The Mountain to Sea Photo Journey Begins:

         

Map Legend

  • Blue Lines -Highways between destinations.
  • Yellow Trailer Symbols -Campsites.
  • Green Camera Symbols – Photo Spots
  • Orange Camping Symbol– Recommended campgrounds that are great for photo destinations. These are not campgrounds I have stayed in to date.
  • Red Car on Life Symbols – Car and trailer repairs or general maintenance stops.
  • Purple Weather Symbols Major Wind, Fire and Rain Encounters.

Lancaster, California- Home of Lance Travel Trailers

Late January of 2017 I picked up my new RV and headed out with dreams of endless travel and photography throughout the United States and the West in particular.

The Dream

 

Dream Route:

My photography destinations for my first trip, especially towing a travel trailer were unrealistic to say the least.  Here were my planned destinations for just spring and summer.

    • Joshua Tree
    • Wildflower Blooms – Tucson, Phoenix area.
    • Grand Canyon
    • Lake Powell
    • Bryce Canyon
    • Zion
    • Moab 
    • Grand Tetons
    • Yellowstone
    • Sawtooth Mountains
    • Glacier

After that, I figured it would be fall and time to again head south back through southern Utah on my way to Valley of Fire in Nevada.  

Well, that was my plan as I left Lancaster to begin this journey.

Things did not go as planned

Towing a Trailer

I quickly discovered that, towing a trailer, I could not go zipping from place to place as easily as I had envisioned.  Besides slower road travel, setting up and hooking up took longer that expected and weather had a significant impact on the days I could travel.  Since I had previously traveled in a motorhome, I naively thought I was prepared for towing a trailer. Wrong.   

Wind, Rain, and Fires!!!

Weather quickly became a four letter word.  In fact, it was only my second week on the road when I faced the worst flooding rains California had ever encountered.  Needless to say, I could not travel safely and had my first delay in my “dream world” schedule.  From here on through summer, I faced many days of high winds, nearby wildfires, and periods of flooding rains all impacting my ability to reach photo destinations on my dream schedule.  In highsight, I had not been realistic when I planning my first year’s photo journey. 

Traveling with a Cat

I RV with a very cool cat, named Boo. However in the beginning, travel was new to him and it took him time to adjust. During this adjustment time, I decided to limit my drive time to 4 hours a day.  Needless to say,  my destinations and stays were changed.  

Also I had to stay in RV parks on days where temperatures are in the high 90’s instead of boon-docking as I had planned for his safety.

Lastly, due to the wildfires I encountered, I was not comfortable photographing locations that were more than an hour away from where I was camping in case I needed to evacuate quickly.  The thought of Boo being left behind in a trailer with wildfires was unthinkable.  So again, I modified to initial list of photography destinations.

Learning to Boondock

As mentioned, I began my RV life with a 40 foot motorhome bought in 2003. 

Picture of back of a Phaeton Motorhome

 

During all my travels in that motorhome, I had always stayed in established RV parks and hated it.  So with my new travel trailer, equipped with solar, I began to boondock with my first stay being at a BLM site by Cottonwood, Arizona.  I was hooked!  No more staring at my neighbors sewer hose connections while eating at my picnic table.  

 

 

Boondocking Heaven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where did I end up actually photographing in 2017?

In the end, I traveled far less than planned and definitely learned to set a more realistic photograph schedule.  RVing is definitely different than heading to a photo destination in a car!  To see if I learned my lesson check out my 2018 Travels.

Here are a few highlights from 2017

Well that concludes a very brief summary of the beginning of my 2017 Mountain to Sea Photo Journey.  There are so many stories from the road to share that will be coming up soon in a sister site called Click and Hitch.  In the meantime, please be sure to zoom into areas on the map that contain multiple dots in order to see all my photo destinations, campsites, roads traveled and weather related encounters.