My daughter Emily joined me on this trip after I hired her to draw a map and various illustrations for use with the Going Alone and The Good Life book projects and website. Emily came with me all the way out to Siberia, where we trekked around the ghost town in 104 degree heat, noting landmarks and discussing how these factor into the adventures related in my book and in particular in the chapter titled "The Anxiety Hike." Emily left her own delible mark upon the place in the form of art which she rendered below the rafters of the Writing Bridge. In a sense, she may have met the very same dead muse which inspires my own work here, though perhaps this is just fatherly wishful thinking...
My daughter and I sighted this long string of high-powered supercars: Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Maseratis, McLaren and more, racing along a lonely stretch of Route 66 between Ludlow and Amboy, California.
My daughter joins me at Siberia to learn about the ruins and guess at the stories of the lives which were once lived at this place and which echo through broken bottles and rusted cans and stacked stone foundations, and even the forgotten graves in the wastes surrounding this community of no more. And while here, the muse seemed to strike, and Emily asked for my chalk so she could scribble her inspirations upon the wooden beams below the Writing Bridge. Such an excellent day together with my girl. What a very good use of time.
While Emily works to enliven the wastes below the bridge, I relate the final chapter of Going Alone, which both acknowledges and repudiates our human tendency to assign agency, will and purpose where none may actually exists, and exactly where we desire some external support and affirmation of our own weak and so very mortal protests against the finality and permanence of death; our own colorful chalk marks in dust upon the fading infrastructure of the cosmos.
My name is Kurt Bell.
You can learn more about The Good Life in my book Going Alone.
Be safe... But not too safe.