Awoke at my normal time of 0430, up at 0500 and mulled over two cups of coffee and while reading the news. I worry about my children in California, with the idiot fat boy regime in N. Korea appearing to be nuclear ready. Loaded too many cameras in the RAV 4 and headed to Lake Superior and the interior of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness. I always chuckle to myself that the powers to be who give tracts of land their monikers chose to call the park a wilderness, when 95% of the U.P. is a fucking wilderness (with the exception of our few larger cities like Marquette, Escanaba, etc). Seems like an annual thing that the local law enforcement has to come into either Hurley or Ironwood to tranqulize a bear in the middle of town, looking to eat a bit easier, compliments of people's trash.
Decided to use the 4x5 pinhole exclusively. Made a total of eight exposures-four at two different locations on Lake Superior that like Weston with his Point Lobos in California, I never tire of photographing. The other four exposures were on the slippery rocks of the Union River Gorge.
While at Union River, I managed to get a taste of what I will experience from now until the leaves are down-a dreaded contact with FIP's (Fucking Illinois People)-tourists from the city of Chicago (which I happen to adore) or its many wealthy western suburbs, who each year seem to leave their manners at home. I often wonder why it is that many people when on vacation seem to self-aggrandize to the extent that they wander around in a state of complete hedonsim and self-indulgence, void of any consideration of the local culture. Some years back, the legal system in Hurley had to make it a felony to fight in any of the city's many bars (and strip joints). The reason being, that locals took great pleasure in beating the living shit out of these rude aliens. My first experience of the year took place during my second exposure in the gorge, which was dictated by my calculations to be 25 minutes in duration. About half way through the exposure, I looked to to see a middle aged FIP (I know this because the only other car in the parking area had Ilinois plates-a BMW of course) and his three children who had climbed down from the precipice, direcly in front of my shot. I put the film slide in front of the pinhole, stopped the timer and gave my best glare in response to the typical,,,oh sorry!
The river here, like so many of my other favorites is mystical and can alter conscience. Like the East Branch of the Montreal (your spooky woods), the East Branch of the Ontonagon (my favorite Rainbow Trout Stream), etc., the subtle lull of the water, in conjunction with the retreat of the mind from the constraints of civilized cognition, produces auditory hallucinations of both great clarity and definition. Today while waiting close to a half hour for each exposure, trance-like and ankle deep, the meandering waters, dancing their way around the various geographical and idiosyncratic structures, suggested many clear and convincing auditory stimuli-children laughing, unrecognizable songs, etc. At the Montreal River, I have clearly heard native percussion on numerous instances, in addition to wolf and coyote calls (in the absence of their real presence). This type of mindfulness, when one is able to completely let go of the internal complexities of cognitive attachment, is both beautiful and produces a state of being centered like my Citalopram on steroids.