The 340-ton boulder that is destined to sit on the lawn behind the Los Angeles County Museum of Art began its long-delayed trek last night, after suitable festivities at the Stone Valley Materials quarry in Riverside County where the rock was discovered. The journey began just after 10:30 p.m., "the most talked about slow-speed odyssey since O.J. Simpson’s Bronco," says the story at ZevWeb.
A crowd of several hundred cheered and shivered as the behemoth began its epic journey. Covered in white shrink-wrap to ward off taggers, it rode on a massive red transporter and looked, under the vehicle’s bright lights, like a well-lit iceberg....
That Thursday night’s festive send-off even happened is a bureaucratic miracle of sorts. Although millions of dollars in transportation costs are being underwritten by corporate donor Hanjin Shipping, the move required delicate and sometimes contentious negotiations with 22 cities and four counties. As early as Tuesday morning, some municipalities were still demanding various concessions from the museum in exchange for permits.
For the next nine days, The Rock will be cradled on its 299-foot-long, 27-foot-wide steel carriage as it travels on surface streets at speeds of less than 5 mph. Crews of workers will rush ahead to make sure utility and power lines are kept clear.
The Rock reached its first stop before dawn at a wide-open strip of private property at Mission Boulevard and Bellegrave Avenue in Glen Avon. It will spend all of Wednesday there before setting off in darkness on its next leg, which, if all goes according to plan, will get it as far as Mission Boulevard and Grove Avenue, near LA/Ontario International Airport.
LACMA director Michael Govan was at the quarry Tuesday night, but not artist Michael Heizer. The museum has posted a gawker's guide to the move with details on locations, dates and times, and the latest route map. The LA Times' Deborah Vankin is following the move with tweets and blog items.