One flew over the dream nest

Having been on a ski trip to the north-west of the United States with her Franco-American companion François Moncorgé, Oona Duroy delivers her travel impressions illustrated with silver photos nibbled by a recalcitrant shutter.

When the young crow leaves its nest after five or six weeks of existence, it leaves to search for its gang. The one with whom he roosts in the most remote forests, glides along the sheerest cliffs or dives into the steepest gullies. Playful, mischievous and provocative, the young crow feeds on anything. Season after season it adapts to all the Earth offers it, indifferent to its reputation as a bird of good or bad omen.

Oona Skari

Having arrived at maturity, we also flew the nest one December 6th on the search for a gang of North American accomplices. Montana, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Idaho bursting with tetrapods on the quest for powdery turns. In the United States, there is still a lively road trip culture . A full tank at 26 dollars greatly facilitates the flight of the young corvids. The open spaces and temperatures which ice the plumage make the car an almost indispensable. The order of magnitude is changed.

Oona Skari

The bus with its free wifi and heating is the reference point for the homeless in the quest for somewhere warm. They let it take them to the four corners of the town, gather a little warmth for the day. The winter is cold and the distances are serious. In the ecological battle, the impact of the car on the ozone layer doesn’t seem to be a part of the equation. One has to understand ; in these small villages the car is the symbol of protection and escape. And for those who like gliding downhill, to reach the mountains and the beautiful snow covered slopes can necessitate a drive of more than 2 hours before taking a snow scooter in order to plunge a few miles further in to the unknown. Love of the mountains and the protection of them is sometimes difficult to come to terms with on this scale of immensity. In this land of extremes, and sometimes incoherence, the road trip has a taste of the unreal and of disproportion. This land of all possibilities oscillates between truth and illusion. So as not to loose control in the case of the imminent collapse of the country, hunting and self-sufficiency are shared pleasures.

Oona Skari

Despite these differences, the passion for curves crosses the Atlantic and produces the same beliefs. From nest to nest, the gangs of young corvids welcome us. The Mountain Collective Pass, key to the entrance to the big ski areas in the US, take us to Big Sky in Jackson passing by Alta, Snowbird and Sun Valley. In order to resort ski (prepared runs/trails, Ed.) in the best conditions, it is customary to ski without a backpack so as to carve on the fresh snow, hair blowing in the wind, with carefreeness as a companion. Except when the snow deposits its wintery coating and decides to cover us all. Astronomical quantities of dry and light snow accumulate and swallow up all traces of civilisation. Only an animal armed with wide planks will be able to escape.

Oona Skari

Each resort falls head over heels to be the « best resort skiing in America » , posted four by four on gigantic advertising hoardings. Because, in this country, one has to be the best or nothing. It is therefore the best snow and the best ski runs which becomes the best place place to live. Utah’s tourist office’s site has appropriated the title of Jim Steenburgh’s book Secrets of the greatest snow on earth . Far from the oceans, the snow is less humid. This continental climate offers an abundant dry and light duvet to the States trapped between North Dakota and the west coast. In this flood of information where optimism reigns as a true leader, it is sometimes difficult to discern the reality in this profusion of illusory words.

Oona Skari

This excess of optimism shouldn’t however be criticised. Coming from France where the complaints office is very often snowed under, a pinch of positive thoughts a day produce the greatest good. In the country of dreams, nightmares are never far away. Excessive consumption tinges with its veil of optimism the shady side of a country with shaky roots. Gigantic refrigerators overflowing with food, the large panoply of four season cars and grotesque supermarkets capable of feeding three times the surface of the United States. Well-known facts that contribute to a sense of disproportion and unreality once one is there. And yet, the small community of corvids manages to survive in the midst of this continuous flow of epidermal temptations. Perched high in their nests, far from the ground and closer to that which is tangible, they protect themselves from aggression. The austerity of the meteorological conditions, the sharp rock, the long, mind-feeding approaches construct the crow’s carapace. Thick-skinned and far from naïve, it flies over the reality of a country which is sinking into illusion. The illusion of being able to get away with it while taking the bait of consummation, a Russian roulette of power.

Oona Skari

In the country of dreams, all is possible but without protection. There are therefore moments of ecstasy, harsh light which pierce the fabric to the core and the acerbic smiles of the acolytes which make this life addictive The plains with infinite skies, the disproportionate chains of mountains, the entire families of wild animals who cross between territories and migrate under their thick winter coats looking for food and wild areas. From nest to nest, we have spent time with these wild birds passionate and with an unconditional love for nature. Because the distances are astronomical and the glacial temperatures don’t frighten them, they are strengthened by them. In this era of paranoia, at least they don’t lie.

Oona Skari

In reality, it felt good in the corner of the camp fire, which managed to break down the wall of cold (-15 °C) which surrounded us. It was one o’clock in the morning and the few friends who had stayed were drinking cans of Pale Ale bought at the local petrol station. Imitations and tantalising jokes about the president abounded ceaselessly. The cold which had sheared though me ceased to be a problem.The circle we formed was a barricade. Connections were woven and the community spirit rose, inserting itself in the air, in turn wrapping us with a reassuring feeling halfway between dream and reality.

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