A Long Drive
You ever go on a long drive through the desert, perhaps coming home from Las Vegas? This last week I was in Vegas for a few days for a convention called Shot Show. Admittedly, I'm not the biggest fan of Las Vegas but I do get a sense of excitement when going there. The company I contract for booked me into one of the fancier hotels and that's a fun perk. There's lots of good food, fun with coworkers, and just getting a few days away from the norm. But, it comes with being in a huge crowd and lots of walking (which my fat butt needs).
Oddly enough, I didn't really do any personal photography this trip. The exception being a Martin Luther King Jr. statue, but I'll post about that in a separate post.
There and Back
After two days, my job with the show was done and it was time to go home. Getting to Vegas takes me a little over three hours to drive from Orange County. I finished one audiobook, "The Horse and His Boy," and got pretty far into another audiobook, "Girl in the Band."
The drive home always takes a little longer. Leaving Las Vegas (no pun intended), I felt tired but also glad to get away from the crowds. All I had ahead of me was the open highway. A drive through the desert can be fun, but also a bit boring. For the most part I'm just trying to get home as quick as possible.
Settling into my seat, I put back on the audiobook, set the cruise-control, and I was off. The Girl in the Band is Kim Gordon's personal story about her life with art in various types. It was quite inspiring to hear.
Feeling the Call to Go
On the drive, I was noticing all the cool mountains that seemed far away, wishing I had time to stop and make some photos. I made a stop for gas in a place called Jean and it felt like the middle of nowhere. I noticed a long long road leading from the gas station away from the highway, into an area with mountains. The question to drive there popped into me in the form of an urge...Go! I didn't have anywhere to be technically, at least not until the next week. So I went.
I was excited to see where it went and I found myself in a sort of ghost town called Goodsprings. It's only 8 or so miles from highway 15, but it felt like I stepped off the grid a bit. I found an old saloon, empty shacks, and a dirt road leading even further.
Aside from feeling a bit out there, I noticed how quiet it all was. Then from nearby, I could hear some kind of birds making a weird noise. From out of the bushes came a bunch of them and at first I couldn't tell if they were roadrunners or quail. But watching how they ran, I guessed quail. I had never seen quails before, at least not outside of a Looney Tunes cartoon.
After a little time, it dawned on me that I did have somewhere to be tonight, so I began to hightail it. But, I noted how I liked this quiet town (to visit) and remembered I should check out Bodie.
Back On the Highway
After Goodsprings, I was back to the usual sight of highway 15. Feeling inspired from the audiobook, I had the camera on my passenger seat, feeling ready for more. However, I didn't really have time to stop and explore like I wanted. So, I began to just photograph while driving (don't tell the cops).
If you've ever done this drive, you're probably familiar with much of it and also have the similar feeling of it being pretty, but you're just trying to get home.
The day changes so quick, from noon-bright light, sunsets skies, to darkness. You see snow off in the horizon, powerlines obstructing the view, you stare at the sun directly in front of you, space out on long straights, all just in time to make it back during rush hour (with a strong need to pee...TMI?)
For those who go on long drives, this is for you. What are some fun random stops you've made on a roadtrip?