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Road Trip!

07.18.2012
And she loaded up her truck and moved to Ladera... Ranch that is!

11 days ago, Ashley & I loaded up her brand new Ford Escape and set out on a 2,131 mile 5 day road trip between St. Louis and Southern California. While she'll be spending a lot more time in the OC, she still has her place in the STL as she'll be traveling back and forth taking care of her midwestern clients.

We had a super fun trip, making plenty of stops along the way to take photos, visit friends and to let her dog pee.

Here was out proposed route, although after a night in Taos, we headed south back to Route 40 and skipped the Utah National Parks and the Grand Canyon. 5 days in a jam packed car and a dog was enough and we'll make a trip to visit those spots one of these days.

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We followed Route 66 most of the way, which is to say we took I-40, but whenever we could follow the Mother Road... we took it. Our first stop was in Fanning, MO... home of the worlds largest rocking chair.

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We also went to Branson, but is was on a Sunday and Yakov was dark, so we didn't end up seeing a show and just blew right through in route to Eureka Springs Arkansas where we spend our first night at the historic (and supposedly haunted) Crescent Hotel. Here was an old barn just outside of town:

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The next morning, we had to check out the Christ of the Ozarks... the largest statue of Jesus in this hemisphere.

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We made a quick stop in Fayetteville to visit Dale & Meredith, and have some killer grilled cheese sandwiches.

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Later that night we made it all the way to Norman, Oklahoma to have a late dinner with the one and only Charlie Samples.

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Afterwards we stopped by the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial... it was surreal.

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Day 3 we made it to the world famous Big Texan in Amarillo. I wanted to try the 72 oz steak dinner challenge, but Ashley wasn't so keen on the idea. That place was truly amazing. The send out limos to the local hotels to offer free rides to the tourists. Had I know that before hand, I would have parked across town and had them come get us, but oh well... maybe next time. The place was truly a sight to see, but the food and the service wasn't all that great. I think our waiter was stoned... maybe he just took his glaucoma medicine?

For the record... I am 100% certain I could have polished off the entire steak, but I know for a fact that I couldn't choke down 1 single bite of the baked potato. It's like eating moist sand... I can't think of anything I'd rather eat less than a baked potato. Gross!

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Just outside of Amarillo, we spend an hour or so at the Cadillac Ranch. Too much fun!

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Later that afternoon... we spend several hours in Tucumcari, New Mexico shooting old motel signs on Route 66. In fact, that became the theme for this road trip photo shoot. These two were certainly blasts from the past:

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We stayed the night in Taos, then got up early the next morning to shoot at the Taos Pueblo. Unfortunately US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar was there for some event, so a lot of the area was blocked off to the public, and many of the building had snipers on top of them, so I had to do some cropping.

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She may kill me for posting this, but maybe she'll learn to be a better co-pilot. And lets Zoey was keeping me company.

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Perhaps she'll like this one better:

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Here I am staining on the corner in Winslow, Arizona just takin' it easy:

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On the 4th night we made it to Flagstaff, AZ and stayed at the historic Monte Vista Hotel. The next morning I shot a few more hotel signs before heading to Oatman, an old mining town outside of Kingman.

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Someone freaked out a bit when the donkey's approached the vehicle.

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Our last stop was in Amboy, CA near Joshua Tree. We stopped to shoot the old sign, then I shot a few images of Ashley in the desert.

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Ashley doing some desert yoga

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The poor dog almost got heat stroke, so we let her chill in the cooler for a while.

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And finally, here are a couple images that Ashley snapped of me at the Cadillac Ranch. And by the way, yes that is a 50mm/1.2 in my pocket.

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