The Moment All Five of You Have Been Waiting For…

Just kidding, I know it’s probably more like one or two. I am finished with my writing class, and despite my best efforts, I aced it. It was easy though because my final was a three page report talking about myself, and we all know I can do that. 😉 It’s my day off and I have a few options, go take more photos because it’s been snowing all morning and I might still have a possibility of going where the snow hasn’t been walked all over. Option two, keep going on my Technical Math class, but I started on it and there are only so many YouTube videos explaining functions on scientific calculators I can stomach in one sitting. I can clean my house, but I’ve got 3 days and I’ll probably do it last minute like I do everything else. So I guess I’ll go with number four, do as I promised and write about Wendover.

So Here it is, my Wendover adventure. I hope I don’t mess it up. It’s been a year and a half and my old lady brain might have forgotten some of the details.

It was the first week of school for my son, and I wanted to get some alone time. I wanted to go on a solo road trip and spend the night and go take photos. I decided on Wendover, because why not? I like their old Air Force base, which now functions as a small airport and hosts an annual air show. We took my son to one of them once and I was able to see my favourite plane in person, the Corsair.

During WWII it was the training base for B-17 and B-24 bomber crews. It was the training site for the B-29 unit that carried out the the atomic bombings of Japan. It was closed by the Air Force in 1969. They seem to be in the middle of a restoration project because all of the buildings have a coat of white primer on them which make them look very surreal.

I took the two hour drive out to Wendover, and stopped at McDonalds for a quick dinner. I was considering buying a bottle of wine, but I’m not a big drinker so I decided not to. I went to my room and posted to Twitter the photos that I had taken on the way up there. I had been messaging my friend about my trip because he was familiar with the area, and he was thinking the same thing as the rest of you, why would I ever go to Wendover?

I went out to stake out areas I wanted to visit the next day and took a few photos before the sun went down.

The next day I went to the Air Field. Wendover is a gambling town with half of it on the Utah side and the other half on the Nevada side. Utah contains the Air Field and Nevada contains the casinos because gambling is illegal in Utah. Its extremely run down no matter what side you’re on, but the housing next to the base is atrocious. There are dilapidated old barracks alongside a trailer park. I got out to take photos as a few of the residents looked at me suspiciously. A woman came out to bring her dog inside to prevent him from barking at me. I asked her if it was okay that I was taking photos. She said it was fine and apologised on behalf of her dog.

I stopped at another building that I had photographed a few months before, but you know how I am, I’ll photograph the same thing until it doesn’t exist anymore, which actually has happened before. (Maybe I’ll tell that story another time) I was going through the building just as I had before. I say building as if it had more than 3 of its’ walls intact, so it wasn’t that scary, that is until I heard a door slam. I made my exit and noticed the door in the first photograph was now closed.

I finally made my way to the Air Field, and as I was taking photos of the white painted buildings and chain linked fences with barbed wire, warning “keep out,” I heard a helicopter overhead. It was so surreal being surrounded by all of the white buildings. I felt like I was in a rendition of a Pink Floyd video like ‘Goodbye, Blue Sky.’

There was nothing more to see, so I decided to head home. I went up to the gas station at the top of the street and suddenly I was pulled over by the Wendover Police. I rolled down my window. The cop asked me if I knew how fast I was going. I told him I didn’t know, then foolishly I said that I though the speed limit was 35. He told me it was 25. He then asked me if I had any drugs or firearms in the vehicle. I said “no.” He asked me if I lived in Wendover, I said “no” again. He asked me where I lived and I told him. He asked me what I was doing in Wendover, I motioned to the passenger seat that contained all my photography equipment and laptop. I said “Taking Photos.” He asked me how long I was staying, I told him I was just getting gas and then I would be heading home. He asked me for my license and registration. He returned and gave me a ticket for going 10 over the speed limit. I know I wasn’t going that fast, he didn’t even clock me. It was later explained to me that they probably thought I was there to get drugs, and in their defence, who would ever want to take photos in Wendover?

The whole trip and the photo of the train track with my hair blowing into the frame reminds me of the song ‘Rattlesnakes’ cover by Tori Amos . The original by Lloyd Cole is just as good or better but Tori Amos’ version just fits better, I think.

All previous photos are 35mm, these next ones are the digital/color versions:


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