13 Nov
2013
Posted in: photography, travel
By    Comments Off on Photos from the Passenger Side

Photos from the Passenger Side

selfie in side mirror, photos passenger side

You’ll find me taking photos from the passenger side of the vehicle when we travel. We take quite a few trips, and all are road trips. We have yet to take the family on a flight. My husband is the driver which is fine by me. I prefer to sit on the passenger side and take in the view or sometimes, lack of a view. These photos are all from my passenger side vantage point.

Iron mountain, photos passenger side

We’ve driven to Chicago, San Juan Island off the coast of Washington, Four Corners, San Antonio, TX, Oceanside, CA , Las Vegas, NV and lots of points in between. I realize family road trips aren’t for every family. Some people prefer to set themselves up in one location and milk that area for everything it’s worth. I prefer to make the journey part of the trip. We’ve been to little-known national parks (Guadalupe Mountains anyone?) and national monuments I didn’t know existed (Capulin Volcano National Monument). We’ve drawn on standing Cadillacs at Cadillac Ranch outside of Amarillo, TX and visited a museum about UFOs and aliens in Roswell, NM. None of those places would ever have been a destination if it weren’t for us driving.

carbon county, photos passenger side

I tease my husband on every trip that someday I’ll publish a coffee table book of photos from the passenger side. I keep my camera with me in the seat, ready to snap a photo of a sign, a road, the sunset or the wildlife. I don’t require the vehicle to slow down and some photos have tell-tale bug splotches and dirt sitting on the windshield. I take the photos to capture what I see as the essence of our country. Americans are blessed to live in this large country that is so different from one area to the next.

Badlands, photos passenger side

I’m glad my children have experienced giant trees towering above their heads, orca whales flipping their tails just off a rocky coast, bats flying from an enormous cavern, roads that require a toll and mountains of sand sitting at the base of the Rocky Mountains. Those experiences would have been missed by using air travel and not having the luxury of driving to see what lies between our home and the final destination.

moose, photos passenger side

Death Valley National Park is on my list of places to visit in 2014. I proposed a trip to the kids and was met with an, “Are you crazy?” I understand how the name might make them second-guess their mother’s sanity. I was smiling at them and trying to convince them we should go on a vacation to somewhere with ‘death’ in the title. It does sound questionable.  J asked, “Why can’t we be normal and go to Hawaii?” Nothing against Hawaii or whoever these normal people are J was referring to, but I don’t want to be considered “normal.” I would embrace the tag of quirky or adventurous or curious or even atypical. Death Valley most definitely fits the bill for an atypical family vacation. I’d really just love to say I’ve been there.

yellow sunset, photos passenger side

Traveling wasn’t something important to my own parents. I wish I would have seen more places and had more experiences when I was a child. The new and different make me uncomfortable and uneasy. Traveling to various locales has helped ease my discomfort with all things different from what I know in Wyoming. I hope my children will have an easier time acclimating to new places simply because they’ve been exposed to a wide-range of locations and people. At the age of 4, my daughter has traveled to more regions in the country than I did before the age of 20. My husband and kids tend to roll with my sometimes odd ideas for vacations. Once I set my mind to a destination, it’s hard for me to look away. I’m already curious to what I’ll see from the passenger side on the way to Death Valley.

straight road, photos passenger side

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