I love getting in my car and setting out with no real destination in mind. Taking my own detours down winding gravel roads or roads that don’t show up on the GPS. I don’t always know what I may find but something usually catches my eye that I want to record on film.
As a kid, my family went on road trips almost every summer. There were us 3 kids and when Dad was packing the car we knew to stay away. He’d pack, then re-pack, mumble under his breath and then pack again. Somehow he managed to fit all our gear in the trunk with 3 kids, two dogs and my Mom inside the car. I even remember one summer my Grandmother went with us and we drove from San Francisco to British Columbia. I’m not sure how we all stayed entertained, but there were no DVDs, books on tape or video games. I think we played word games and “I spy”. But it was fun. My Mom would make my Dad stop often to get our pictures taken in front of historical marker and State signs when we’d cross over into a new one.
I guess it’s in the genes. Happily many of the roadside attractions from my youth are still out there, but there are a couple of them I would love to find: the big Orange that was a souvenir gift shop, the huge redwood tree that had a gift shop in its trunk, and the restaurant that had a little box mounted on the wall with two tiny doors that when you opened them there was a prize inside. When I think about this I can see a pattern: gift shops left a lasting impression on me. I still have some of the trinkets that I bought in these places. I have to visit the gift shops along my routes and yes, I still buy little trinkets.
Here are a few photos from my last road trip along hwy 299 in Northern California.