Moose goes for a ride - two weeks across the Southern United States

moose135moose135 Registered Users Posts: 1,412 Major grins
edited October 7, 2015 in Journeys
I just got home from a two week trip from Charlotte across the south to Arizona, Utah, and points between. I've been working on this for a year now, between the job and figuring out where I wanted to go. I primarily took Interstate 40 (plus some of Route 66) west to Flagstaff, AZ, then headed up to Utah, across Colorado, and back east on I-70 to St. Louis, then back down home. It was a bit of a step back in time for me, as 30 years ago, I had driven from Mississippi to California while I was in the Air Force.

1 - Driving along I-40, passing through Weatherford, TX, I see this F-4 Phantom looking like it was taking flight. Had to get off and take a look. Stafford was an Air Force pilot and NASA astronaut from Weatherford.


2 - I spent a night in Shamrock, TX. It's off I-40, and sits on historic Route 66. This restored Conoco gas station and cafe was used as the model for one of the garages in the Disney movie "Cars".


3 - I took advantage of the late hour for a glamour shot of the Durango.


4 - Leaving Shamrock, I stayed on Route 66 for a while, and came across this abandoned motel in the fog of McLean, TX.


5 - Outside Amarillo, TX is the world famous Cadillac Ranch. Ten old Cadillacs, from the tail fin era, are buried nose first, and visitors are encouraged to "decorate" them as they see fit.


6 - Not as well know is the VW Slug Bug Ranch, about 20 minutes east in Conway, where several VW Beetles are also buried nose first, in a tribute to the Cadillac Ranch.


7 - After a night in Albuquerque, I visited the Petrified Forest National Park


8 - Next stop - the Grand Canyon! Taking the path from the parking lot, you come around the bend and see this amazing hole in the ground spread out before you. It's breathtaking!


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11 - I know, you're thinking "Moose, where are the night shots?" :D


12 - This was 90 1-minute exposures stacked in PS.



  • moose135moose135 Registered Users Posts: 1,412 Major grins
    edited October 3, 2015
    13 - After the Canyon, I headed north to Page, AZ and Horseshoe Bend. It's a beautiful sight, and a scary place for pictures - 1,000 feet down to the river, no fences or railings, lots of rocks and outcroppings to climb on for pictures.


    14 - From Page, it was a visit to Monument Valley. The scenery is incredible - probably the reason John Ford used it to film so many Westerns.


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    16 - The road heading north out of Monument Valley - if you've seen the movie "Forrest Gump" this probably looks familiar to you...


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    19 - There's a reason they call it Arches National Park...


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    21 - I had to go to Four Corners, and stand in 4 states at the same time!


    22 - Packing up the car in Salina, KS, and I see this airplane on approach to the local airport. Turned out to be the Bombardier CS100, which is undergoing flight test in Salina before entering airline service next year. I had no idea they were testing it there, so this was a complete surprise catch for me!


    23 - In Kansas City, I stopped at two different aviation museums at the Downtown Airport. They have a TWA Museum, honoring that dearly departed airline. My father spent 40 years working there, and I grew up around it, so the museum brought back many fond memories. Across the field is the Airline History Museum, and while not connected to the TWA Museum, many of its artifacts, including several aircraft they have, are TWA-related, given the history of the airline in the region. This is a Lockheed Super Constellation restored to flying condition in TWA colors.


    24 - You can't drive through St. Louis without a stop at the Gateway Arch. This was my first stop in STL in close to 30 years, but there are major renovations of the plaza around the Arch in progress, so it's on the list of places to visit again. Next to the Arch is the Basilica of St. Louis, King commonly known as the Old Cathedral. Construction on the cathedral was completed in 1834.


    25 - And home at last! 5,655 miles, 16 days, 14 states, and a million memories. I can't wait to see what's next...


    I'll be editing photos for weeks, I think, but you can find more here:

    Thanks for looking!
  • ThelensspotThelensspot Registered Users Posts: 2,041 Major grins
    edited October 4, 2015
    John, some great shots here and brought back some old memories for me also. Used to be stationed at MCAS Yuma where they were training F4 Phantom pilots at the time prior to my going into medicine. And yes, the scene in #16 looks very familiar. The desert scenes are beautiful and well captured. Really love the shot of the restored Conoco/Cafe in Shamrock, Tx. Thanks for posting a great trip. BTW, I had a dear old friend now passed who flew the "hose and drogue" on K-135 tankers. He had a million stories about that bird! Thanks for a great trip! bowdown.gif
    "Photography is partly art and partly science. Really good photography adds discipline, sacrifice and a never ending pursuit of photographic excellence"...ziggy53

  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Administrators Posts: 14,153 moderator
    edited October 4, 2015
    It sounds like you had a fabulous trip (with a ton of driving!). Thanks for sharing both your travel tale and your wonderful photos.

    --- Denise
  • CavalierCavalier Registered Users Posts: 3,005 Major grins
    edited October 4, 2015
    Jealous of your trip - I love the whole Southwest experience. Wonderful trip and photos. Thanks for taking us along!
  • Awais YaqubAwais Yaqub Registered Users Posts: 10,572 Major grins
    edited October 5, 2015
    Great trip and photos!
    Thine is the beauty of light; mine is the song of fire. Thy beauty exalts the heart; my song inspires the soul. Allama Iqbal

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  • SamSam Registered Users Posts: 7,419 Major grins
    edited October 6, 2015
    Looks like great trip, wonderful photos and memories for a like time!

  • ChrisJChrisJ Registered Users Posts: 2,164 Major grins
    edited October 6, 2015
    Nice trip and photos! Enjoyed them!
  • moose135moose135 Registered Users Posts: 1,412 Major grins
    edited October 7, 2015
    Thanks, folks, I had a blast! I could have spent a month out there and not seen it all, but I guess that's what the next trip is for...

    Jo, I had looked at your site before I left, and was very impressed with your images of the Southwest, quite inspiring! And I saw you had shot the museum at Castle AFB - Castle was my destination when I made the trip 30 years ago, heading to KC-135 training.
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