Epic Covid Roadtrip - Very Photo Heavy

JDS

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Messages
776
Location
San Francisco, CA
Real Name
David Schultz
Well, now that we're nearing a return to society, I guess it's about time I post photos from my road trip adventure last summer! My immuno-compromised son was finishing school in North Carolina last August, and ready to come home to the San Francisco Bay Area. My wife and daughter are also immuno-compromised, so we were taking precautions as aggressively as pretty much anyone- so we weren't about to put him on a plane. What to do...?

Roadtrip! I figured out I could rent an unlimited mileage Chrysler Pacifica minivan (sorry for the miles Avis), and build it into a vanlife setup based on internet photos & measurements. I built a bunch of wooden stands for plywood "beds" so I could be on the road within a couple hours of getting the minivan. Then Avis gave me a Toyota Sienna... No matter, an hour or so of cutting and fitting and I was ready to depart:

20200802_193625917_iOS.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


20200802_203813611_iOS.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


I've done cross-country trips a half-dozen times, and Connecticut to Los Angeles always took us five days with two drivers. The drive from Walnut Creek to Asheville, North Carolina & back was 5700 miles and I would be doing all the driving over the course of nine days, so I needed a plan to make it survivable and maybe even enjoyable? So, I mapped out photo stops at roughly two to three hour intervals across the entire country and back, ending each day at a rest stop so I knew there would be a safe place to sleep. Showers and bathroom breaks would be self-contained to avoid exposure, we don't need to get into details. Think 1800's wagon trains... Anyway, off to my and soon our adventure!
 
Last edited:

JDS

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Messages
776
Location
San Francisco, CA
Real Name
David Schultz
Day 1: Walnut Creek, CA to Pequop, NV

After a couple hours of fitting my van life interior and packing the van, the afternoon of day one was driving past Tahoe into Nevada, with stops for a sunset picture near the Winnemucca Museum in Nevada, ending at the Pequop Rest Area near the border with Utah. First the sunset photo, from the side of the road:

PM520007.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


The rest area was -Surprise!- a construction site with spotlights and heavy trucks, so plan A didn’t work for the night. Plan B was a nice area further up the road at Oasis, which seemed like a great idea until I discovered it was on fire:

PM520019.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Plan C was the Pilot Peak Historical Marker, which was where the Donner family stopped for water back when their cross-country trip was going well. Maybe a bad omen?

PM530025.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

JDS

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Messages
776
Location
San Francisco, CA
Real Name
David Schultz
Day 2: Eastern Nevada to Sidney Nebraska

Morning meant traveling through the hills on the Utah border, which I found harshly beautiful:

PM530032.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Then into Wendover Utah, home of the Wendover Historic Airfield (home of the Enola Gay B-29 bomber of Hiroshima infamy if you’re into history, or the filming of “Con Air” if you’re into Nicholas Cage):

PM530038.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM530040.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


The Enola Gay Museum was closed of course, but there was a great relic of a WWII transport plane:

PM530041.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM530047.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM530050.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Plus the remains of a racetrack facility with some wonderfully patinaed cars:

PM530062.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM530064.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Then of course- the Bonneville Salt Flats:

PM530066.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM530070.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM530072.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Then, I had to make tracks because lunch would be at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah. Ski jumpers are crazy, these ramps were huge:

PM530081.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Enough with Utah, we have plenty more saved for the return trip. Wyoming! There’s a wonderful frontier museum at the Fort Bridger State Historic Site, which I had almost all to myself. This fort was a stop along the Pony Express, which is remarkably well remembered for a business that failed after only a few years:

PM230076.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM230060.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM530094.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Keeping with the “Wyoming is a tough place” theme, dinner was at the Wyoming Frontier Prison Museum (don’t commit a felony in Wyoming):

PM230086.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


But the neighboring landscape is lovely:

PM530113.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


But Nebraska beckoned, and there’s an impressive Lincoln sculpture to welcome you at the border:

PM530123.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM530119.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Last edited:

JDS

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Messages
776
Location
San Francisco, CA
Real Name
David Schultz
Day 3: Sidney Nebraska to Wright City, Missouri

The rest stop near Sidney conveniently had some deserted hills nearby, so the morning routine would be simple.

20200804_141642220_iOS.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


That is, until I saw the multiple "beware of rattlesnakes"signs posted everywhere. Dying in the hills of Nebraska would be a bad way to end the road trip, but having my body discovered next to my portable "facilities" would be much worse. After finding safer "facilities", on to the Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles:

PM240099.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM240104.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Next was Kearney where they have a big arch over the freeway, but I didn't capture it well so let's save the bandwidth. Lunch was at the Museum of American Speed, closed of course but with a sweet dirt track race car in front:

PM240112.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM240113.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Evening saw Missouri and the remarkable National WWI Memorial in Kansas City. Yes, the statue is phallic, but also what wonderful architecture- I loved it:

PM240141.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM240122.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM240146.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


(ugh, I should have straightened this photo first- maybe I'll edit later but most of these are SOOC Jpegs)

PM540158.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM540144.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Last edited:

JDS

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Messages
776
Location
San Francisco, CA
Real Name
David Schultz
Day 4: Wright City Missouri to Asheville, North Carolina

Day four started with a lovely alfresco shower near Wright City:

20200805_142310869_iOS.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


First stop: the beautiful town of Paducah, Kentucky on the Ohio River. There was a park on the river called Schultz Park, since that's my last name I had to visit:

PM250157.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Downtown Paducah is very picturesque:

PM250166.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


...with a great ice cream place (rolled ice cream, what a concept!):

PM250168.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


At this point I had to hustle to get to North Carolina, so the photo experience faded a bit- until day five...
 
Last edited:

JDS

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Messages
776
Location
San Francisco, CA
Real Name
David Schultz
Day 5: Asheville, NC to Bakerville, Illinois

Day five started at a lovely rest stop near Asheville, in the Black Mountains near the Blue Ridge Parkway. Facilities were a challenge, until I found this asbestos dump nearby (more foreshadowing?):

20200806_142802763_iOS.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


As this is a photography site I'll spare the happy reunion photos, let me just say it's a true thrill seeing your teenager again after months of enforced separation! Our drive started on the Blue Ridge Parkway, because of course it did:

PM260176.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM260190.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


There was a certain amount of tracing family history during this trip, so our next stop was a train bridge in Knoxville, Tennessee. My dad used to cross this bridge as a kid, after listening to the tracks for oncoming trains. He was crazy- imagine if he had to jump!

PM260194.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Continuing with the family history theme, we stopped at Fort Negly in Nashville, Tennessee, where my great, great, great uncle was stationed during the Civil War (and yes, I need to get better at using the level- or doing some damn post-processing):

PM260197.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


The evening saw Metropolis, Illinois- and of course Superman (I'm using the photos without my son, I don't like family pictures posted openly on the internet). Safety first - Superman was wearing a mask and distancing:

PM560189.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 2, 2014
Messages
6,560
Location
Knoxville, TN
Day 4: Wright City Missouri to Asheville, North Carolina

Day four started with a lovely alfresco shower near Wright City:

View attachment 893400

First stop: the beautiful town of Peducah, Kentucky on the Ohio River. There was a park on the river called Schultz Park, since that's my last name I had to visit:

View attachment 893401

Downtown Peducah is very picturesque:

View attachment 893402

...with a great ice cream place (rolled ice cream, what a concept!):

View attachment 893403

At this point I had to hustle to get to North Carolina, so the photo experience faded a bit- until day five...

Note: It is spelled Paducah.

Great documenting!
 

JDS

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Messages
776
Location
San Francisco, CA
Real Name
David Schultz
Day 6: Bakerville IL to Grainfield, Kansas

Day five ended with a huge question- can two large males actually sleep in the back of a minivan, on plywood sheets suspended by wooden brackets? Well- yes actually, pretty comfortably. Clip-on fans powered by the cigarette lighter outlet really worked well. I brought mesh screens & suction cup clips to keep the windows open without attracting bugs, but we really didn't need them. You would think the setup would be shaky and bouncy, but it was remarkably stable- better than a queen bed. And I extended the boards to create some small dividers, so we weren't kicking each other. Vanlife - not bad, actually... especially if you have a powered cooler and an outlet at the back of the minivan.

Stop one- St. Louis & the Gateway Arch (it's a generic & mediocre photo so I won't spend much time on it):

PM570197.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Next up: back to the WWI memorial in Kansas City, as I thought my son would enjoy it. It was cool to see it in different light:

PM570199.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


On to Topeka Kansas, and the segregated school that precipitated the Brown vs. Board of Education decision at the Supreme Court. After a summer of protests around Black Lives Matter, this was a really poignant visit- and we had it all to ourselves:

PM570206.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM570203.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

JDS

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Messages
776
Location
San Francisco, CA
Real Name
David Schultz
Day 7: Grainfield Kansas to Crescent Junction, Colorado

Facilities on a road trip like this are, um, not luxurious, but someone thoughtfully left this oil well for us in Kansas:

20200808_152948494_iOS.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Kansas is a lovely state, but we were struggling a bit to find memorable photo stops along Interstate 70. How about a Huey Cobra near a gas station...?

PM280227.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)



Many of these little towns along the freeway get much of their funding from extracting bits of cash from some of the passing traffic. Lunch was at one of these, the Old Town Museum in Burlington, a very nice stop- we were happy to share a few bucks to visit:

PM580215.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM580219.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


I loved almost every mile of this trip, America is a physically amazing place, pretty much everywhere. Except Eastern Colorado. Apologies to any locals, but damn- east of Denver is rough... But then you get to Denver, and the Wings Over the Rockies museum. I would love to go inside sometime, but the B-52 in front is brilliant (I gave my beloved E-P5 to my son, who isn't a photographer but really enjoyed it):

PM580221.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM580231.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Onto the Rockies, and the spa town of Glenwood Springs, where masks and social distancing wasn't very much in effect... Superspreader site anyone? We stayed clear of all that, but did enjoy the setting- and would love to return someday:

PM580248.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM580250.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Sunset on the horizon looked weird, then absolutely spectacular. I would have one of the spectacular photos, except I didn't take any- we realized my son's E-P5 was back at the outdoor table in Glenwood Springs (we recovered it thankfully!):

PM580268.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


The weirdness was soon explained- more fires:

PM580281.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

JDS

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Messages
776
Location
San Francisco, CA
Real Name
David Schultz
Day 8: Crescent City to Ely, Nevada

Day 8 was the magic day- where we took extra time to explore Utah. Get ready, this day was photo crazy!

My son had gone to a camp in Utah, and was very excited to share some of his locations with me. We left the interstate early, and routed south through the Grand Staircase Escalante- but I'm getting ahead of myself. For starters, a very rough, desolate but strangely beautiful morning routine site:

20200809_141200917_iOS.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


20200809_154346230_iOS.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Cleaning crew at Avis: I'll never meet you and you'll never see this, but I sincerely apologize for what you had to do to get this ready for the next customer. We tried to keep the interior clean, but the nose, well...:

20200809_153309499_iOS.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Before the "good stuff" we drove south- even the "boring stuff" is beautiful in Utah:

PM590291_color.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM590297_color.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


This is an unnamed, whatever stop along the way. Really, Utah is otherworldly:

PM590303_color.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM590306_color.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


First up: Grand Staircase Escalante national park, the highlight of the trip. Or was it, because of what followed...? Anyway, what an amazing place:

PM590319.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM290267.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM290270.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Lunch was near a grove of Quaking Aspen, one of the largest living things in the world. That cluster of trees is one plant:

PM590324.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

BrianMc

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Mar 29, 2018
Messages
26
Hey now - we made it through the summer with reasonable case rates! Maybe it’s because everyone at the hot springs in the summer is from out of town though.
 

JDS

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Messages
776
Location
San Francisco, CA
Real Name
David Schultz
Day 8: Crescent City to Ely, Nevada, Continued...

Utah is too big for one post, we're not even into the heart of Grand Staircase Escalante yet! I warned you, image heavy...

PM590328.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM290286.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM290303.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM290318.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Next up, Bryce Canyon. Okay, maybe Bryce was the highlight of the trip:

PM290326.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM590332.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM590333.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM290338.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM290345.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM290352.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM290354.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Let's stop, as I could post dozens more. Western Utah along the border with Nevada was our location for dinner, near some old kilns. This was the most desolate place I've ever been, maybe two cars went by during the hour or so we spent there. Finally, we could use our portable grill! (I'll break my rule and post my son, as this is what I have)

20200810_021635088_iOS.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM590349.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Our last experience while driving into Nevada was to stop in the mountains and shoot the Milky Way. It was cold and windy, we were on the side of the road with occasional, fast traffic, I had a micro tripod set up on the roof of the van and I've no experience shooting stars (and didn't have time to research). All of that showed in my results (i.e. this photo kinda sucks). I'll try again someday:

PM290370.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Last edited:

BosseBe

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Aug 7, 2015
Messages
4,203
Location
Stockholm, Sweden
Real Name
Bo
Thank you for sharing!
I love to do road trips in the US, but yours must have been extra special since you had a real purpose with it, bringing home your son!
You have shown me places that I want to visit and beautiful pictures, Thanks again!
 

JDS

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Messages
776
Location
San Francisco, CA
Real Name
David Schultz
Day 9: Ely Nevada to Walnut Creek, California (home!)

Our final day on the road! We slept at the Train Museum in Ely, where they had a wonderful steam engine and some great classic cars:

PM500353.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM200387.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


The morning routine was along an unused train track at a deserted mine nearby- or so we thought!

20200810_161844874_iOS.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM500356_color.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Our timing was lucky, as after we got back in the van we discovered that nearby tracks were still being used!

PM500369_color.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)



PM500374_color.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Ely started us on "The Loneliest Highway", Highway 50 through Nevada. Spoiler alert: in mid-August 2019, it was not- 50 was a busy throughway compared to Highway 21 through Western Utah. That said, we did okay getting the classic "Highway 50 shot"

PM200394.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM500384_color.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Lunch was in Eureka, the retail district downtown didn't contain Chanel or Nordstrum's:

PM200405.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


The afternoon stop at the end of Highway 50 included the by-now ubiquitous military aircraft shot:

PM500385.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


As we approached home, we started to get Bay Area driving & traffic. We were passed by a nut job driving at mach speed down the breakdown lane through heavy traffic. I said to my son that, just once, I want to see one of these bastards pay the price for putting us all at risk. I guess the road trip gods were listening:

PM500391.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PM200413.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Glad that wasn't us! A sour note to end a road trip that provided memories to last a lifetime.

America really is this physically spectacular- shots are SOOC, Natural setting on the camera + polarizing filters for many shots. But not exaggerated, Instagrammed, etc- it looks like this. If you have a chance to do a cross-country road trip with a teenage child, I can't recommend it highly enough!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Messages
6,092
Location
Mars
Some really great photos and a great story but for me it is just too much, this is coming from someone who does long post. I feel it would have been more effective if you had broken it up into multiple threads, maybe combine a few states together for each thread.
 

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Mu-43 is a fan site and not associated with Olympus, Panasonic, or other manufacturers mentioned on this site.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Forum GIFs powered by GIPHY: https://giphy.com/
Copyright © Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom