Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Random Road Trip, Los Angeles to Nashville? YES!

It was literally this week a year ago that I was on the road, Los Angeles to Nashville, with a chance return trip by air, stopping in Pueblo, Colorado.  This trip sprung up with little notice, I was at the crossroads of random adventure and staying home comfort.

Nashville friend Shawn was stationed temporarily in Southern California and would be heading back home in his utterly gorgeous and badass Ford Raptor,…with a small chihuahua, "Coco" a gift for his wife.  The combination is laughable indeed, but dogs like trucks.  All dogs, all trucks.  She made a great little road companion she chilled and napped the whole way, you almost didn't even know she was there.

It begins, a touristy photo-heavy blog.

My husband, a very sleepy husband, seeing us off after sunrise. With the dog on board and my hula-hoop packed, it was time to roll.

The first 8 hours have become so regular throughout my travels in the southwest that I did not take very many photos.  I really should have, there is beauty and interest in everything.  We start to see the same things so often, we forget to look closer, lesson learned.  If my hands are free: leave the camera ON and keep shooting!  We were in Arizona before long, there were so many of these little tourist stops with kitschy designed buildings, I still dunno how I feel about them. But I will say this, what trip across America is complete without seeing a few roadside DINOSAURS!

We actually stopped to see Meteor Crater, but no pets allowed, we didn't want to leave Coco in the truck.  Also, this attraction was nearly $20 a pop, and all kinds of fuss, we opted for hooping in the parking lot and "hey look at that fence around Meteor Crater." Moving on…

We breezed through AZ and got to the backside of New Mexico before needing to get at least a couple hours sleep before, up early and on our way.  This is traveling with friends in the Air Force! Rise and shine!  And I did, even got this snap of the road-devouring chariot before we were on route.  With a beast like the Raptor, it's a shame we didn't get any offloading time, but that means another trip!

WIRED, and that's caffeine free I'll have you know.  I cant' speak for Coco though.

A little pre-driving hooping keeps that spine feeling good.

Under smoky skies from fires in the Southwest, we left the "Land of Enchantment" and onto…

As car enthusiasts, we were excited to make a stop at the Cadillac Ranch or Cadillac Graveyard in Amarillo, TX.  Shawn and Coco enjoyed stretching their legs and clearly I had a good time, and I had an awesome outfit for the site.

Before leaving the Lone Star State, passing Tinker Air Force Base and Charles B. Hall Airpark.  

Pit stop, I wish I had gotten a photo of the restaurant called "Chair Busters" or something, but we gassed up the Raptor and got out of Texas before we got diabetes.  Making our way and quick, all the while maintaing safe speed bout 70.  Pacing, people, pacing!

We hit Arkansas and the reality of the destructive power of mother nature was all around.  Homes, trees, power lines, barns, business, vehicles, all twisted, crushed and scattered across the landscape.  I didn't get many photos here either.  I understand sharing images of devastation can be moving, however, it was hard to look at, let along photograph.  I'll leave that for others. 

Then another fill-up stop, and the peace andbeauty of mother nature revealed.  That's reason for a hooping celebration. 

The sun went down, by the light of the full moon we rolled on to Tennessee.  Stopping in Memphis, we discovered the casualties. Eww.

Near 3am, reaching lunacy, we made it to Nashville.  A short nap, and it was time for a dawn walk at Shelby Bottoms Nature Center.  This is part of my trips to Nashville every time, and this time I was so excited despite little sleep, I went ahead and strolled along in my pajamas, two great friends, and a dog.

Once back at the house, a little relaxation with the new pack member, Zephyr!  I love staying here with my friends, the Willis's.  There's always good company, plenty of laughter, art, music, and good eats!

Taking a chance on this trip once again rewarded me with an awesome experience, photographing the beautiful +Alaina Thetford. Nashville beauty by way Memphis and band manager to some of the most talented young musicians coming out now. Not to mention, she set us up with a vintage Airstream!  I loved photographing her, she is so lovely and SO rarely in photos (she's always taking them!) It was a beautiful coincidence to be in town and get these shots that would be a cornerstone for my new brand.  And all started by just wanting to help a find split up driving on the long haul back to Music City. 

From our shoot:

It was SO hot in that trailer, you'd have no idea from looking at her.  We were sweating and feeling the strain of the heat and humidity.  I actually stripped down to my underwear to be more comfortable while shooting.  Unfazed, Alaina continued to give me amazing shots, we had a good laugh about it though.  We have known each other many years, there's no being shy after the first shoot with me.  We made up for the heat though, we recovered with a scoop or two from Jeni's.

Such an eventful handful of days already since I left California, and it was already time to head out again. Not before a little more backyard hooping with the fireflies and the insect symphony.  

I had such a fun time seeing more of the USA, even if we were breezing by.  I learned that nothing should stop me from taking photos of everything, even if I've seen it before or it doesn't seem interesting.  It's an opportunity to see things in a new way, this is my craft and my passion, I expect more from myself.  I learned I can get by with less sleep at least temporarily if art and nature are involved.  Most of all, my friends in Nashville, are such a gift, they really are family, and I am thankful to have them in my life, near or far.  (I miss y'all and I promise I will make plans to come 'home' soon!) 

4:30am came around and Lisa was coming to pick me up for our flight to Colorado.  Another trip that came up with random coincidence,  another adventure awaiting, and I was ready.  These opportunities come up more often in our lives than we think.  The more we say yes, or at least a "why not"  the more of these beautiful experiences pop up.  Say yes, take a chance, beautiful things WILL happen.

Next Blog:  Pueblo, CO   (Adventure Week Continued)

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