monuments in the desert

I consider myself a person of moderate climates. I am cold way too easily, and sweat like a dog under the summer sun. Cold, I can endure, since it is quite easy to layer up with some good-quality fabrics. Extreme heat, on the other hand, is not possible to overcome easily. Your body needs to be okay with heat. Mine is not. DSC_0191That’s why the last few days were intense for me. I was in Death Valley National Park with a few friends of mine. Not the best idea to go to one of the hottest places on this planet, but I actually spent quite a lot of time in Yosemite National Park before Death Valley, so I was ready to go have some time in the scalding hot desert. The first few moments we arrived, we were in 2000 ft. elevation, and I wasn’t feeling the effects of the heat at that moment. But once we actually reached sea level (and below), that’s when ~100F temperatures hit and I started overheating like an old car. All I wanted to do was to enjoy the scenery inside the car which had blessed me with the good old air conditioning. However, things got quite interesting once we drove out of Death Valley to see the ghost town of Rhyolite. My friends were obsessed with gift shops and the like, so they decided to stop by what looks like an abandoned shack that had a shady “GIFT SHOP” sign. But, there was something interesting right behind that shack. It appeared to be a woman that was on her knees. DSC_0280A naked woman. In the middle of the desert. Pixelated. That hot, boring desert suddenly had turned into something intriguing, with a bunch of other statues and works of art spread around. I apologize for the horribly dirty lens, but I thought it added a nice touch to the picture (in addition to the high ISO speed I forgot to reduce). DSC_0293Apparently, the collection of statues belong to the Goldwell Open Air Museum, an “art gallery” made possible by Belgian artists. The gift shop we pulled next to had a really friendly employee, who told me the story of how this open air museum came to be. It was as fascinating as the sculptures themselves. Belgian sculptor Albert Szukalski became quite famous with his style, “ghosts”, and sculpted The Last Supper in his own style. He was fascinated with the desert landscape and originally wanted The Last Supper to be placed on Death Valley, which would make the sculpture even more dramatic. However, that did not happen and the sculpture was put right outside of Death Valley in early 90’s.DSC_0288After all that, artists from Belgium came to Rhyolite, bringing their piece of art to this remote, arid, scary part of the planet and decided to merge their art with the discordancy of Southwestern US. There are, of course, more than The Last Supper and Venus of Nevada in Goldwell. There’s “Ghost Rider”, another sculpture that came to life by Szukalski, shown below. Right behind the ghost rider, you can also see “Sit Here!” by Sofie Siegmann.DSC_0297 There are a few other sculptures I regret not to have photographed, but I suppose those ones should be left for you to discover. The contrast between the works of art and the surrounding environment was the reason I was incredibly driven towards this place. Before even starting to take pictures, I actually spent some time inside the “gift shop”, talking to someone who was carving a Native American flute as I started talking to him. I listened to him tell the story of this amazing setup, and he played one of the flutes he made. All I hope is I find something quite similar to Goldwell in one of my future journeys.

Bridger Bowl, MT

Compilation of some of the footage I had while skiing in Bridger Bowl, MT. I unfortunately twisted my knee about a month ago, so no more skiing for me this season.

Soundcloud

I made some stuff for grime  lovers.

Bookmarks

Decided to make bookmarks for my friends a couple of days ago. They are 1.6 inches in width. Used black pens with the thickness varying between 1 cm and 0.05 cm.

Bikes up!

Living in Bozeman, Montana definitely has its perks. Aside from amazing snow and opportunity to go snowboarding three days a week during winter, summer has treated me even better. When May came, everybody started wearing their prettiest dresses and started enjoying what summer in Bozeman has to offer. The transportation dramatically switched from cars to bikes and longboards; weekends were all about camping, fishing and enjoying the outdoors. What did I do? Well, I biked around everywhere. But the thing is, I was never happy with the way it looked. I didn’t have one of those fancy cruisers; it was just a bike I bought from a garage sale for $30. So the first thing I did after buying my bike was to spray paint it to black, and put a sticker on it. Then I went to buy some pens, so that I can draw on the bike. Before I even painted it black, it looked like this(I didn’t have a picture of my own so I stole it from here):

Being the fat, lazy, useless person I am, I postponed this `doodling on my bike` thing for so long. So this weekend, I decided to make myself a nice espresso with  almond milk, put some music on and get to work. I bought three different colors. Red, Purple and Teal. I thought those three would be the best choices to be on a black bike. After two days of work, here’s what I had:

I have been thinking about what to draw, since I am a terrible drawer, I thought the  best option is to draw a bunch of random circles and lines over the main two bars of my beautiful bike:

On the bar where the seat is located, I drew these little bugs:

And as a last touch, my roommate suggested to put a quote which is perfect for a bike that will take me anywhere in this town, from Dr. Seuss:

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

In the end, I had a bike that I now enjoy riding and honestly, more prone to theft. But having this beauty is a risk I’m willing to take.

Niagara Falls in Summer

(Not exactly summer, but still, it was a warm and sunny day)

Who would have thought!! Last week I went to see Niagara Falls again!! A lot has changed since then, of course. I have finished my Bachelor’s studies, changed my hair color(big deal) and unfortunately, officially became unemployed. Well, change is not always good, but it can bring some interesting things like spiritual content to your life. Which is exactly what happened to me. My parents came all the way from Turkey to see the commencement in Montana and then we traveled to Ohio to see my brother. He decided that since mom and dad are here, they need to see lots of places, including Niagara Falls! So why is this so exciting?

Aside from my inexplicable respect to massive water bodies(I almost cried when I sat half an hour next to Nile), I had visited Niagara Falls last winter. It was an amazing experience for me because I had never seen it before, and it left me in awe. I took lots of pictures that day, recorded everything with pictures and I remember promising myself taking the exact same pictures if I ever come back to the Falls. Well, I did come back; I did not take the exact same pictures, but I got some pretty good ones that I would like to show you. This time, I didn’t have to take the train to go to Buffalo, nor I had a broken lens and went around the town for 2 hours searching for a cheap 18-55 mm lens. This time, my brother and I drove three and a half hours to get to Niagara falls and stayed there for only two hours because we had plenty of other things to do for the next day. Trying to remember what I did the last time, I walked straight to the far side of the falls again, this time to be welcome by rainbows, instead of an icy `CLOSED` sign:

It was so lively, I couldn’t believe it was the same place I visited six months ago! There were a bunch of people, they were filming, there were children running around and seagulls just trying to drink from the water (but being the dumb flying rats they are, they were getting caught in the current, so they had to fly back to their previous position in every three seconds). It was simply breathtaking to see all this, and this time it was hot, people were wearing their tank tops, flip flops, sunglasses and enjoying the day! This time, the mist coming from the falls felt like a refreshing gift from the gods, cooling our body and soothing our souls.Our trip to Niagara Falls wasn’t planned very well, though. That is why we had to skip the Maid of The Mist trip that I really wanted to take(mainly because I had a GoPro). We still walked to the observation deck and had a proper view of the whole Falls area. I was once again, left speechless, all thanks to mother nature. Something had woken up inside me seeing all the stuff that was once covered in thick ice come to life; from insects to birds, from bacteria to huge tourist groups(as you can imagine, number of people was way higher than winter).

I thought about how to end this post for at least half an hour. I just didn’t want to repeat the stuff that I said six months ago. Going back to the post, I had said that I considered myself lucky to have seen it. I guess I could say, I feel extremely happy that I got to see this place twice, once in winter and once in summer, witness all the beauties that world shows us, no matter the season. I remember a friend telling me to visit it during fall, and now that I think of it, it seems highly likely!! Fingers crossed!!!

Largest Caricature in the World

Talented illustrator Erdil Yaşaroğlu(from Istanbul, Turkey) and Samsung wanted to send the aliens a message by imitating their crop circles on a very large area. Cheers. It looks amazing!!

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