This is a follow-up to the Winter Solstice Commute post where I wrote about the sign which informed me that the canal leg of my route would be closed for maintenance for a month and a half starting today. It's only a short section of the commute, relative to the whole, but I enjoy that stretch of gravel and water out of all proportion to the rest of the paved route, because it reminds me of the fun/long weekend rides I sometimes take along the canal path, I guess. So it's confirmed, the fences and construction vehicles were taking over this morning, and the section was completely closed off by the end of day return trip. It's the annual canal dry-up, when the canal boffins drain all the water and fix stuff. I will think positively, and assume that it will be a somehow better and more enjoyable (or at least less leaky and better smelling) canal when I can again commute down it on or around Feb 19.
But there are some compensations. First, the art above is being installed to coincide with the dry-up of the section of the Scottsdale Waterfront. This work is called "Hindsight is Always 20/20," by R.Luke Dubois. He created these lightboxes to resemble eye charts using words, ordered by frequency of occurrence, from the State of the Union Addresses of each of the presidents, according to the link. I repeat this information because of the potential evanescence of the page which currently hosts the description. Who knows if it will still be there on Feb 19, when I close the loop on the dry-up improvements obsession now starting to burn a permanent place in your subconscious? R. Luke's pages on the bitforms site may or may not (who can say?) outlast this blog and/or the scottsdalepublicart.org site, but it also invites comparisons, and I gotta say I prefer the light box form of his eye charts, viewed at night, along the canal, over the prints-on-a-wall version on bitforms. Anyway.
Second compensation of the dry-up is that they will be holding a fish round-up in the same area as the "Hindsight" lightbox installation. This link goes to page which according to its URL could have some staying power, but who knows, and which shows the fish wranglers ("fishboy" though better-formed from comparison with "cowboy" has an odd ring to it, a certain kinetic elusiveness) pulling white amurs out of a muddy ditch. I have, just before viewing the muddy ditch slide show, offered up to my daughter that we could ride over to the fish roundup on Saturday, but now fear I may have oversold it, and also realized that we won't be able to take the canal to get there. I'm still thinking positive. I'm hoping for a great showing by the fishboys. But I fear that by Saturday the whole place will look something like the picture below, from the eastern part of the city last weekend, which represents the Way of All Open Desert around here. I won't go all Abbey on you just now, but it was the bleakest thing I've seen in a long time. It has to be tough to be a coyote out there. Get up. Go ride.