Coffee, every album recorded by Jackson Browne, and the open road. What more do I need in life?
I know the first question most people will ask when they learn about this blog is, “Why are you doing it?” Well, this is the best answer I can come up with. It’s long and kind of all over the place, but its the only way I can explain why I need to have this adventure.
I’ve been in school for three fourths of my life. When I graduated people asked me if I was going to grad school. Hell Fucking No. I need a break. I need to be away from school, from grades and professors and fellow classmates, always comparing my art to theirs. (I swear I’m always the worst artist in the room.) I’ve never understood how you can learn art in a classroom. Isn’t it supposed to be the inner workings of my tormented soul? How is anyone supposed to be able to give that a grade? So I graduated and moved out west; as far as I could go without driving into the Pacific.
And its been an unforgettable experience that has opened my eyes and given me a lot of insight on my life and what I want to do with it.
But I have to admit the best part about this move was the drive out here. The eleven-day drive I took with my dad was incomparable to anything I’d ever experienced before in my life. Did someone know America was this beautiful? Really, someone should notify Good Morning America or something. Driving from town to town, seeing the people and the culture that was unique to each state, and really to each city, was fascinating to me. And then we got off the interstate, turned on to the old US highways and I was sold. There I was, winding through purple mountain majesties and amber waves of grain, thinking how everyone on the I-10 was missing this. How could that be possible?
As I watched a brilliant sunset over the Arizona desert, it hit me. This is what I want to do. I want to experience America the way people used to…the way Ansel Adams did when he lugged his view camera all throughout the west. I’m going to drive through the backbone of America and photograph the shit out of it.
So…I’ve decided to take 6 weeks, and my photographer-in-crime Valerie, and drive across America using back roads and highways. (Seriously, what fun are the interstates?) Photographing and documenting the people, places, animals, rocks, mountains, and maybe even extraterrestrials along the way (Roswell should be fun).
I love driving slow and experiencing each place like its a new undiscovered country. Sure, we might only go ten or twenty miles a day. But I guarantee that Val and I are experiencing more in that twenty miles than any person does going 400 miles on the I-10.