the blog of Seldom Seen Photography

A Great American Road Trip – coming soon

Split Mountain at Dinosaur National Monument, circa 1983

It’s amazing what being Freshly Pressed does. My blog had 23 views on September 5th, a rather typical day. Then on September 6th, WordPress featured my blog Mountain Blues in their Freshly Pressed blogs, resulting in 2,784 views that day and over 3,000 the next day. Wow! Prior to Tuesday, I had 5 subscribers to my blog and now, at last count, I have 73! All I can say is thank you to all who visited the blog over the past few days, all who left comments, and special thanks to all my new subscribers. But now, with all you guys watching, I feel pressure to come up with new, exciting blogs. There certainly is some freedom in living in obscurity. Maybe after a few more blogs, all you new subscribers will get tired of me and take yourselves off the list. I hope not, but one never knows.

Dinosaur National Monument, circa mid 1990s

So in light of that pressure, what to blog about. I haven’t had much chance to do any photography since my trip to Blue Mountain and Deer Park. Between the day job, preparing for the Mountaineers Photo exhibition and reception (see my last blog), and researching sites to go on my upcoming vacation, there hasn’t been much time for new photography. So, this blog is more about my pending vacation. I briefly wrote about it several weeks ago, but serious planning is now going on. Several weeks ago, it was still an idea, more of an ephemeral vision than a hard date on the calendar. Now we have an itinerary, have some hotel reservations set, and have a house sitter arranged. Now it is starting to seem real.

Normally I’m a kind of go-with-the-flow guy; and if time was not of the essence, I’d consider just taking off without a set itinerary. But, there’s a lot to see and photograph, and only a limited time to do it. Besides, I like the planning; I like pre-visualizing potential shots. The only hard dates are the start, the finish, and the three days in Sante Fe where we’ve already paid half our hotel bill. Most everywhere else we will be camping.

Tanya and I love the American Southwest. I’ve made quite a few trips down there, mostly to Utah. We haven’t been in several years, so felt it was time to go again. Tanya expressed a desire to go to Sante Fe, and that’s were the seed of this trip was planted. The tentative itinerary has us driving first to Dinosaur National Monument, then on the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, down to the San Juan Mountains area of Colorado, over to Taos, then on to Sante Fe, and on the way back stopping at Chaco Culture National Historic Park, the Bisti Wilderness, Natural Bridges National Monument, and Moab.

The idea was to go see some new places in the Southwest, or at least spend more time in places I’ve only touched lightly long ago. Of all these places, I have only spent significant time in the Moab area. I have actually been to Dinosaur National Monument, twice – once a quick stop in 1983 while driving down to grad school in Texas (Texas A&M), and once a rafting trip in the early 90s. Though the raft trip was several days long, I didn’t get to see much beyond the river; so this new trip will explore new territory there. In 1984, on my way back from grad school, I stopped for about an hour at the Black Canyon, so that really doesn’t count either. And I spent several hours in Sante Fe while a teaching assistant on a geology field camp, again in 1984. And I recall a distant memory of when I was young, perhaps in junior high school or maybe grad school, on a family vacation, we drove through the San Juan Mountains. I’ve never been to Natural Bridges, Bisti, Taos, or Chaco Canyon.

So, this blog is supposed to be about photography, not about where I traveled ages ago. Thus I needed something to illustrate it with, so I dug out the old slide albums. It was hard finding anything decent to show, but finally found the two images here, taken long ago in Dinosaur National Monument. Most of those old slides are pretty bad; my composition and exposure skills have come a long way in the past 30 years. Hopefully with this upcoming Great American Road Trip, I’ll bring some better shots home.

15 responses

  1. This is an absolutely gorgeous photo. It has great color, and the slight reflection in the water is beautiful. It’s such a clear and crisp photo! Keep up the good work, can’t wait to see more πŸ™‚

    September 8, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    • Carolyn – glad you like the shots here. In critiquing my own work from years ago, I think the top one is pretty good. The one with the stream has some problems. I’m hoping to do better on the new trip. Glad you can’t wait to see more, I can’t wait to take more πŸ™‚

      September 9, 2011 at 7:57 am

  2. Chintan Gupta

    πŸ™‚ I came to your blog through Freshly Pressed as well….But am not complaining. I love your style of photography, it inspires and well pressure can do wonders some time…and so does appreciation πŸ™‚


    September 9, 2011 at 12:45 am

    • Chintan – thank you for subscribing and thanks for appreciation of my photography.

      September 9, 2011 at 7:59 am

  3. Count me as one of those who not only discovered your blog via Freshly Pressed, but subscribed as well. Your stuff is wonderful. I’m from just over the line in Canada, but have been to a few of the places you’ve shown here. They brought back great memories. Twisp! Haven’t thought of that trip for ages. πŸ™‚

    September 9, 2011 at 2:51 am

    • Ian – thank you as well for subscribing. Twisp is a great place. We have friends with a cabin there (did I say that in the blog I wrote about it?) so get over once a year or so. It’s so relaxing and beautiful. But British Columbia is very beautiful too. I have to get to Canada again some day, especially when it is so close! So many places to go and so little time…

      September 9, 2011 at 8:03 am

  4. hmunro

    I can relate to the “performance anxiety” that follows being Freshly Pressed. But don’t worry about disappointing your adoring public: As long as you continue to post your thoughtful meditations and gorgeous photos, *this* new subscriber will keep coming back! As others have commented, your images are an inspiration.

    September 9, 2011 at 8:48 am

    • Thank you Hmunro; though I’m not sure how “thoughtful” my meditations are.

      September 9, 2011 at 12:17 pm

  5. Love your pics! If you ever want to “guest blog” on my site – or post any pics of Colorado – we’d love it!
    Happy Trails!

    September 9, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    • Thanks Angela, I’ll have to take you up on that after I come back from my trip – should (hopefully) have lots of good shots of Colorado.

      September 10, 2011 at 9:44 am

  6. Joe,
    I think your coming up article will be great. Traveling and photographing the USA is fantastic. I am not a photographer. But I just spent 5 days at Bryce Canyon National Park in Southern Utah. We hiked for 3 days and rode horses one day. All of the trips takes you through some of the most fantastic seldom seen views. Beautiful Colors and Shapes amazed us. We are doing our Great American Rode Trip now via a Motorhome. Going on 5 months. Can’t wait to see some of those photo’s.

    Great Work,


    September 14, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    • Thanks for commenting Mark. I love Bryce Canyon, it is a special place. I’ve been there several times, but have never been able to stay more than overnight. With 5 days, I bet you had time to really discover some great spots!

      September 14, 2011 at 9:07 pm

      • Joe,

        Yes we found several great spots. When you go back be and can do any hiking. Be sure to hike the Fairytale Loop. Once you start the hike you discover why it is called Fairytale look. Looking off to your right it looks as if there are 3 or 4 Huge Castles with tall walls. And this trail takes you right to, thru and around them. Great for photos, even for me.
        Our Travel blog is or you can just Google “Land Yacht Ahoy”


        September 20, 2011 at 10:16 pm

      • Thanks for the tip Mark. Though it may be a few years before I get back to Bryce. And sorry for the slow reply, I’ve been on the road and haven’t had a chance to hit the internet until today.

        September 24, 2011 at 8:49 pm

  7. Pingback: Home Again « joebeckerphoto

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