I had just crossed the state line, going from western Montana to the northeast panhandle area of Idaho. As I rounded a gentle curve through the mountains, this was the view.
I went about a mile before I decided I couldn’t let it go, so I found a place to turn around and went back. Look at these cars. How could a photographer resist?
There was a sort of order in the chaos: all the cars were decades old, rusted out wrecks long past their usefulness. Only they were still useful in one sense, as roadside art by some kind of madman creator.
They weren’t throw up on that hill like it was a junkyard. No, sir. Someone had lined them up, made sure these cars were facing that way and the next bunch were facing the other way. There’s some crazy logic in there, although it’s not obvious except in the symmetry of the end result.
I kept thinking that if I’d found this spot with my Dad, he wouldn’t have left till he’d told me about every car: year, make, and model, and if he’d owned one like it back in the day.
Three and a half years he’s been gone, and seeing something like this place makes it feel like yesterday. He gave me an appreciation of cars, old and new, fast and loud, sleek and sporty, new and old. If I wasn’t his daughter, I probably would have driven on by this thing, but being his daughter, I couldn’t.
Is this place accidental or artistic, who knows? It’s cool either way. Yep, you would have loved it, Dad.
The car has become the carapace, the protective and aggressive shell, of urban and suburban man.