For me, few places provide the freedom I feel when I’m on the road in the American West. Every mile of highway seems to hold the potential for some new experience or fantastic panoramic vision.
I have logged so many miles, stayed in so many chain hotels and finished out the night in so many countless diners, bars and convenience stores, it’s mind boggling putting it all in chronological order.
What follows is a tightly edited but certainly unrelated selection of sights I’ve encountered while traveling.
WESTERN STATES MAP - my well worn AAA map detailing years of routes and locations
WELCOME TO WENDOVER - Wendover, Nevada - a town split between two states, Wendover Will welcomes visitors to the gambling side
WHITE TRASH ELK - The Redwood Forest, California - without a doubt, one of the oddest situations I've ever encountered!
CHIMNEY AT WENDOVER AIRPORT - Wendover, Utah - all that remains of a former hangar on the grounds of this historic world war two airfield
UPRIGHT BUS - Goldfield, Nevada - burying vehicles has become a local pastime in this forgotten desert town
DESERT PHONE LINES - Pahrump, Nevada - a mirage of endless phone lines
CAR FARM - Goldfield, Nevada - a creative populations interesting way to pass time
AMERICAN WEST REST STOP - exact location unknown
OLD 93 - Ely, Nevada
LOCOMOTIVE GEARS - Ely, Nevada
LOCOMOTIVE AND GRAIN ELEVATORS - Happy, Texas
KISS TRAIN - Ajo, Arizona
VEGAS WATER FOUNTAIN - Las Vegas, Nevada - illuminated by the setting sun and intense lighting of the Vegas strip, the water has taken on a frozen acrylic texture
WIND BLOWN TEXTING - San Francisco, California - wind, light and subject all coming together perfectly
SALVAGED LAS VEGAS NEON - Las Vegas, Nevada - signage from sin city's golden era await restoration
FARM WORKERS - Central, California - waist deep in an endless sea of artichokes
SAXOPHONE MAN - Las Vegas, Nevada - the commute home in America's playground
WOMAN IN HIGH HEELS WALKING PAST CHINATOWN GREEN WALL - San Francisco, California
SMOKING MAN AND CHINATOWN GREEN WALL - San Francisco, California
DESERT BEER CANS - Tularosa, New Mexico - flattened and discarded, these aluminum beer cans will prevail for a long time
ICE COLD PEPSI - somewhere in The American West
FENCE BURIED IN SAND DUNE - White Sands, New Mexico - a victim of nature, this chain link fence is fighting a losing battle against wind and sand
TRAIL OF A DESERT BEETLE - White Sands, New Mexico - evidence of an epic journey
VALLEY OF FIRE SUNSET A - Overton, Nevada - a prehistoric landscape illuminated by the last light of the day
VALLEY OF FIRE SUNSET B - Overton, Nevada -as the sun sets the valley ignites with an explosion of reds and oranges
VALLEY OF FIRE SUNSET C - Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada - The contrast between illuminated sandstone boulders and pockets of deep shadows
VALLEY OF FIRE SUNSET D - Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada - As the sun begins to set, this Jurassic landscape explodes with color taking on an intensity that rivals a cartoon rendition.
SLAT FLATS SUNSET - Wendover, Utah - the home of land speed records
SALT FLATS MORNING - Wendover, Utah - the first light of day in this surreal, salt environment
SALT FLATS EVENING REFLECTION - Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah - the setting sun combined with the mirror like surface of motionless water
SALT FLATS TIRE TRACKS - Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah - the day's last light exaggerating the deep ruts left by desperate motorists
AH SHI SLE PAH PANORAMIC - De Na Zin Wilderness, New Mexico
SLIDING SAND H - White Sands National Monument, New Mexico - the release of surface tension causing sand to break free and cascade down the face of a dune.
SLIDING SAND V - White Sands National Monument, New Mexico - the release of surface tension causing sand to break free and cascade down the face of a dune.
LIGHT SHAFT - Page, Arizona
HOH RAINFOREST PANORAMIC - Forks, Washington
YELLOWSTONE SPRING SNOWSTORM - West Yellowstone, Montana - a dramatically illuminated late May dusting in Yellowstone Park
FOGGY ROAD - Hurricane Ridge, Washington
DESERT CALM - Alamogordo, New Mexico - an environment created by the ocean that once covered this inland desert
UNEARTHLY DUNES - Death Valley, California
EVENING BLUE DUNE - White Sands National Monument, New Mexico - as sunlight fades the temperature drops in this pristine environment
MESQUITE FLAT SAND DUNES A - Death Valley, California - the day's last light
ASPEN GROVE - Aspen, Colorado - a mysterious forest awaits the first snowfall
TWO TREES IN AFTERNOON LIGHT - Telluride, Colorado - a stark composition at the end of autumn
LONE WILD HORSE - Lubbock, Texas
WIND BLOWN TREES IN FOG - Big Sur, California - constant ocean winds have permanently distorted these coast highway trees
TENACIOUS DESERT PLANT - White Sands, New Mexico - thriving in a Spartan environment
APPROACHING SAND STORM A - Alamogordo, New Mexico - a few minutes before the desert's transformation
RAILROAD CROSSING REFLECTION B - Tulsa, Oklahoma
LOOSE GRAVEL - De-Na-Zin Wilderness, New Mexico - a pristine environment illuminated by car headlights and the fading sun