Saturday, October 16, 2010

Spiral Jetty

This story begins many moons ago,
 when I was just a young pup, in college. 
One lovely day, whilst sitting in my Art History class, the teacher taught us about an Earthwork Sculpture in Utah.  This sculpture, by artist Robert Smithson, is called the Spiral Jetty.

   While Smithson's other artwork was a little too freaky-deaky for me, I fell in love with the Spiral Jetty.  The thoughts of earth made into an art piece that was constantly changing, constantly being acted upon by nature and man, struck me.

  Over the years (and years...and years) I have often looked at pictures of the jetty. It was built during a drought in the 70's and then was submerged for 30-ish years when the lake returned to normal.  Some of those years it was difficult to see.

  Last week we heard a news report that many of the boats at the Great Salt Lake were stuck at the docks because the water level was so low. I looked at Jeff (who knew about the Jetty because I MADE him know) and he knew that it was time.

This morning we loaded up our little (HA!) family and headed out on our grand adventure.
Jeff had looked it all up, printed off maps, and planned the day. 

First was the 2 and 1/2 hour drive to Promontory Point to the Golden Spike museum.
 The museum was pretty cool! Not only because of the history involved, but because it had the only Restrooms for about 40 miles.  
  The Spiral Jetty was about 15 or so miles from the museum, but it takes you about 45 minutes to get there. You start off driving on a nicely paved road that quickly turned into a gravel road, then a partly graveled road, to a dirt road with softball sized rocks and dried mud holes.
  The last stretch of the drive is a dirt "road" with giant basalt rocks on each side, and in the middle of the road. 
 We had to put the SUV into 4-wheel drive!
 It was nearly puke inducing.

  When I caught my first glimpse of the sculpture I teared up.
  Teen daughter mocked me.

 There wasn't any water near it. White, hard, dry salt flats surrounded the black spiral.

 In the center of the Spiral
we made our own little sculpture.

 It was hard to get a family pic because the sun reflecting off of the surrounding salt flats was blinding!


Love, Jana


  1. Hey such a coincidence I just read about the Spiral Jetty in a book by David Rakoff. We're so in tune. Ps. I had that hair too.

  2. magical! how wonderful that you did this! we read about the jetty in art history class too and i always thought the pictures were too amazing to believe--your pics reaffirm that disbelief! PS: i wanted that hair, never had it. lucky you, and pam!

  3. that a spiral perm??? I actually have seen the Jetty from the air...very cool :o)

  4. Never heard of the jetty before (unless you count the seafood place in town) but what an amazing post! And the pics are incredible! Thanks for sharing.


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