[44/100 Strangers]: Claudia

In the southern portion of the Petrified Forest National Park there is an opportunity to hike an easy trail to reach the Agate House.  The destination is the 1000-year-old excavated pueblo dwelling with partially reconstructed walls made of chunks of petrified wood. Here‘s one of my images of it.

The day was hot. The winds were hot.  Park visitors weren’t straying far from the Rainbow Forest Museum. My reluctant posse needed prodding, but all did eventually make the easy mile walk to reach our windy, desolate spot at the Agate House. Once there, we found a bench and that’s where they decided to partake of a picnic lunch.

While they ate, I went about the business of making some photographs. I noticed a couple approaching the Agate house from the trail. Since my people were eating, it was otherwise silent except for the whistle of the wind gusts.

The couple was speaking in German, and once they reached me, we became acquainted. I spoke primarily with the woman; her companion separated from us to make his own photographs of the scenery from another vantage point on the hill.

Smartly wearing a desert sun hat, and speaking in perfect English, I met Claudia, 44/100 of my Strangers.


[44/100 Strangers]: Claudia

Home for Claudia is Munich, Germany. She is a therapist, although she used to be a travel agent. The experience gave her an extensive knowledge of many foreign destinations and an enthusiasm for travel outside of Germany. Claudia has a twelve-year old daughter who stayed behind at home with her daughter’s father.

On this occasion, Claudia was traveling for a two-week holiday with her boyfriend. The pair had come to the Petrified Forest NP after visiting Phoenix, AZ. After this park, they were planning a jump to the Pacific Coast for the remainder of their visit to the United States.

We exchanged emails, and took photographs of each other at the site. In Claudia’s photograph I used the Agate House as her background.

We left the site together and walked back on the trail to the main origination point. Our conversation touched on the wildflowers being seen along the way; and the joys of speaking more than one’s own language to enable more interesting experiences meeting people while traveling.

5 responses to “[44/100 Strangers]: Claudia

    • Thank you! I am pleased that you enjoyed meeting Claudia with me. The 100 Strangers project is so rewarding.

      Martino Hesse, a fellow Flicker photographer who has just shown his second stranger portrait to the project group, said: “‘Each person is a cosmic singularity’, and in that way each one of us is a miracle and each person is beautiful. When I’ve been taking the portraits of strangers and sharing a moment with them and knowing something about their lives I can feel that I’m a little closer to be a better person.’ ”

      So well said, and so true.


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