artistsMaria Sykes

D. Strauss

artistsMaria Sykes
D. Strauss

Frontier Fellow August 2011

D's website

D. Strauss is a person of mystery who wishes to remain anonymous. They have spent much time in Green River photographing the area and volunteering for various non-profit organizations.

Epicenter, 2011 (just before Frontier Fellow Miles Mattison would paint the front signage)

Epicenter, 2011 (just before Frontier Fellow Miles Mattison would paint the front signage)

This town, while only populated by 900 people and 52 miles from the nearest town, is one of four Amtrak stops in the entire state of Utah. I am very excited to be here, on the frontier, working with other young professionals to make a positive impact in a place where America often overlooks. This town is small and remote, the biggest occurrence on some days is when the train passes through (twice, once in each direction) and, as such, when a new member of the crew arrives there is revelry and a welcoming party, usually full of `merican flags.

Self portrait at Swaysey's Beach during a lightning storm, 2011

Self portrait at Swaysey's Beach during a lightning storm, 2011

When I am in the desert, I use the Book Cliffs as a navigation tool.

This last week I arrived in Green River, Utah and began my Fellowship. It has been quite an experience to see what has changed and what has remained the same here in rural Utah. I read the Epicenter blog daily, and communicate with the Crew regularly, and thus I have been aware of all the changes over time; it was still surprising to see everything with my own eyes. My mission here is to help the Epicenter progress overall, with a focus on bicycles. I have pulled countless goat heads from tires, fixed two flats (2 of 7), fixed three brakes, and started sketching what the bike shop in the basement of the Baxter building will look like. 

Air pump at Thompson Springs, Utah, 2011

Air pump at Thompson Springs, Utah, 2011

Over the weekend, we took a trip to Canyonlands National Park. What an adventure this was! We made the 10 mile hike to see the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers in 100 degree heat. This was a test of our stamina to say the least. I wasn’t. For those of you who know Jack Forinash, he thinks water tastes gross and survives on Coca-Cola; he compromised and drank Gatorade. We all became delirious and at one point, Jack ordered a coke from a tree; unfortunately the tree did not respond. If Justin Queen had not been secretly carrying eight water bottles in his bag, we all would have been dead. At the confluence it was clear which river dominated, are you surprised it was the GREEN RIVER? 

The confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers, 2011

The confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers, 2011

I left happy with what I shot, but desired to stay longer and shoot more photos. I did not take as many as I wished, but I definitely took enough. I am not done working with Epicenter, and you may see more of my photos in the future without knowing it.