Year 2 of RVing for Photography
- Blue Lines -Highways between destinations.
- Yellow Trailer Symbols – Campsites.
- Green Camera Symbols – Photo Spots
- Orange Camping Symbol– Recommended campgrounds I have not stayed in but are great for photo destinations.
- Red Car on Life Symbols – Car and trailer repairs or general maintenance stops.
- Purple Weather Symbols – Major Wind, Fire and Rain Encounters.
RV Repairs and Deja Vu
A french term, Deja Vu, for “already seen” was befitting for my first two and a half months of 2018 as once again I began my year at Lance Campers in Lancaster, California. Because my one year warranty was rapidly approaching, I had a few items that needed to be addressed quickly.
My initial plan for a two week stay in Lancaster ending up turning into a two month stay. Parts took longer to arrive than anticipated and then it took another few weeks to get back into the factory for service.
I was quickly discovering how RV travel could destroy photography plans!
Time for a New Tow Vehicle
I was already frustrated with the delays in my photography plans, when another roadblock appeared. As I was towing my RV back to the factory to have the parts installed, the brakes on my one year old low mileage Tahoe failed.
Yes, 2018 was getting off to a bad start.
So instead of being in Southern California photographing San Diego and other places on my list, I now had to wait and get my brakes replaced. Upon researching the brake issue, I discovered that it was a common problem with a faulty part on my model Tahoe and the part that was installed was likely to fail again.
Since I tow a 6000 lb trailer over mountain grades, I was not willing to risk another brake failure. So instead of photographing spring in the Desert Southwest, I spent 5 long weeks car shopping. The Tahoe was replaced with a Nissan NV 3500 van which towed so much better and also had a lot more room for stuff! In fact, I love the van and have tons of storage!
Photographers listen up- Expect a lot of delays in your photography travels when you own an RV!
Finally the Journey Continues:
Now four months into 2018, I resumed my Mountain to Sea Journey travels by heading north to Monument Valley and Gooseneck State Park in Southern Utah. Unfortunately, it was now the first of May and heat and wildfires had settled into the area. In fact before I left Williams, Arizona, while traveling on Interstate 40, I drove through a fire in the median. With each day, wildfire conditions only got worse. Sadly, the skies were so smoky I did not even bother to take the classic Forest Gump shot in Monument Valley.
After a week in the area I knew it was time to head north quickly. Photographing the Moab area would have to wait for fall. Yes, here was another example of how unexpected weather events can alter photography plans. In fact, between the RV, car, and weather, I was beginning to question the feasibility of my Journey.
Photographs from My 2018 Travels:
After leaving Monument Valley, I skipped all photography destinations in order to get out the wildfires and extreme heat. It was not until Idaho that I finally took my camera out again to photograph two great locations from my shooting checklist: The Perrine Bridge and Shoshone Falls.
I also headed to Ketchum, Idaho which was stunningly beautiful but it was too windy for photography during my trip. The mountains and lakes that surround this area will definitely be on my must photograph list.
Now it was time to travel to Oregon for the summer and Crater Lake and Cascade waterfalls were first on my list.
After only a week of great conditions, the heat and fires caught up with me so I reluctantly packed up and headed for the coast. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Pacific Coast but was hoping for a little more time in the Cascade Range.
I was not alone in my travel plans. Millions and millions of other campers all headed to the coast to escape heat and fires. “Campground Full” signs were everywhere and I was not able to find places to stay in a number of photography spots on my list.
Now I will listen to other photographers who told me to wait till Fall/Winter to photograph the coast.
On the Road to Moab
As summer came to an end, it was time to begin the trek back south through the fall foliage of Utah to Moab. However, who can pass up an opportunity to photograph cool barns?
On my way through Western Utah to Moab, wildfires again found me! There was just no escaping them. Sadly the entire area I was planning to photograph along the Nebo Scenic Highway was on fire. So again my photography plans to another hit.
Moab at Last!
Finally my photography luck took a turn and I began to encounter stunning skies, great storm clouds and absolutely fabulous conditions for the remainder of the time in Utah and Nevada.
Return to Zion
My return trips to Zion produced my favorite images of the entire year and kept me very busy. In fact, there were days where I wished for bad photo weather just so I could rest!
Returning to Valley of Fire State Park
I fell in love with photographing Valley of Fire and could return over and over again to this amazing collection of Aztec and Limestone rock formations.
Time to Stop for the Winter
Hopping around Arizona/California
It’s now December and I close the year bouncing between the California and Arizona border from Lake Havasu City to Bullhead to Parker. And it’s time to put the camera away until 2019 and tackle some major changes I have been putting off.
Stay tuned in late January 2019 for another year of my Mountain to Sea Photo Journey.
Thanks for following my Journey this year and I hope to see you on the road next year!