Dan’s view from Idaho

June 19, 2008

To begin, some answers to your questions. ¬†Who¬†rides the front? Who is the best climber? What’s the pecking order? Well, Peter is by far the best pace setter. He can go fast enough to keep Ian in check (sometimes) and slow enough so he does not “drop” me (sometimes). Ian is the best climber. Ian is, in fact, what every biker wants to look like. Tall, thin but muscular (not scrawny) and no body fat. In fact, left unchecked by his uncle and grandfather, Ian could be in Iowa tonite. Mind you, he was not like this in the beginning. What a difference a¬†week makes. Me? Well, I hang on the best I can but I have made every climb, even topped first once!

Idaho has been a very pleasant surprise. First however, the small town of Vale, Oregon is worthy of mention beyond “patriotic beards” as Peter writes. Vale has made a serious commitment to¬†MURALS on the sides of town buildings. These are not the¬†results of some local amateur contest to help “spruce-up” the town. These are nice works. Some of the best I have seen anywhere and… there are lot’s of them (I will post some in Gallery’s). Vale impressed me as a town that¬†knows what it¬†is, what it was,¬†and has made¬†a¬†respectable artistic statement.¬†

Boise. I was offered a job at Boise State right after graduate school so I have often wondered what kind of life we might of led had I taken it. From what we saw, Boise is currently a pretty impressive community. One curious observation of note is there appeared to be an abundance of tattoos.. on everyone.. in places and on the people displaying them that I really did not want to see. Therefore, the logic follows, had I taken the Boise job, Julie, Peter and Eric would have been inked? I made the right choice, case closed.

Idaho was supposed to be a rather boring “slog”. Not for me. Not for us. With the snow-capped Sawtooth Mountains to our left, rolling green foothills and plains in front and to the right, yellow and lavender spring wild flowers, the smells of sage and lupin and brilliant cloudless skies, strong tailwinds day after day; well, it’s hard to top this!¬†¬†Artistically, the Sawtooth Range¬†(specifically¬†a small valley¬†near Sun Valley) is the location for my first major environmental sculpture in 1981.¬†It was¬†a significant¬†sculpture for me as it framed many of the compositional tools I have used over the past 25 years.¬†My impressions back then, as now,¬†consist¬†of concern for the massive use of water for agriculture. This arid land cannot be a garden indefinitely. What will these people eventually drink?

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