A lot can happen in a week. I said yes to a last minute shoot in Northern Washington two Fridays ago and buzzed all over Idaho, Montana and Washington on the way to and from the job. I didn’t mind the driving because I was in a mood to see fresh country. The shoot was beautiful, in a lovely location at a ranch on top of a mountain. It was horse heaven. The crew was good company. It was a great time. I was modeling on this job, not shooting, which is occasionally an uncomfortable thing for me. I have to deal with some self-consciousness in front of a camera (which might come as a surprise to you since I use myself as a subject so often). I think the best models tend to be vain — or aware of their physical beauty. I just feel awkward, crooked and strange looking most of the time. That said, my favorite thing about modeling these past two years has been how much I have learned from the photographers I am being photographed by! There are so many tidbits to absorb. It’s a great learning experience for me and I put into practice the trade secrets I have learned on a regular basis. Being around great photographic talent tends to breed new skills in me, if I maintain awareness and ask questions (and I’m never afraid to ask questions). Anyway, great crew, great location, stunning horses and a great all around time was had on that shoot. I’m glad I said yes.
After we wrapped, I drove the Columbia to the Spokane to the Coeur d’Alene to the Clark Fork to the Bitterroot to the Lochsa to the Clearwater to the Salmon to the Little Salmon and then I was suddenly home in McCall. It’s a marvelous thing to follow roads that bend in synchrony to the will of a river. It’s one of the few times in life I allow myself to joyfully follow the path of least resistance.
I stopped here and there on the trip home: coffee with a girlfriend in Missoula, fishing pocket water here and there on the Lochsa and Clearwater, pausing to watch the salmon spawn (rotting and exhausted from the strain of their endeavor — dead and gone on the banks of the river, eyes in the bellies of birds), breakfast in a shabby diner or two, sleeping fitfully in my tent on the edge of a rapid (rain staccato on the fly of the tent, logging trucks grinding at high speeds through the black of night)…
I like to lallygag. I like to forget about the destination and slowly make my way through the journey, exploring whenever I can. My friends and family know to expect I’ll arrive in their homes or at our meeting places anywhere from two hours late to three days late and I’m unapologetic about it. It’s how I stay in touch with everything around me. It’s how I stay in touch with my curiosity. It’s how I ask questions and find answers. I arrive when I am good and ready and not a moment before.
I’m off to hunt for elderberries here in the beautiful, autumnal Payette region. Robert comes off a fire this evening and I can’t wait to see him. I’ll plan a nice dinner for two in the Airstream and maybe even pick up a tiny tub of ice cream and a nice bottle of gin for him. We’ll probably stay up late dreaming about what do with the farm and ourselves in the next couple of days, months, years. I love this time of year. Autumn is for dreamers.