Friday, April 17, 2015

Easel on in Nevada

Well, I did not actually stay in Nevada. Is that fair? I guess since I make the rules, I can answer the question - yes! To fit 7 states into one 3-week trip, I am taking some short cuts. Oh well. I could not find a good place to sleep on my route through that state. I did not relish the thought of spending the night in a hotel room in or near a casino and neither did Charlie. Instead, I found a little stone house through Airbnb in NW Arizona, so I holed up in the desert and did a day trip to Lake Mead.

First of all, the drive up Highway 93 was amazing! It wrapped around huge mountains on winding roads. I stopped at a scenic overlook to walk Charlie, snap some pictures and take measure of the immense distance. The Colorado River shown bright blue far below, anchoring the furry, brown shapes. I met a group of women who, when asked, suggested I paint at the closest beautiful vista in Nevada - the Welcome Center just across the border. Ha! Another easy site. Witwoo! I crossed from one state to the next on a gigantic bridge above Hoover Dam and the extreme height made me dizzy. What an incredible feat of engineering.

The stop was soon after the bridge and I set up with my back against the bathrooms, sheltered from the wind. Charlie got relatively comfortable in the shade of the building though he chose to ignore the beach blanket I put down. Instead, he sat on stones and barked at people as they approached, for which I was grateful. Lake Mead shimmered in the distance, surrounded by mountains and peppered with islands. I was interested in capturing the white stripes along the bottom of these shapes, made by water receding over time.

I worked for several hours, chatting with tourists as they came to take a peek. It is fun to hear where people are from and why they are there. By the early afternoon, I was ready to quit. I took my time loading the supplies back into the trailer. One jar of mineral spirits had spilled and soaked into the carpet. I made sure the canvases were all okay before I locked the top. The rack we made has kept them in perfect shape but I can see the trailer take some high bounces behind me as I rumble down the highway. No doubt there will be much touch-up upon my return.

Today I am driving to Utah. I have never been there and have heard wonderful things about the landscape. I found an Airstream as a rental and cannot wait to experience that!

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