A Side Trip

Did you ever see the 1985 movie Brazil?  It was a Kafkaesque dystopian story of a cog caught up in the gears of a hyper-bureaucratic society.  I don’t remember much of the story, but I do remember the end.  Sam, the main character — the cog — being tortured for some reason.  He is strapped down in a tall, cylindrical room that is open to the sky.  The big cheese and the torturer are there.  Then suddenly ropes come down from the top of the circular wall and resistance fighters rappel down them.  They release Sam and carry him out.  Someone drives him away from the torture chamber and eventually they enter a secret sanctuary that is very Eden-like.  Sam is happy.

Then the scene switches back to the torture chamber.  The big cheese and the torturer are looking down at Sam strapped to the table.  The cheese says, “You went too far.  You’ve lost him.”  They leave and Sam remains on the table, a small smile on his face, his mind obviously gone.

Well, I feel like Sam sometimes.  Therefore, today I will take us on a brief pictorial trip around the western U.S. with little commentary.


Columbia Gorge
Beach Grass with Haystack Rock, Lincoln City OR
Cannon Beach
Aug 19 1 road
Willamette National Forest


California Coast
Central coast
Joshua tree
Mojave Desert
Lake Tahoe morning mist
Lake Tahoe


Lonely road, morning
US 50, which Charles Kuralt dubbed “the loneliest road in America”
Open land
Somewhere in Nevada



Painted Desert
The Painted Desert
Zion National Park
Desert Bare 3
US 163 toward Monument Valley


Route 66 to Oatman
Historic Route 66
Cliff house
Montezuma Castle National Monument
Open land
Coronado National Forest

New Mexico:

Desert Bare 1
Chaco Culture National Historical Park
Bare tree and clouds
Santa Fe
Eastern NM vista
SR 104, eastern New Mexico


North Park
North Park
Mountain road
Somewhere in the mountains
Eastern Colorado
Eastern Colorado


Green River
Southwest Wyoming
Public Lands
West central Wyoming
Riverton to Tetons
South of the Tetons


Eastern Montana (2)
Eastern Montana
Montana Cattle Drive
Cattle drive
Montana willows
US 191 near West Yellowstone


North of Pocatello
North of Pocatello
Harvesting onions
Volcanic soil
Volcanic soil along the Snake River


Palouse 07
The Palouse
Mountain Air 5
North Cascades Highway
Quinalt Forest Path
Quinault rain forest


East of Chicken AK
From Chicken, Alaska toward the Yukon border
Sitka Sound
Sitka harbor
Woods Along the Indian River
Sitka rain forest

Hawaii: Even though this is one of the western states, I have no pictures.  I haven’t been there since I switched from film to digital and don’t want to root through the boxes of prints in the closet.  And perhaps this is already enough of a break.

Unlike Sam, I expect to be back in the real world soon.

– Kate

5 thoughts on “A Side Trip

  1. Brazil is one of my favorite movies…it has sly, witty re-stagings of many of the most famous scenes in cinema scattered throughout on top of everything else that makes it wonderful. Thanks for shots of many places in the west that I have never been to!


  2. Kate, I had mentioned to Andrea that you needed to publish your pandemic travels. When she said the cost of publishing with all your photos would be prohibitive, I said your prose is descriptive enough and can stand proudly on its own. Unfortunately, you will not be able to include this post. Plus, I’m sure you just wrote this because you were suffering from a case of wanderlust, perhaps it could be called… COW-99?
    Jan Wainscott

    Sent from my iPad


  3. Thanks for sharing all of these pictures!! The one with the “bike” and the Chaco National Historic Park makes my teeth rattle!! lol


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