Indian Lodge

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This place: Indian Lodge.

It was built during the Depression, as part of a Civilian Conservation Corps project, and is made from thick adobe walls. It’s designed with plenty of ledges and overlooks and terraces, all set to command a view down the canyon to the east. I like it there very much.

The very first place I camped, when I was only 5 or 6, was at this state park, and I guess it imprinted itself on me: I feel right when I am there. I’ve camped there quite a few times, including a couple of solo camping trips. And I’ve stayed at the lodge often: for many years, I’d go there by myself for a few days every summer to read; I’d average a book a day. Later, when I started writing, I’d go there to write.

One year, when I was in the last part of a writing and photography project on roadside crosses, I took my laptop and a printer to Indian Lodge and would work all day, and late into the night – as I worked, I’d print the photo of each roadside cross that I was writing about, and tape it on the wall. After a while, there was quite a gallery. One day, just after I’d gotten back from having lunch (sitting outside in the sun!), a member of the housekeeping staff knocked on my door – she wanted to know what I was working on. She and I, and two more members of the staff, had a nice chat about roadside crosses. They all knew someone who’d died along one road or another, and all of them had a cross placed at the accident scene. I’d photographed some of the places they were talking about.

It was a pivotal moment in the project.

Davis Mountains State Park, Texas
photographed 11.11.2010

Posted on November 9, 2013, in Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I liked to read about these public works projects that were intended to help citizens after the Great Depression. There are quite a lot of photos at the George Eastman House dedicated to these projects and I’m sure there is a lot of literature published on them that can be had at the library. The photo books are of a particular interest to me.

    This is an excellent photo, very simple. And unusual; instead of the black sky the foreground is (near) black.

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    • The common room at the Indian Lodge has quite a bit of information on the project, included photographs of the camps where the workers lived. The furniture in the original part of the Lodge was built as part of the project, too.

      It’s hard for me to like one of my shots that’s got a light sky, but this one is a rare exception….

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  2. You always write such fascinating narratives for your images, which makes them even more interesting. I really should put a little more effort in…

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    • Thank you, Karen,

      I’ve been making an effort all year to add more written stuff to the blog. I made the decision for several reasons – to keep myself from getting bored, to try to connect more with my readers – but the main reason was that, as much as I like to consider myself a writer, writing is HARD and photography is fun and easy, and I could tell that I was taking sort of the easy way out by not writing much (or anything) on the blog. It’s been interesting to watch it play out this year. Sometimes the photos want a lot of narrative, and other times not; I try not to force it when there’s not a lot to say. But at the same time, I keep a wary eye out for using “the photo didn’t have anything to say” as an excuse for being lazy!

      On your blog, I think writing too much more than what you already put on it would somehow weigh down your ethereal images…

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  3. I like this photograph – simple in all the right ways, but just enough detail in the dark to give it a lot of depth.
    This looks like a very nice place to stay, I can see why it has become part of your geography.
    I used to write a lot more in my blog, but when I started spending more time on processing images, I did not have enough to write as well. I think I lost some readers when I reduced my writing. But maybe it was because of the processing. I will never know! I like the balance you have found in your blog. Lots of quite short but interesting stories emerge with your photos.

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    • I like “part of your geography” which brings to mind a lot of the writings of William Least Heat-Moon. And yes, this area is certainly part of who I have become (or, am still working on becoming…)

      Ahh…the writing v. processing debate….

      Thanks for saying the balance I try to have on my blog is working. It’s hard (impossible) for me to be subjective about it.!

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  1. Pingback: White on white, 13 | One Day | One Image

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