24 years

Alan and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary at the Spiral Jetty in 2002, 16 years ago. I love Robert Smithson's earth work. t's a magical place: simple, elegant, and set in the eerie desert landscape of the Great Salt Lake.

The long drive took us through desolate sage brush country, all muted green, beige and grey, punctuated by the bright yellow of sunflowers along the road. There's little sign of human habitation in this desert: some wire fences, a gravel road and the occasional cattle guard.

The Spiral Jetty comes as a surprise in this uninhabited country, a deliberate work of art made only of rocks, a walkway leading out to a vast spiral in the lake.

A lot has happened to us in the last 16 years.

We've lost parents and gained grand children; we've navigated medical challenges; we've traveled to such places as Uzbekistan, Japan, India and S.E. Asia, and we've retired from work we loved.

The jetty has changed, too. The first time I went out there, in 1992 with my friend Sarah, it was so far underwater, we couldn't see it. By 2002, salt covered rocks punctuated the surface of the water, a shimmering white against the blue water. Alan and I ruined the shoes we were wearing as we stumbled round the spiral, ankle deep in water, trying not to slip on the jagged salt surfaces.

This time, as the photos above shows, the jetty is high and dry, sitting in a bed of sand, the rocks washed clean of salt encrustations.

One thing hasn't changed, and that's our deep respect and affection for each other. We're partners and friends. We still enjoy each other's company, and still laugh together. 16 years after we last visited the Spiral Jetty, we're grateful to be celebrating our 24th wedding anniversary.


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