For the geographically uninitiated, imagine the United States as a landscape-oriented rectangle. Seattle is way up in the upper left corner. I drove all the way down the left side of that rectangle for about 1400 miles, through the states of Washington, Oregon, and California. When I got to the bottom left corner of my rectangular USA, just outside Los Angeles, I turned left and began to travel along the bottom edge of the box. I covered another 350 miles, moving from California into Arizona, before finally reaching Tucson.
It's such an odd and interesting thing to observe the world that passes by the windows of a traveling car. Although I was seated in the comfort of my climate-controlled bubble, with music, audiobooks and an assortment of snacks at my fingertips, I was also treated to an astonishing panorama of natural beauty. Unfolding in kaleidoscopic variety, I saw sunrises, sunsets, and every swiftly changing and subtly unique angle of the sun's rays in between. I crossed rolling hills, glacial flood plains, mountain ranges and desert floors. The sun blazed, clouds gathered, lightening bolts struck, and raindrops fell. It's been an extraordinarily beautiful trip, and I did my best to capture at least a reminder of that glory through my camera's lens.
|Even in the industrial eyesore of Tacoma, Washington, the setting sun warms the world.|
|Last traces of the sunset turn clouds pink over evening traffic near Centralia, Washington.|
|Portland, Oregon at night is a regal queen. I love to cross her bridges.|
After a long night's drive through the challenging terrain of the Siskiyou mountains of southern Oregon and northern California, the rising sun and crescent moon gently welcomed me to the central valley.
|The rising sun heats up the day and bleaches the sky pale blue.|
Orchards thrive in the dry, still heat..almonds, pistachios, olives, oranges, mandarins.
|South of Stockton, the California sun beats down ferociously. Blue skies and brown hills train my eyes to see a different kind of beauty.|
|High above the parched land, these clouds dazzle the eye but offer no hope of rain.|
|The wide, smooth, winding road invites me to keep moving, to see what comes next.|
|Climbing up the mountains east of Bakersfield and into the Mojave Desert.|
|Purple haze sits on top of the tumbleweed outside Victorville, California. It's beautiful in the fading light of day.|
|The sun sets over California.|
|Looking west at the San Bernadino Mountains, as the twilight gathers.|
|Crossing the Sonoran Desert at midnight. The saguaros are out there, hiding in the darkness. The trucks are much easier to see.|