Just over an hour away from Logan Utah and on the way to the Spiral Jetty is The Golden Spike National Historic Site. Usually I’m bringing friends out to the Jetty and we pass by much of what the site has to offer and just stop at the visitor center. This past trip was a bit different as my passengers were meeting me at the center and I would have some time alone to get off the main road and photograph along the East Grade Auto Tour. It was amazingly still and the only sound to be heard was that of a cow off in the distance. That changed with the unmistakeable sound of small caliber gunfire, and close too. Above and below: Looking East from the Central Pacific Grade on a beautiful spring evening.
The landscape of Promontory is unforgiving and it is that aspect along with it’s austere beauty that attracts me. On a previous visit the wind was so fierce that one could hardly stand outside of the car, it’s no wonder few people live here.
Take a moment and consider that these rail cuts were made by men with hand tools. Looking east through the cut toward Brigham City and the Wellsville Mountains. It was at this point I heard the gunfire and thought that it sounded pretty close. After returning to my car that was parked on the road I went through the cut and there I found the family using the Golden Spike Historic Site as their personal shooting range. As a reminder “Firearms may not be discharged in this national park or along the scenic drive and should not be used as a wildlife protection strategy”. Say what you will about firearms the thing that gets me is the attitudes of “it does not apply to me” or “I’m in the middle of nowhere so who cares”, in this case there are multiple public shooting ranges with in view of this location.
Promontory has a lot to offer if you have the patience to travel there and empathy for what you will discover. On this day I was pressed for time and had to get back to Cache Valley but I will no doubt return and continue to photograph the landscape around the Golden Spike National Historic Site in the near future.
Images and text © Andrew McAllister-Looking at the West.
Location scouting for an upcoming photo shoot brought me to the north end if the Great Salt Lake. Pretty desolate looking and just what I had in mind. Have any of the blog followers travelled this route to the Lucin sun tunnels?
Once, when heading out to see Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty we came upon this family of horses grazing near the road. The landscape of Promontory is austere and so different from the I-15 area just 40 minutes away. Locals will tell you that the road was much rougher in years past and had a few points where 4WD was required. In my many trips out there I have seen Audi Coups, passenger vans and even a Kenworth. Follow the signs and drive sensibly and you will make it.
I took a walk around Downtown Brigham City earlier this year. It was the back of building that caught my eye this time. You get a different story when you walk the back alley. Old cars, a BBQ, TV antenna (who still uses those?), A really old building made of odd shaped rocks and with no windows, lots of wires and a new prefab temple and a carwash.
Above: Someones Hideout, my favorite shot of the day. Photographed just before the leaves hid it for the summer. More wires.
Above: More wires and shopping for boxes. A popular dumpster that had 3 visitors while I was photographing here none of whom seemed to notice me.
Above: The old general Store in Brigham city with 4.9 cent gas on a beautiful day.
Above: A couple of barns with green sides and beige backs, a bag caught in the tree and a small dog watching me.
Last stop, the Grain Silo. They sure keep this one clean and tidy. At first I was not sure about cropping the top of the silo head house but now I love the way it divides up the space. one more for my Grain Silo Survey project.
This past winter I started looking at grain silo’s, mills and other structures associated with industrial agriculture in Northern Utah and Southern Idaho with the idea of creating a photographic survey. Above: Horizon Milling facility, Ogden Utah 2013.
Above: Cache Commodities, Ogden Utah 2013 Check out the piping and sorting units. Anyone with information about various parts of these facilities please comment.
Above: Abandoned slip formed silo’s near Wasatch Laboratories in downtown Ogden, Utah 2013. When visiting these type of sites make sure to respect fences and no trespassing signs. I look at it as an additional challenge to photograph from roads and public access ways.
Above: American Nutrition, Ogden, Utah 2013. Love how the late afternoon sun creates those hard lined shadows.
On my first hike to the top of Willard Peak this past Friday came across many mountain goats. This one looks particularly awesome.
On my last trip to Downey I was at the tail end of a 3 day weather system that came across Northern Utah and Southern Idaho. As I was photographing the grain elevators in Downey I got the dramatic light I was hoping for. Over the span of a few minutes the light went from a cool overcast grey to super dramatic. I like both images however at some point I will have to decide which one to keep as the portfolio image.
I would like to ask followers of Looking at the West which version of the scene they prefer and why.
Above: Dramatic Light and shadow on the base of Willard Peak in Northern Utah. Recently I have expanded my lens set to cover wider and narrower views and so begins the process of learning how these tools effect how I see and how to get the most out of them. The above image form this past weekend was made with the wonderful Zeiss 100 Makro-Planar. I am pleased with the lenses ability at and near infinity, a distance that many of my subjects occupy. Excellent contrast and focus from 1.4 miles distance in the foreground and at 2.23 miles near the top.
Above: Dramatic light and shadow on the rugged base of Willard Peak in Northern Utah.Above: Dramatic light and shadow with blue-grey sky and passing cloud cover on the rugged rocky base of Willard Peak in Northern Utah.
Above: Dramatic view of the Cache Valley Inversion 2/2/13. The inversion continues and like most things looks better or worse depending on the day and the hour. As a newer resident I am shocked at how disgusting the air can be. At times you can taste it in your mouth for 30 minutes after you have come inside. I’m fortunate to live on the bench and am above the thick part of it most of the time. Visually the inversion can be stunning and enjoyable to photograph. I prefer drama to a clear blue sky any day.
Above: USU and Cache Valley inversion 2/3/13. A closer view with USU, the Wellsville Range and some pollution in-between. Taken at the beginning of another red air day.
Above: A wider view from the same morning. I really hope that Cache Valley can get a grip on the pollution. I was shocked when I first moved here at the number of diesel pickup trucks that treat every green light like the beginning of a race or some contest to see who can spew the largest cloud of black soot onto the intersection. The pollution problem is large and more complex for sure and I am no expert. It will be interesting to see if Logan and Cache Valley can meet EPA requirements by 2014. If my images or distinct vantage point can be of use to people working on the inversion problem please contact me I’d love to help out.
Above: Grain Silos near Lewiston, Utah on a grey foggy January afternoon in Northern Utah. Depending on the screen you view this on you can see quite a bit. I’m amazed I was able to get sharp focus on the silos. Could be the start of a series of posts on agriculture architecture. There certainly is a lot around the area. Does anyone know the difference (if any) between a silo, grain silo and a grain elevator?