marina on the website and asked about boat rentals. The guy was really nice with a big drawl:

"Yeah, I'll rent ya a boat. I got both, canoe and the row boats."

We worked out the whole scenario - when I could pick them up, how he'd come in on his day off, how we'd drop it off the next day in the afternoon when they were closed, but he'd make an exception. The transaction was going great.  I told him that we'd be coming across the mountain a couple times as a matter of logistics --

Finally he stopped me. "Now..what mountains are you talking about?"

"The Big Horn ..Mountains," I said.

"Now, you do know we're in Tennessee, don't you."

Wrong Horseshoe Marina. He did his old south chuckle. "Well, now. I'll still rent it to ya."

I'd like to make a note of how amazingly kind and extremely helpful we've found the people in Wyoming to be. We went to a store in Casper to find a scarf. The woman inside did everything in her power to find one and finally sent us to another store. The lady at the coffee shop gave me a free copy of a climbing magazine I wanted to buy. A woman, three customers and another manager racked their brains for recommendations of nearby caves to check out. The guy at the corner store gave me detailed directions where to get bear spray, what aisle to find it and how much it would cost at another store. We've been blown away by the hospitality and helpfulness. Our cabin host in Cody said come on in, you don't have to knock!

Her dog, Weston got depressed when we left. I told him he belongs in the open fields; city life wouldn't suit him.

Professor Vostrum and Her Messy Desk

In our conception of the character Vostrum, we've spent a fair amount of time appreciating a world full of theories, wild hypotheses, and accumulated data. To support this, Caitlin and I have created a fraction of what Vostrum would have in her workspace.

There are graphs of tree growth and the speed of time, letters she has written to colleagues supporting her theories or dispelling her critics; small details like the stamp that she uses for her herbarium specimens and to label her books. All in disarray on her desk. (Not pictured, that's our disarrayed desk.)

This is a glimpse into the mind and world of a free thinker and a maverick. That's the goal at least.

Medicine Labels: Dr. Slobek's Kit

The character of Dr. Slobek has been around the medicine field for a little while now, so she's stocked with the standard fare (iodine, malaria pills, ammonia), some staples from Eastern Medicine (acupuncture needles, Chinese & Japanese Herbs ), and some personal favorite remedies from the expeditions where she served as medic.

I researched what would be in a typical old medic kit and then added all sorts of remedies from Russia, Japan, Czechoslovakia, and Cambodia - pieces that Slobek picked up along the way.

Designing the labels was a feat that went deep into the night, but printing and pasting the labels on to many of the bottles that we found was really enjoyable. The final photographs, I think, tell a story about a curious worldly individual, who has sorted out her own methods and ideology for treating the body.

Day 2

Our studio is set up! We have a million things tacked up on the walls.

Venturing into town is a full excursion and internet is limited here, which is all good as soon as we get our photo scenes prepped.

And guess what, after all of this spring-threatening BBQ-picnic weather across the northwest, it's now acting more like Wyoming. SNOW!!

Day 1

Our studio space is getting filled up with storyboards, props, to do lists, shot lists, location lists, maps, and .... more lists. Ready for this thing to get underway, right after a good nap and some of Caitlin's macha tea.

Big Sky

The sky really is bigger in Montana. Everything seems a lot bigger and more expansive out here. And the road feels a little straighter. Good thing the fuzz is forgiving.

Roadtripping VIII - Montana

Picking up Caitlin in the morning. It was parting the great waters of Bison to get through the Black Hills forest today. The herd lazily moves aside and looks at you with disinterest as you creep by. I don't think they ever get old - on par with moose for me.

Roadtripping V - more

Omaha, Sioux City, Iowa, Sioux Falls...

Burnt and still trucking! I'm doing algebra problems for fun in my head, having meaningful conversations with my plant, guzzling coffee, and shamefully hoping to see, if not a tornado, maybe a breeze or a shadow.

Roadtripping IV - The Plain

The plains stretch out forever with the hottest transfixed sun.

I stumbled on the ultimate store in Kansas City. Behold The Oracle - a den of specimens, gemstones, taxidermy, jars, and bones. In the recesses, I found a Pitcher Plant - and decided it would be a unique addition to an office filled with curiosities.

Roadtripping III - St Louis

Rainy St. Louis.

This is my ode to the Arch - an impressive architectural feat, even more so in person than I could've imagined! Also STL is full of great sculptures. Residents pay a flat rate for water utilities because the breweries helped establish the city's irrigation and wanted water standards to be universally high. Check out the CIty Museum if you go to St. Louis. Climb around in suspended tunnels!

Roadtripping II - Kentucky

Louisville and Admiral Bicknell Inn ~ 1850s. There's tunnels beneath this old mansion that they used for the Underground Railroad! The owner is hilarious and friendly; we played with her pet hens and chicks and climbed the trees in the backyard. I had tea and relaxed on the huge Old South-style balcony upstairs.