Thursday, September 26th

Land Art - Journal Entry No. 10

1:38 pm - Apache National Forest Campsite, New Mexico

By now it’s apparent that almost all of the places we’ve visited induce an overwhelming sense of romance. From watching the sunset at the Grand Canyon to sharing a glass of wine on the porch at the Lightning Field, one would assume and expect that certain relationships would take form. Interestingly enough, I’ve found that most of the Land Art Road Trip members are in pre-existing relationships and came unaccompanied by their partners for this long journey. Without much alone time, internet access or cell phone reception, how does one maintain a long distance relationship for an entire month? It’s not easy and being in one myself, I’ve understood the difficulties on both ends. He can rarely contact me, and I can’t speak openly with him no matter the setting. For the artists joining the trip from Europe, there’s the added difficulty of a large time difference and the expense of international phone calls. Yet regardless of long distance love, there’s been internal tension developing throughout our travels. Last night, it seemed to have dissipated in favour of a massive shift in the group’s attitude. Now everyone feels comfortable enough that the fear of being judged has dissolved. It all started last night at Snuffy’s Bait and Tackle.

Snuffy’s is a charming little tackle shop and restaurant across from Lake Quemado in the Apache National Forest. It is the closest piece of civilization to our campsite, providing a bit of culture in lush New Mexico. The shop consists of a tiny store front with snacks and fishing supplies for sale. On its side is an outdoor deck with tables, chairs and two adorable tabby kittens roaming around it. There you’ll find an entrance into a modest sized restaurant and bar. The dining space is definitely quirky, with forest green printed wallpaper and vintage paraphernalia hung all over the walls. An elderly man with a warm smile tends the bar while a sweet lady of the same age serves restaurant goers. Tonight, Snuffy’s is entirely reserved for members of the Land Art Road Trip. They were happy to have a large group come in and we were excited to enjoy their famous Snuffalo burgers and reasonably priced drinks. Needless to say, it was the perfect combination and no one left that building without a smile on their face.

A warm campfire and many drinks later, the perfect party began to ensue at our campsite. Flirtation escalated beyond trifling; it wouldn’t surprise me if some individuals made decisions that would upset those waiting for them back at home. No one judged and no one really had the right to. Life throws many curveballs, especially when you’re young;  in this circumstance, it’s easy to remove yourself from the people involved in the life you’ve grown accustomed to. We’re very far away from that, with a group of new people, experiencing something that will change us all forever. I don’t know what will happen to these people and the new situations they’ve created, but I do know that I am not making that mistake. It’s not that I haven’t fallen into that trap before; I’m no saint. Sadly, I’ve deceived people I committed myself to on my travels in the past. No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. I’ve learned from a similar experience that no matter how beautiful the stars in the sky are tonight, I’m not burning the bridges I built in New York for them.

I borrowed a friend’s phone and sneaked away from the group. Luckily, I was able to get a few minutes to talk privately with my boyfriend. Thus far, the distance and lack of communication have been very frustrating for both of us and tends to lead to conversations that are normally short and straight to the point. As a result, we always end them unfulfilled and dissatisfied, which has left us both with further feelings of loneliness. Despite the disconnection, one of the things that makes our relationship easier is that we genuinely have each other’s best interests at heart. We understand that our professional growth is something we both individually really want, so being apart so that I could invest in a project like this was a no brainer. That is what I really love about dating him: he will never stop me from succeeding, he will only assist me and that goes for me to him as well. Tonight, I came to fully understand and value that aspect of our connection. It’s so important for a strong willed, career oriented woman to have a partner that supports her dreams. With a man like that, you can have the career you want and the love you desire. Seriously, what New York City female does not want that? That’s something I just can’t give up for some lustful night in the woods. 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Photography Credit: Rosanna Bach

Rosanna Bach photographer, writer, and storyteller was born in Switzerland in 1990. She completed a BBA in Design Management at Parsons the New School for Design in 2012. After completing her degree, Rosanna moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina where she lived for five months working on a personal project, "Fear Builds Walls." As a result she is fluent in English, Spanish and German. In 2013 Rosanna graduated from the Documentary and Photojournalism program at the International Centre of Photography. She now lives and works in New York City.

Originally published on Promote & Preserve.