Woke up before dawn, typically a time of day I don’t see. Since I’ve been longing to photograph morning light for ages, I took Silas on an early morning hike on the trails above Helena. So lovely!
Then I took care of having three stitches removed from my jawline. I haven’t written about what happened and I won’t other than to say it was an unfortunate encounter with a dog (not Silas). Please do NOT email me asking what happened. It’s nothing serious, I truly am fine and that’s all I’ll say on the matter publicly or privately. But along with getting my period, it did lend to today’s need for downtime from adventure.
After that I visited Montana’s Museum at the Montana Historical Society, which I’ve corresponded with regarding Disappearing Montana. By this time I was somewhat tired and not as engaged as I would’ve liked so didn’t track down my penpal there. Instead I stopped for my first meal out since leaving home — lunch at Great Harvest Bread. YUM! About a thousand times better service + atmosphere than Spokane’s Great Harvest Bread on 29th. This fellow customer looked so elegant I couldn’t resist snapping her. Plus I love women who read in restaurants.
Even Silas and his new baby were mellow today!
First day in Montana! This weekend is our family reunion so I’m not officially on the clock with my Disappearing Montana project until Monday. But driving to our family’s place on the Swan River I decided to stop along a lonesome stretch of highway to photograph this abandoned house I’ve seen hundreds of times. Every place has its own unique energy, and something about this place did not say come hither.
This summer I’m taking the first step towards making a dream come true:
To explore Montana and photograph ghost towns, old homesteads and abandoned farms. Meet with old-timers to chronicle their stories. Combine the two. Publish a book.
This summer is the beginning, where the rubber meets the road.
And I need your support.
I’m starting this journey July 28th immediately after our family reunion on the Swan River near Bigfork. I’ll drive to Helena (state capitol) then venture north into Hill County where both my parents were born and raised. I’ll spend time at the Blazek farm near Big Sandy where my great-grandparents homesteaded nearly 100 years ago. (The above barn photo was taken last summer on our homestead.) If there’s time, I’d love to knock around the rough and tumble copper mining towns of Butte and Anaconda — but Montana is a crazy big state and I could easily spend these 2+ weeks JUST in Hill County so I’m keeping some space open to meander and follow others’ breadcrumbs during this first of what will be several trips over the next year.
I’ll be traveling with a tent, sleeping bag, lantern, bear spray and biodegradable TP. Despite my rugged heritage, I’m a total pansy camper. Your contribution will help pay for gas and the occasional sanity-saving motel and hot shower. Silas will thank you too. Dobies weren’t meant to sleep on the ground and a disgruntled Dobie is one sad sight to behold.
If the spirit moves you, I would deeply appreciate any donation you’re able to make. To express my gratitude for your generosity, I’d like to share the fruits of this project via the following reward tiers:
$25 – ONE 5×7 print of your choice
$50 – TWO 5×7 prints of your choice
$75 – ONE 8×10 print of your choice
$100 – TWO 8×10 prints of your choice
Know that ANY amount, no matter the size, makes a difference! There’ve been times I’ve given $5 to various projects. All contributors will be publicly thanked unless you request otherwise.
And if you can’t afford a $$$ contribution, positive juju and encouraging words happily welcomed and accepted!
Thank you SO MUCH for your support!
Tumbled Bones Photography
P.S. Know any disappearing, abandoned or endangered places in Montana I should visit? I’d LOVE to hear from you! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.
Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.
– David Whyte
Drove north to Elk yesterday to meet Val of Imagery by Val. We spent all afternoon on safari driving around the countryside in her old jalopy, shooting abandoned buildings, autumn colors, barns, horses and each other. So much fun shooting with other photographers! I want to do more of it.
In less than a week, this gorgeous, goofy and über talented woman will be at my house teaching me about photography, Photoshop and God knows what else. I’m beyond psyched to meet the one and only Julie of Sungazing Photography!