“I wish this road would go on forever”. I thought that many a time on my road trip in America last year. I quite often still drive around the back roads of New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah in my mind. I have come to realise how special it was and I wish to present some alternative takes from my road trip.
Stories of journeys and road trips are I think part of the human fabric of exploration. The promise of exploring new horizons and new adventures just over the next hill or around the next corner. The feeling of complete freedom travelling through wide open spaces stretching to infinity. The feeling of the journey and the exploration itself being more important than the destination.
Hello darkness my old friend. Personal stuff saw me in a black hole battling depression and fatigue for most of my 12,500 kilometer long journey. It is somewhat odd I replay this road trip so often. Yet this state of mind possibly made it much more intense. My camera, my car and the road became my best friends, my sanctuary and my little world with an inhabitant of 1. The landscapes of the South West provided the visuals; music perfect for the road by artists like Dave Matthews, Counting Crows, Josh Ritter, Mountain Goats, Simon & Garfunkel, Alexi Murdoch provided the sounds to my own private road movie. There were many days I wished to never arrive, willing the road to go on forever.
These are just a few ‘polaroids’ from what was my view of the world as I drove through America. At the time a quite desolate state of mind offering a glimpse into fascinating desert life in America’s South West.
Very Large Array in New Mexico. This really is geek heaven, if you’re a space geek as much as me
you will shout in joy (I did) as you drive over the mountain range and see the San Augustin plains and the dishes of VLA.
The town of Beatty in Nevada, home to about 800 people.
I spent 7 days here exploring Death Valley and developed a real affection for this town.
New Mexico has some of the best back roads for road trips. Stunning, perfect, wide open landscapes.
Remains of the mining town of Rhyolite. America has quite a few of those eerie but interesting ghost towns.
Slab City in California is a whole project in itself.
I would love to spend more time here, capture portraits of the people.
As I look at these ‘polaroids’ I look back in time to a person I once was. Mostly only the polaroids remain. The person I am now gets inspired to capture a completely different side of America, a side different to the classical landscapes I certainly still love and captured on my first road trip (see my story I’ve come to look for America and the USA category on my blog). In contrast to this, I wish to feature the people and stories of the alternative America in my next photo journey stateside. I wish to capture stories like the day I had lunch in a great local New Mexican diner and I found myself the only person in the diner not wearing a cowboy hat. Like travelling back in time when I visited towns along the remnants of the old Route 66, towns where time ended when the interstate was built. Like the night I walked the dark back streets of Los Angeles in a jetlag coma, to feel what that was like.
I look much forward to one day traveling the American back roads again; hoping that the roads go on forever but in a world of many inhabitants, not just one.
PS. I shall attempt more of these ‘alternative’ images posts. They give me an opportunity to showcase interesting images not featured in my fine art galleries, give me an opportunity to write differently and to really play with some fun alternative processing in Photoshop.