Blogging live from Spiral Jetty

Never say never, but this may be the first blog ever posted live from the monumental earthwork on the edge of the Great Salt Lake called Spiral Jetty.

Spiral Jetty, Robert Smithson's famous 1970 earthwork on the edge of the Great Salt Lake. Daniel Terdiman/CNET

ROZEL POINT, Utah--"The highest tech thing I've ever seen work out here is acar and a camera," Hikmet Loe says to me as we sit, eating cheese and crackers and apples in the middle of nowhere, just feet away from the wonderful earthwork, Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty.

The project was built here, on the edge of the Great Salt Lake, about two and a half hours from Salt Lake City, in April 1970, just as the first Earth Day happened and kicked off a (slow-moving) worldwide movement.

An earthwork, for those not familiar with the concept, is large-scale artwork that is "built on the land with materials of the land, and brings consciousness to the place that you might not otherwise have because you might not go to that place if it weren't there," said Loe, an expert on Spiral Jetty and an art historian who teaches at Westminster College in Salt Lake City.

Spiral Jetty is, perhaps, the most famous earthwork, and being here for the first time, I can see why. One might ask how powerful a jetty built of volcanic basalt could be, but to walk on it, to see the salt crystals under and by your feet, to see the broad expanse of the lake and the flocks of pelicans soaring overhead, is to understand.

I'll be posting a full story and photo gallery on it Saturday, as part of my Road Trip 2009 project. But for now, since I've got Inmarsat's BGAN satellite modem with me, I wanted to take a shot at what might be, as Loe put it, the first live-blog ever posted from here.

Stay tuned for more.

For the next several weeks, Geek Gestalt will be on Road Trip 2009. After driving more than 12,000 miles in the Pacific Northwest, the Southwest and the Southeast over the last three years, I'll be writing about and photographing the best in technology, science, military, nature, aviation and more in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota and Colorado. If you have a suggestion for someplace to visit, drop me a line. And in the meantime, join the Road Trip 2009 Facebook page and follow my Twitter feed.

 

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