After finishing up my month long volunteer gig in Lincoln Montana I headed South as the first snows of the season were falling. After a round-about way of getting there I ended up in Bisbee Arizona. I stopped first in Laramie Wyoming to see a friend’s exhibition at the art museum on the campus of the University of Wyoming, Waste Land by Brando Ballengée was a great installation of work that Brandon has created over the years and it was so nice to see the evolution of his work and his process. The next stop was at the Flaming Gorge dam on the Green River, to look around and fish for Colorado River Cutthroat there in the tail water. The fishing was good and the scenery was breath taking. I had never driven highway 191 south before, I recommend that drive and encourage you to take your time on it. The desert and canyons are beautiful and ever changing. I experienced driving south during the golden hour and seeing Monument Valley off on the horizon backlit and gorgeous. Too many nights I ended up finding a place to stop after dark, occasionally I awoke to a beautiful scene at the edge of a canyon. I made a stop at Cottonwood Campground at Canyon De Chelle for a couple of days to give the Dodge a brake job and I wanted to visit the White House ruins that were made photographically famous by Timothy O’Sullivan and then again by Ansel Adams. I was not quite ready for what I found. The ruins are but a tiny speck on a giant canyon wall. Those guys really used their cameras to create something that could only exist in a photograph. My image is much different than theirs. Just about to Bisbee I decided to stop in Tombstone for a visit to look around and shoot some film. The whole reason for heading South and my discovering the wonderful things that I did along the way was a ceramic pit firing happening at Cochise College in Douglas Arizona, South of Bisbee right at the border with Mexico. Tate Rich runs the ceramics program down there and is an old friend of Dave Turillo who I met in Lincoln a few weeks before. The pit firing was an interesting experience and true to my way I showed up early and offered to lend a hand. I beat Dave there by a few hours so I helped out with loading their brand new, just finished, wood kiln. Once Dave arrived we sorted pallets for the rest of the day to make it easier to build the bonfire the following day. On Friday we helped out with the construction of the giant bonfire built atop the pit where all the pots were buried. It was a huge pile of wood. To my surprise the fire didn’t last all that long that night. It flared up and got incredibly hot for about half an hour and then settled into a slow burn that lasted well into the night. The weekend in Bisbee also corresponded with the annual Bisbee 1000 race. Bisbee is built in a canyon and there are staircases all over the place. Apparently part of the race involves 1000 stair steps. I didn’t run the race, my hours of wading rivers and hiking are not enough training to take that on. I met some wonderful people down there and made many new friends. One potter that I met is a real sweetheart, her business is called picklepottery and can be found on Instagram and etsy. Look her up, her work is good and it hits my sweet spot for form vs function and a level of craft that I really appreciate. Bisbee is a very cool town and has things that remind me of several of the places I’ve stumbled into on this journey. Good people, interesting landscapes, and a sense of community where people know each other and care about what’s going on.