Traveling to the Desert – Day 3

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1000 miles done, 800 miles to go.

January 2nd and businesses are open, back to business as usual.

The 6 am crowd, grits and coffee and conversation, at a diner west of Liberal, Kansas.

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Excuse me, you there in the front seat. Can you please tell me…what does “1800 miles” mean again?

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1100 miles done, 700 miles yet to go

Hooker, Oklahoma

“It’s a location, not a vocation.” Town motto.

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Grain elevators…in every town along the way.

I see these elevators as visible symbol of each town we pass through, as a conglomeration of add-on buildings, as central figure in a town or as building on the periphery. But I also see them in an abstract way – composition, light and shadow, and what can I capture instinctively, no time to stop or study. What do I see, where do I focus? Sometimes I like what I see in the many grain elevator photographs I take, sometime I press delete a lot.

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1300 miles in the past, still 500 miles to go

Santa Rosa, New Mexico.  A stop for lunch – complete with a tres leche pudding (not a baked custard, a creamy pudding) which made my sweet tooth happy in a most contented way.

Prickly pear cactus in the snow. The house was abandoned, but the cactus garden was thriving.

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1400 miles done, 400 to go.

A surprise. The remnants from Winter Storm Goliath that covered eastern New Mexico with several feet of snow a week ago.

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Only 5 to 8 inches remained, but the high desert was a winter wonderland. Junipers and cedars still glittered with an icy coating.

Desert shrubs in white.

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I’ve arrived in the desert, but documentation of “every 100 miles” took awhile to process (in between cleaning, getting groceries, and all the other jobs required after a long absence).

Since time and distance were the travel priorities, all photos taken “on the fly” = zipping past at 65-75 miles per hour.

All photos using my iPhone and Hipstamatic app with the filter set on random. Optional post processing.

 

Traveling to the Desert – Day Two

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January 1, 2016.

400 miles done and 1400 miles to drive. Smack dab in the center of Missouri.

New Year’s Day. There’s a new year’s tradition — or is it superstition? — “what you do on New Year’s Day, you’ll do all year long.” Well, there you have it — a year filled with travel!

Crossing Missouri — began by driving across the Mississippi River and drove until we crossed the Missouri River in Kansas City.

I say “mi-zour-ee.” Do you say “mah-zour-ah?”

Small herds of cattle and farms in eastern Missouri; more horses and small ranches driving further west.

I saw an owl, a brown and white barred owl, standing on the side of the highway, as if he were studying the road that stretched in front of me. Ten in the morning. I can only think the owl was a good journey omen. This was not the only encounter on the drive to the desert I had with birds. They accompanied me west in the most extraordinary ways.

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500 miles done and 1300 miles to go.

Stopped for barbecue southwest of Kansas City, Kansas.

Oh. Yum. Not in Wisconsin any longer, Dorothy.

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600 miles done; 1200 more. A third of the way.

Eastern Kansas. Flint Hills.

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700 miles done; still 1100 more. 7-11s. Lucky numbers. Just as the afternoon was getting long, just when I needed a sign… a  gift from the Universe.

A murmuration of starlings. A pulsating cloud of birds, dipping, dancing. The flock expanded, then contracted. Dipped towards the fields, then swooped high into the sky.

A most serendipitous sight.

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900 miles done, 900 more to go.

Kansas on the diagonal. Northeast to southwest.

From Wichita to Liberal. The road is straight. The land is flat.

Every small town has a grain elevator. Grain elevators are the most interesting subject for photos in Kansas, at least I think so. especially when driving late afternoon into the night. The light catches the metal containers — some quite ordinary,  but many in unexpected, even spectacular ways.

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1000 miles left behind in the rear view mirror. 800 miles still ahead.

Driving into the sunset.

Kansas flat. Horizon orange, deepening into red the color of blood and lingering deep into twilight. A thin red line in the black.

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Since driving and arriving are the priority for this trip, all photos are drive by.

Using my iPhone and Hipstamatic filters set on random (though still available for some post processing when desired) add a sense of photo adventure with a modicum of control.

 

Traveling to the Desert — Day One

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December 31.

Heading west from Wisconsin.

Driving to the desert.

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100 miles done, 1700 to go.

Crossing the Mississippi River at Dubuque, Iowa

River is icy, not frozen.

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200 miles done, 1600 miles to go.

Iowa farm

Minimalist. Lines.

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300 miles done, 1500 miles to go. break in travel for a hometown visit

crossing the Mississippi again, this time into Illinois

river is high on December 31st after unprecedented winter rains

much of Quincy is built high on the bluffs, natural flood protection

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the bridge of my childhood travels

crossing this bridge always meant some version of travel adventure — a visit with family who across the river in Missouri or Iowa, or a weekend trip to St. Louis (the big city)

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Since driving and arriving are the priority for this trip, all photos are drive by. And on the first leg of the journey, all shots are taken through winter-slushed windows.

Hipstamatic filters set on random (but still available for some post processing when desired) and my iPhone add a sense of photo adventure with a modicum of control.

Sunrise Illuminating Maui

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Approaching harbor in Kahului, clouds rest on the vibrant green mountain sides. This side of Maui has about 130 inches of rain annually near the shore and over 200 inches of rain in the mountains.

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This side of the Maui is very green, also guaranteed to be wet and rainy much of the time. (The western, dry side of the island gets less than 20 inches of rain per year.)

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Pulling into the harbor just before sunrise. As the sun crests the peak on the opposite side of the harbor, the greens are bathed in sunlight, the mountain’s shape and texture become visible.

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Approaching Maui

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The sea, the skies, the clouds, awaiting sunrise…

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A view to cherish.

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Approaching Maui.

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Haleakala Volcano shrouded in clouds.

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Haleakala National Park is an hour’s drive southwest of Kahului and is home of Haleakala Volcano. Amazing place, sacred place to generations of native Hawaiians.

Haleakala National Park stretches along the southern and eastern coast of Maui. As the tallest peak on the island, Haleakala rises over 10,000 feet and it can be seen from almost anywhere on the island. The Hawaiian legend of Maui the Demigod, one of the greatest cultural gods of Hawaii, tells of him standing on the peak of Haleakala and lassoing the sun as it crossed the sky so that the sun would slow its descent and make the day last longer.

The sunrise did peek through the clouds that shrouded Haleakala as we pulled towards port. That evening, we saw the sunset from the summit of the volcano, the clouds parted just in time to let the light stream through (in a post soon to come…)