In Oct 2015, I posted two photos showing the challenge that power lines can be for the casual photographer. Well, OK, the challenge for me. Sometimes I just fail to see them. Sometimes I see them all too clearly, but there’s just no place to stand to get a photo of a beautiful vista that doesn’t include the power line running through it. I even thought about starting a photo blog — A Power Line Runs Through It — a little riff on A River Runs Through It.
Here’s where I admit that I never read the eponymous Pulitzer Prize candidate, and can’t remember much about the film, but I did really enjoy a natural sciences book about the Grand Canyon that I read more than 20 years ago. For some reason, I conflated that book with the River-Runs-Through-It title. The book, sadly, is out of print, and my best search techniques did not turn up even a hint of it, so I have no idea what its title really was.
Anyway. A Power Line Runs Through It — the blog — never came to a corner of the internet near you, at least not sponsored by me. But I have continued to note beautiful and yet unphotographable-sans-drone vistas. There are many such on the Apache Trail: a narrow, twisty road from Phoenix to Tortilla Flat, thence to Fish Creek Lookout, and from there to Roosevelt Dam on an unpaved, steeper, and even narrower track. On the segments I’ve been on, there are almost no pullouts but there are lots of power lines. Maybe that’s because the area is downstream of Theodore Roosevelt Dam.
On this latest trip, I decided to make lemonade. Herewith, the power lines of Fish Creek Lookout. If only there weren’t those distracting vistas in some of the backgrounds . . .
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Here’s a long shot you probably did not miss: the Kindle version of The Explorations of the Colorado River and its Canyons by Joh Wesley Powell that appears to have used the paperback edition cover on its “front page.” It sounds like the sort of book that would melt into Norman MacLean’s A River Runs through It and has been available long enough to do so.
I am not sure you have ameliorated my feelings about the power lines that run across the south end of our property, but I will work on the lemonade approach.
Laurna – Yes, I did see that, but “my” book is modern – likely written in the 1970s. The author collapses several years of raft trips through the Grand Canyon into one narrative, and hangs geological, archaeological, and ecological (at least) segments off that structure. I shall keep looking. As for the power lines in your own backyard, I’m not sure that they’re as amenable to reframing as these were. Everyday contact would curb the thrill, for sure.
Power lines and the way we delete them from our day-to-day vision. My roots are in So.Calif. and a few years ago my sister and drove down the Balboa Peninsula. It was so restful and the house/streets/quaint, narrow back alleys reminded me of small villages in Italy, the Rivera. Then Betsy pointed out why. All the power lines were now underground, the poles gone, at huge expense to each household, but what a difference it made to living!
I didn’t realize how (subconsciously) anxious-making those poles and messy lines were above me all the time — each year the city of Newport Beach takes down more poles and wires, like a wand over the city, evaporating tensions. And probably some subliminal electronic buzzing noises.
That the power lines are now underground and, presumably, subject to flooding was overruled for aesthetics. For once.
Barbara – When the City of Ottawa completely tore up the street in front of our downtown townhouse, about 15 years ago, we were disappointed to discover they weren’t going to bury the power lines while they were there. “Expensive” seems to be le mot juste for this activity, but I share your appreciation for the result.