Traveling

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My car’s mileage hit 100,000 today. As I watched the number roll over (carefully, with one eye on the road), I remembered all the road trips and fun times I have had in this car. Built for speed, and the same car the police officers in many areas including Fayetteville employ, my Dodge Charger Hemi knows how to travel.

Looking through the photos of all my road trips, memories flooded my brain. I remember driving down the road and seeing these shoes strung over an electrical line and wondering what would possess someone to do this, and after that I saw the same scene over and over. It seemed to be a fad of some kind; I haven’t seen it since.

Then there was the summer trip that it rained almost the entire time. Each time I would get ready to go out to shoot, the sun having finally popped through, by the time I got out the door with my equipment the sky would clabber up and rain again. That’s the summer I learned all about depth of field and shot some of my favorite photos of flowers. I would just go out to the yard of the cottage I was staying and shoot when the sun came out. Being a people photographer, I was very surprised at what I learned and also the emotions some of these shots brought up in me. This one is a favorite of mine; I just this past Friday gave it away as a door prize–framed and ready to hang. I miss it.

One summer, I talked my friend and fellow photographer (he is also a well known sculptor), David Teeple into traveling to Cape Map, New Jersey. I had never been to New Jersey and had this vision of the state based upon the mob shows I have seen over the years. Cape May was stunning; the light houses, the ocean, the wildlife. All of it was way out of my scope of imagination. It turned out to be one of my favorite trips.

I traveled to Kentucky a few times to visit my brother. He lives on a small 8-acre place and has horses and mules. Horses have become such a major part of my life, although I do not own one nor plan to. Maybe because astrologically horses are the best fit with my sign of a tiger. Whatever the reason, I have always been drawn to them and Kentucky has some of the most beautiful horses I have ever seen.

My brother had a heart attack this past fall and my cousin John got this crazy idea to go visit him and drive the RV. I rather reluctantly left the Leopard (my car’s name) parked and got into the RV. This is a typical 11 hour or so trip. It took us 3 days! We stopped at Wal-Mart’s and parked in their parking lots every night. It is called Wally Dockin’! My cousin’s wife Connie drove the whole way, with a broken foot! She refused to allow anyone else to drive. One thing I know for sure, I will never own a RV!

We saw hot air balloon ponging or some such sport while parked in one of the parking lots on the way. These balloons drivers/flyers/operators had to drop bean bags into targets and bring their balloons up and down and really close to the ground then go high up. It was fascinating to watch. And I watched it from a Wal-Mart parking lot in front of the RV.

The miles driven alone sometimes became exhausting and some days I only traveled as little as four hours. Then there would be spaces of time where I holed up in a favorite area and allowed the wind to caress my feet while swinging in a hammock.

Although my traveling days have been curtailed for a while, I still find great delight in climbing in the Leopard and heading to Bella Vista or Bentonville to hand out flyers for my class I’m scheduled to teach at the College at the Crossing in March. Today was such a day. It was a delight to travel once more, watch that 100,000 mile milestone pass, and know that there is no doubt more travel in my future.

Travel and photography are both such a part of my life now, there is no way it is finished. Yet, I am enjoying planting roots for a while and working my craft in my hometown of Fayetteville.

Life is a series of journeys and I enjoy them all.

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