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36.000 x 48.000 x 1.000 inches
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Painting - Acrylic On Canvas
Inspired by a weekend trip to Great Basin National Park in eastern Nevada, moraine is a dedication to the receding glacier at the base of Wheeler Peak. This is the only glacier in the state of Nevada and is likely to disappear within 20 years due to the effects of global warming. Indeed, there is only a small sliver of the glacier left. What is most visible is the rock field that has been deposited by the glacier over the years. The boulders have beautiful colors of reds and browns accented with chalky white scratches. Passing over them is like walking among chunks of chocolate.
Great Basin National Park is wonderfully rugged. We hiked up to the base of the glacier on July 4th after a long drive up to the park for a long holiday weekend. Up close, it really seemed like there was little left of the glacier; just one small patch of grey ice. That night, there was no moon, and the brightness of the stars over our campsite was amazing! It's how the skies over Great Basin often appear. The next day, we had a clear blue sky and lighter than usual winds. We hiked up to Wheeler Peak, Nevada's second highest peak at an elevation of 13,100', then over to Jefferson Davis Peak, which is slightly lower than Wheeler. The traverse between the two peaks is very rugged with a lot of boulder hopping. From the top of Jefferson Davis Peak, we decided to descend back to our campsite via a scree slope on the north side. We'll probably never go that way again; it was tedious and dangerous, as the scree is chunky, loose, and potentially ankle-breaking. Near the bottom, of the scree slope, I stopped to take a breath, and noticed a very peculiar sound: rushing water below the boulder field. We were sitting on a hidden river! The amount of water gurgling and rushing under us with no snow in sight on the rocks above was strange and creepy to listen to. It took us two hours to descend the scree slope over this rock-covered river. Lucky for us there wasn't a sudden rockslide to bury us forever! At the bottom of the scree slope, we had to do more boulder hopping before we arrived back in the bristlecone forest located below the two big peaks. Most of the trees in the bristlecone forest are thousands of years old. Some resemble the wrinkled and twisted old spirits of people. I think I've found in them the subject of a future painting...
September 11th, 2008
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