AMERICA - SUMMER ROAD TRIP

 Somewhere in Oklahoma

Somewhere in Oklahoma

My girlfriend and I took a car in New York City and drove to Tucson, Arizona, to surprise Elliott’s mom for her Birthday.
After that we went to Oklahoma to visit her cousin that now leaves in Elliott’s grandfather’s house, where Elliott spent her summers as a child.
We then drove to Utah, New Mexico, came back to Tucson spent some days with her family and then drove back to New York City.
In total we passed through 17 states.

Unfortunately one of my film rolls got damaged. All the pictures I shot on it, are lost. It really bothered me for a long time. I guess this is why it took me half year to write and post this article.

We drove through and stayed in some remote desolated places, and other vibrant crowded cities. Towns that are fading away, while still looking as they did 50 years ago. Ghost roads and towns. Sacred lands that stretch for miles and miles until your eyes can’t see. Petrified forests of 225 millions years ago in a purple painted desert, giant trunks, literally crystalized.
I drove into mighty storms that from far away looked like a battle between gods in a pink immense sky framed by red mesa.

This country it’s so beautiful, so big, so fragile, so powerful.

 35mm red scale negative

35mm red scale negative

“I was surprised, as always, by how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. 

The world was suddenly rich with possibility.”

Jack Kerouac; On the Road

 

Santo, TX - Estimated population: 315

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To the place with the porch and the lemonade and the farm. 
Only the rocking chairs and the growing weeds are what is left.

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"Picture-perfect memories scattered all around the floor”

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“With the hat or without?” He asked me.

 

Gordon, TX - Estimated Population: 467

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The more advanced a society is, the greater will be its interest in ruined things, for it will see in them a redemptively sobering reminder of the fragility of its own achievements. 
Ruins pose a direct challenge to our concern with power and rank, with bustle and fame. 
They puncture the inflated folly of our exhaustive and frenetic pursuit of wealth.

Aline, Oklahoma - Estimated Population: 207 

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A field is a silent gospel. I want to inherit this calm. I want to be born again in a farm and serve a greater purpose than my own. 

I want to watch things grow. There is a quiet about this life that I yearn.

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Farmers Coop, Aline, OK
Incorporated April 1, 1927

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Brian: “Granddad got $4 for a bale of hay, and now I only get $3 and somethin. I told em down at the co-op I’d shave my beard when it reached $10. You see now why I got this” 

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Main Street  - Aline, Oklahoma

Cleo, Oklahoma - Estimated Population: 350

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She called me babe

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Boise City, Oklahoma

Population: 1,098

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Gallery below shot on a digital camera.
Everything is shot on film unless otherwise stated.

 

Raton, New Mexico - Population: 6103

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Retracing Jack Kerouac:

“(...) headed for Mexico, telling our own stories. O sad American night!  Then we were in New Mexico and passed the rounded rocks of Raton and stopped at a diner,  ravingly hungry for hamburgers, some of which we wrapped in a napkin to eat over the border below. (IV.4.4)”

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Holbrook (Navajo: Tʼiisyaakin), Navajo County, Arizona.

Population: 5,053

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Every ruin gives you a clear message....

 
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Tom and Suzie. Holbrook, AZ.

We arrived at Holbrook right after sunset and found Tom & Suzie’s Diner,  family owned by a Vietnam Veteran, his wife, daughter and grandson Tom Jr. 
There's a lot of great things to see here in the United States. 
Search for the simple things, they have truth. Road side barbecues and diners. Those times spent with maps and old cups, those are moments that last. Our waitress was like every waitress in every diner; She was like every mom driving her kids to school. 

There was nothing special at all, and that was special to me.

 A 1932 Studebaker  on a section of the original Route 66

A 1932 Studebaker

on a section of the original Route 66

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Tucson, Arizona

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Apollo the Rob-Oat

 
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Sunshine

 
Olimpia Soheve