Road Photo of the Day: Only in America.

Home of John Ford westerns, endless Roadrunner cartoons, (not to mention many other movies & TV shows), and the Marlboro Man, and hundreds of real live Navajo indians, this can only be Monument Valley and Highway 163.

I’ve actually never been here, though I’ve been close by during my college days, driven through Shiprock, NM, and the Canyonlands in Utah. This photo was taken by one of my parents (and ended up in my possession when I helped them with a digital camera issue at some point) on a Copperstate 1000 Rally. Can you guess that car that served as the photographer’s vantage point?

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Road Photo of the Day: Vanishing Point (part 5)

Yet another VP shot for Mad Dog to dream about.

By the way John, I spoke with my Navigator and he confirmed that our entries and hotel reservations are made for both the “2009 Annie & Steve Norman Classic Motorcar Rally” and the “2009 Monte Shelton Northwest Classic.”

Now (like you) I just have to make sure the car is sorted out… but at least my car is a few steps away, not three states away! 😉

Road Photo of the Day: Blue Highway

As useful as General Eisenhower’s Autobahns Interstates are for getting somewhere swiftly, I actually much prefer smaller US and State highways. You’ll note that none of my RPotD images have been shot on an Interstate. That is because Interstates are, from the driver’s perspective, rather dull. Unless of course you want to drive at Autobahn speeds, at which point they redeem themselves. Unfortunately the local constabulary in the vast majority of jurisdictions here in the ironically called “home of the free” won’t allow us to travel at autobahn speeds on US Interstate freeways. Ha! “Freeways” … another bit of ironic terminology! But I digress.

When traveling, with travel itself being the object, two-lane roads are much preferable. They go through towns, often being the main street of said small towns here in the western US. You can stop and have a look around, or just roll through slowly and get a sense of the character of place. (Ironically, my hometown of Arlington, Washington is an exception to this rule, as both SR 9 and SR 530 have been rebuilt in the last 25 years to bypass the heart of town.) But once out of town they follow routes that have been established by history and human convention: river valleys, high passes, and railroad rights-of-way. Places filled with history, forgotten or fondly recalled. Places where time is marked, or lost. Places less travelled.

When wanderlust comes upon me I often peruse road atlases I find my eye drawn to thin lines that squiggle, rather fat ones with blue & red shields super-imposed. Sure, it will take me longer to get where I’m going, but I’ll say that despite what the speedometer often says, I’m rarely in a hurry.

This image was taken somewhere in either western Montana or south-eastern British Columbia. Can anyone name the car up ahead?