Magic Tricks and Zombies

This trip is whizzing by. We’ve gone from city to city, campground to motel to campground, and I can’t believe it’s already been a week. Of course, I also can’t believe it’s ONLY been a week. If I could express this feeling to you, it would look like this picture taken from the sun roof of Mary’s car (with Kodak film, of course. Kodak Portra 800 to be exact). I’m dizzy with it.


Yesterday we woke up from a shitty motel, after spending the night developing our B&W film and scanning some of our color rolls. Exhausted is an understatement. But it was made up for by meeting Shannon and all of her fabulous kids, and her lovely back yard. She whipped up a perfect lunch for us (I fucking love Caesar Salad) and we ate by her creek and talked about, well, garlic and tampons and all the most inappropriate things that your mom wouldn’t let you say over dinner when you’re growing up. We aren’t appropriate ladies, it would seem. Then her kids came home from school and we were inundated with magic tricks and papers with 100 written at the top and origami masterpieces and smiles peaking around corners and stories about rocks. It was AWESOME. I can’t say enough, but maybe I’ll say some more when I get the negatives developed.

This morning we woke up from a deserted park full of deer, raccoons and owls, only a few RVs held other humans. It was nice. We’ve been taking it easy today. We ate in Bellville, TX at the most amazing bakery that’s named after a CASTLE in TX. Mary’s best donut of her life (I’m sure she has more to say). We couldn’t see the castle today, but it’s on the list for our next trip.

Currently we are in Austin, TX at Thunderbird Coffee enjoying a glass of wine/beer with iced coffee and I had a cranberry/walnut/goat cheese salad, which I’ve been craving for about 4 days. YUM. In a few short minutes we are going to see….

wait for it….

get ready…


…the FIRST PHOTO EVER IN THE WORLD!!!!!! It’s at the University of Texas at Austin, and we are going there and we are going to look at it with our own eyeballs. You have permission to be very jealous right now. Since you can’t be here, and you can’t see this marvel; you can be satisfied with this picture of Mary sitting under a FUCKING RAINBOW in Biloxi, MI. It was taken with Kodak Ektar 100, because it’s good like that. I haven’t had a chance to really fix my images, so forgive/embrace the dust. This is film. It gets dirty, and we kinda love that. -V

Mary's raingbow

Haha, I’m not sure I can top that post. And I’m not going to try. I’ll just agree with everything Val said, and then some.

After waking up in a beyond shitty motel, we explored the little known town of Opalousa, LA. I never heard of it, but its the third oldest city in Louisiana, and the birthplace Zydeco. Who knew? Who knew what a Zydeco was? I sure didn’t, but Val was quick to educate me.

We took photo after photo after photo, and decided that if we wanted to meet Shannon before dark, we’d better be on our way to Texas. I was sad to leave Louisiana, it was nothing what I expected and I quickly fell in love. I’ll be back.

But we had to leave to meet Shannon of Dirt N Kids. She was everything we were expecting and more. I mean, we came in, sat down, and she made us lunch. Lunch! For someone who has been traveling on the road, a free lunch is always welcome, but hers was fucking delicious. Her backyard is amazing, it really is her saving grace. Her kids are lovely and couldn’t wait to show us their rooms and inform us about zombies. (I’ve learned from her two sons how to first identify a zombie, and then properly decapitate it to make sure its really dead)

I was super impressed with her son John’s magic trick. No, seriously. He made a ball disappear from my hand. Watch out Criss Angel.

She was lovely and I just want to say thanks again for letting us into your home. (Plus now now that I know she lives next to one of my favorite bands, I will be back visiting!)

After Shannon’s house, we wandered up the road a ways til we came to our first Texas state park. We were the only ones there, which was nice because we were exhausted and not really in a mood to chat with other travelers. We set up camp and passed out shortly afterwards.

Now I find myself sitting in a cafe in Austin, ready to see the first photograph ever, wondering how I got here. Its only been a week, and already this has been completely worth shitty motels and minor tiffs with each other. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the county brings us.

“I was halfway across America, at the dividing line between the East of my youth and the West of my future.”
Jack Kerouac, On the Road


P.S Texas has the best donuts. Period. I visited Newmans’s Bakery in Bellville, Texas. My palate will never be the same.


About kodakkerouacs

Kodak Kerouacs is mostly about photography and travel, though notsomuch travel photography. KodakKerouacs is about living free and loud then telling everybody else about how awesome it is to be free and really, really loud. Written by two girls who love coffee, film, and the open road. View all posts by kodakkerouacs

11 responses to “Magic Tricks and Zombies

  • Jim

    It’s not a road trip without at least one shitty motel.

  • Shannon

    Aw, girls, that was too super-nice! So nice to have you come enjoy things from my perspective (dirt and, uh kids). It is pretty cool, my life…though hard to get people to slow down enough to enjoy and appreciate it. The kids loved meeting you — especially John who is still talking about the very old and wacky camera.

    Can’t wait to see the pics and get my autographed book (which I’d never sell, even if you guys won the Pulitzer). Buzz me if you wind up passing back through this region on the way back home.

    • kodakkerouacs

      Thanks again for the super delicious lunch! I can’t wait to see the photos either! Especially the one of John totally blowing my mind with his crazy slight of hand trick. We’ll email them to you as soon as we have them developed.


  • Angie Z.

    I am so jealous that you got to meet me homegirl, Shannon. Did she offer you the cold beer or the warm stuff she keeps in her pantry?

    I worked on a political campaign and the candidate would only pay for shitty motels when we traveled. I know a lot about shitty motels. I stayed in one that, swear to God, included a strip club in the center. That’s a great idea when you’re traveling with a political candidate.

    Have you all came through Nebraska yet? Omaha or the East side? I don’t have Shannon’s A+ southern hospitality but I can make a mean mess of cranberry scones. Drop me an email if you do come this way!

  • Angie Z.

    “meet MY homegirl…” When I reread this a split second after I wrote it, I decided I sounded less urban chic and more Irish.

    • kodakkerouacs

      Hahaha urban Irish. Thats a good combo. She offered us the cold stuff, and made us lunch from scratch. How awesome was that?

      Shitty motels are a part of the road, and they make for great stories later. Ours I guess wasn’t that bad…considering there was no strip club in the center, lol.

      We’re going to hit Nebraska on the way back, after we visit California. A ballpark estimate, I’d say we’re about at least 3 weeks away. But we’d love to see you when we do. Shannon can vouch that we’re not psychotic crazy…but we do usually arrive hungry so we’ll take you up on those scones!


  • thedigitalbird

    You’re in my town! How awesome. I love Thunderbird Coffee, that hood is real cute. And speaking of the Niepce photo, I’ve actually seen it and been to his house in France when I was studying photography in Paris. 😉 The fact that y’all are developing your film on the road is really impressive. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

    • kodakkerouacs

      Thanks! Thunderbird was great, with delicious food. I have to say, Austin was pretty cool. Definitely different from any part of Texas we visited. I’d totally go back. Developing/scanning negatives is a pain in the ass 🙂 but the photographs are completely worth it!

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