From Sea to Shining Sea

As promised, here’s the photos from our trip across country.  As a photographer at heart, I naturally started snapping while in the air.  The first sights were Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Hood as my connecting flight took off from Portland, OR.

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While in Virginia we were waylaid with the tunnel closures due to terrorist threats and decided to check out the historic St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in downtown Norfolk.  There were several revolutionary war tombstones, some that time has since almost over grown and a cannon ball in the side of the church from a British ship!  Although the church caretaker informed us that the cannon ball actually bounced off the wall when fired and was later inserted into the wall for historical reenactments.  He also said that every so often it falls back out of the wall and they have to plaster it back in!  I love getting the inside scoop on cool stories like that!

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We were also able to tour the inside of the church where we found impressive stained glass windows, and this amazing hand-carved wood organ!

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After leaving VA we drove through West Virginia, where we spotted this rig on the turnpike.  I’m fairly certain they were repos, but the fact that they left the car trunk and truck windows open for the haul was astonishing!

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We also spotted this cool double bridge amidst the construction (hence the orange in the margin) during one heck of a rain storm in Charleston.

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And somewhere in western West Virginia this rig snuck up on us and flew by.  I barely had time to collect my senses and grab my camera to get a shot.  That eagle statue is actually on a towed trailer which was also decorated.  I’ve searched the internet for info on what spurred this strange creation, but wasn’t able to find anything in particular.

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While in Kentucky we spotted this 9/11 tribute ‘window art’ on a car at the gas station we happened to stop at.  I thought it was pretty darn cool.

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I snapped this photo somewhere in Kansas after a guy at a rest stop offered $10,000 for the truck.  He claimed he’d been following us for about a half hour scoping the truck out and trying to keep up with us!  Obviously we declined the offer.  There’s much more sentimental value in that hunk of metal than almost any offer could cover.

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After that, Kansas was long and flat. Fields, sky and windmills for HUNDREDS of miles!

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Along with the occasional batch of sunflowers of course!

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I didn’t get any shots of Colorado as we entered, since it was already dark by then, but I did get several shots of the region as we made our way from Denver to Durango.  This is the Colorado I remember.

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We stopped for gas in one of many small towns we passed through and I spotted these flags on the hillside.  It screamed small-town America to me, and I loved it!

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While at that stop I saw a pretty Australian Shepard sitting on a truck bed, patiently waiting for her owner to return from inside. I went over to take her picture as she sat, but once she saw me come close she immediately wanted attention and a few pats on the head.  I was hooked.  Who wouldn’t be with that face?  I finally got her to back up enough to get this shot just before her owner returned.

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In Durango, we stayed with my husband’s aunt on her ranch, which held a wealth of wonderful photo ops around the rustic barn, nearby river and house which dates back to the 1800s!

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Inside, the house was a treasure trove of antiques and historical finds, like this 1950’s stove and fiesta ware!

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And I nearly swooned at all this green glass!

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We spotted this cool old church in the historic section of Durango, but didn’t have time to explore.

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We also saw this cool rig, which I’m sure see’s lots of action come winter!

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Back on the road, we headed out of Colorado and into Utah.  More fields, sky and miles of very little.

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I did enjoy these two Indian statues at a gas station we stopped at.  I’m not sure why they were there, but they were pretty large!

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Quickly the fields gave way to sagebrush.

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Which then led to very colorful mountains in unique formations as we approached Moab.

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And then on the side of the road was THIS!

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We’d discussed going to see the famous arch in Moab, but I knew it would be a several hour detour to do so and not an entirely fun one with our large rig.  So when we spotted this arch literally on the side of the highway I was delighted.  Luckily the hubby let me spend 10-15 minutes snapping a few different angles.

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And just to give you a little perspective on size, here’s some hikers that were climbing while we were there.

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Just down the road from the arch we spotted this little “Hole in the Rock”.  It looked like an interesting tourist stop, but we were on a mission to cover miles so I just snapped a quick shot as we went by.

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Just past Moab we stopped again for gas at a station right next to THIS!  I was literally giddy!

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I can’t say what I wouldn’t have given to have a model to use this background!

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Just think of the possibilities for themed sessions here!

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As I made my way back to the truck I spotted these wig wams.  I’m sure they’re not traditional or authentic, but they were still pretty cool.

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And as I shot the sights the mob apparently pulled in…We never did figure out who this group really was, but they sure did look suspicious driving all black Lexus and Audi’s individually.  Only two cars had a passenger, and everyone in the group was a young male – although they did have different state tags and the drivers were different ethnicities.   Whoever they were, they sure got a LOT of attention!

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From there it was more desert landscapes.  While they hold a beauty all their own they still aren’t my favorite.  It just can’t compete with the splendor of the changing seasons.

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This rock formation and upside down flag were high above what I think was a coal plant in nowhere Utah.  I wondered who had climbed up there to install the flag pole and what their significance was for hanging the flag incorrectly.  Perhaps in protest of the coal?  Maybe on accident?  I’ll never know.

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We spotted this train heading into a tunnel below us as we rounded a curve, so the hubby made a pit stop when a large shoulder was available soon after so I could get a better shot.

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And I decided to do a close-up of these rail road irons that were sitting where we pulled off.62

Several hundred miles later we entered the Columbia Gorge, where we paused along the river briefly.

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I ventured down the little trail there to get this final shot of the dam and locks just up river.

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We pulled into Portland a little while later and were then busy with unloading the truck and several appointments for things we can’t get up here in Alaska.  Apparently we were so busy that I didn’t take any more pictures!  So that’s our trip across the country in a nut-shell.  Watch my photography website, Jenna D’ Photography for the portraits I created during sessions for several family members and friends!  There’s going to be some great ones! 🙂

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