High Plains Sunset, Mono Lake, CA

May 9: I'm in a wonderful place that draws lots of tourists, yet I immediately get a sense of local perspective, not only staying in a nice home but learning what the hosts like and know about the landscape. The place is not a spectacle for my curiosity but, at least briefly, something I feel I belong to... And I have enough confidence now in what I'm doing to welcome the hosts' expectations as a useful challenge. It's great being left alone for the work day with few distractions but with friendly, enthusiastic hosts to look forward to...

LATER: Although I'm working well and very happy to be here, there's an underlying uneasiness -- the strain of the road and of being, in the end, essentially on a solitary journey, adrift -- making good connections yet cut off from the reassurance of roots and binding ties. I fought off stomach pains all morning. Took an afternoon drive and did three more paintings before dinner.

I've done more good work in the last 24 hours than I usually could count on in a week or two.