So a little earlier this year, I decided that I was going to move my home base to Las Vegas, a town I’ve long been fan of, having many friends there and being a terrific jumping off point for all the incredible national parks nearby. As much as I enjoyed my time in South Florida, I missed the mountains so I set about planning my move.
I decided to initially move out there on a trial basis to see how things go work wise and if it all goes to plan, then make the move permanent. To that note, I knew I would need to take the basics with me, so I rented an SUV and loaded it up with all my essential shiny toys, leaving my furniture and all the grown up adulting stuff in storage.
The route I chose would take me mostly along the south coast of the US then up through Texas and Arizona over the course of 6 days.
Having done a fair few road trips over my time I estimated that I could average about 500 miles a day. In reality in the early part of the trip I was doing over 700, but that then gave me an opportunity to stop in some scenic places in the latter part of the trip.
Highlights were definitely thinking I was seeing the arrival of aliens when I captured the SpaceX launch while in Phoenix, visiting the art installation Prada Marfa in Texas and then seeing a fake tiny Target store the next day. Of course Sedona was incredible as always – such epic scenery. I ended up at my friends house in Vegas on Christmas Day and was treated to the most amazing traditional British style Christmas dinner all topped off with sticky toffee pudding and custard. I couldn’t have come up with a better way to end the trip and start the next phase of my life in Viva Las Vegas baby!
So earlier this year I had the opportunity to reunite with a lifelong friend, who also happens to be called Anthony to take a road trip through two magnificent States. I say two, but we actually visited five if you count the brief jaunt into a town called Anthony on the Texas border and a quick stop at the four corners monument.
I never tire of road tripping around the US, with it’s incredibly diverse landscapes. The 12 days went incredibly quickly and I snapped more pictures than you can shake a stick at, but I have selected some of my favorites below. They are a mix of snaps on my phone and shots taken on my ‘proper’ camera. Some of the highlights were Garden of the Gods just outside of Colorado Springs, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Zapata Falls, Los Alamos, Roswell, White Sands National Monument, Mesa Verde National Park, the Very Large Array (one of the locations seen in ‘Contact’), and a fantastic day of snowboarding in Breckenridge to end the trip on a real high.
Road to somewhere
Starting the day, and the trip off right…
I’m not saying this is a UFO, but I’m also not saying it isn’t
Mountains close to Great Sand Dunes National Park
The valley floor from mid hike up to Zapata falls
Anthony mid hike to Zapata Falls
Th snow beginning to melt at Zapata Falls
3 deer in a row
Great Sand Dunes National Park… taken on the way back after having failed to hike to the top of the highest dune. It was just too darn cold…. and too darn high… plus I did it last time.
Close up sand
A plateau somewhere…
I really wanted to climb to the top but we couldn’t get close
Another road to somewhere
Roswell welcomes resident aliens… thank goodness
White Sands National Monument
Me at White Sands National Monument
Anthony at White Sands National Monument
Shooting something(or maybe just pretending to… I really can’t be sure) at White Sands
Having a zen moment at White Sands
I have my own town as I’m kind of a big deal (in my mind)
I have my own police department as I’m kind of a big deal. (in my mind)
In case you didn’t realize.
Anthony getting all kissy with the animals
Ever get that feeling someone, or something is watching you?
The Very Large Array as seen in the movie ‘Contact’
OK – So you can’t tell me that this isn’t the black fortress from Krull – top is a shot from the movie, bottom is a photo I took. I mean come on…
The dark fortress from Krull close up
one of the furry inhabitants from Mesa Verde
Inside one of the mountainside dwellings at Mesa Verde
Life springs forth from the ashes
Looking down into Mesa Verde… if only someone wasn’t blocking the view.
a mineral spring at the side of the road just outside Durango
Just outside Durango heading North
Waterfall at the side of the road to Silverton, CO
Lake on the road to Silverton (taken summer 2012)
Lake on the road to Silverton (taken April 2017)
Boarding in Breckenridge
Boarding buddies in Breckenridge
For years now, I’ve wanted to return to the Appalachians. I first visited the US when I was 13, when my family and I did an epic trip, stopping in about 6 different parts of the Eastern US. One of those stops was to visit some colleagues of my father who lived in a place called Ronceverte, West Virginia. That week, 27 years ago, was the moment that I knew that I wanted to spend much of my life in America.
For this trip I managed to work into the route, a drive by of the very house that spawned my love for the States. In numbers – it was 14 days, 2806 miles, over 60 hours driving across 8 different states and 19 finished photos. Definitely another epic trip.
In the fall of last year, I had arranged to spend a week in Denver with a friend, but when their plans changed I decided that I would still head out to Colorado but do a road trip instead. Just me and my camera and 1004 miles.
I have come to truly love Colorado, and it’s incredible variety of landscapes. Mountains, sand dunes, rolling hills, and some of the most epic roads anywhere on the planet. I will be back.
Dunes and the plateau beyond
Entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park
A blue bird in a green tree
Dunes at sunset
A lake in San Juan National Forest
Dunes and mountains
Colours of fall
The great dunes
At the top of the highest dune @ 9000ft
Heading out from Estes Park
On the road to Rocky Mountain National Park
A small mountain town
San Juan National Forest
Trees in the fall
Snow dusted trees
Wide open spaces
Great Sand Dunes National Park
Entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park
So last year a friend of mine invited me on a quick trip to Phoenix and back from Vegas. We briefly stopped in Sedona and at the Grand Canyon. Stunning scenery – definitely hope to get back there one day, as these photos really don’t do it justice. Hope you like though.
More wonderful vistas and wildlife from my journey’s through Alaska.
Holland America Line’s Volendam sailing out of Vancouver
View into Glacier Bay
View from the deck
The Inside Passage
Black Bear at Taku Lodge
Mother and cubs at Taku Lodge
Holland America Line’s Volendam in Vancouver
Bear in a tree
The Disney Wonder in Skagway
Alaskan King Crab
Aboard the Aleutian Ballad
Mom & baby
Taku glacier from Taku lodge
Aboard the Aleutian Ballad
Big Black Bear