It hasn’t slipped our attention that this little blog reboot has occurred without us having explained what this trip is all about. In the rush of packing, cleaning the house, and finishing up last-minute work deadlines, we just didn’t have time to properly explain where we are going, what we’re doing or why.
And of course, life on the road has been equally busy. We’ve driven 2900 km since Friday, stopping only for quick snapshots of nearby scenery and to refresh ourselves with fatty fast-food and innumerable road coffees.
Yesterday (day 3) was a blur of contrasting scenery and weather. We followed a line of rugged mountains down through Utah, from the freeway hell of Salt Lake City, through to the unbelievably beautiful vistas near Zion National Park and into the northwestern tip of Arizona, before finally hitting the wide-open scrub of the Nevada desert.
Last night around dinnertime, we dropped out of the high desert north of Vegas and first spotted the hazy blue sprawl and garish casinos from of the Strip from afar. Maybe it was the silhouettes of the mega casinos, maybe it was the fading desert light. Maybe it was the steady diet of Elvis and Sinatra we had been blasting at high volume for the past hour, singing along and dancing like idiots. Whatever it was, we were stoked to be here.
Although we had checked the Internet for a hotel (the one Laura’s parents recommended was all booked up), we arrived in true Vegas spirit, gambling that we could simply drive up to the Luxor and get a room. Our luck held.
So now, we’re here. But why Vegas in the first place? If you know Laura and I, you’ll know that excess really isn’t our bag, and despite being up for pretty much anything, Las Vegas has never been at the top of our to-do list. We don’t really gamble. Buffets make us gassy. And we won’t be ordering prostitutes any time soon, regardless of how many trucks we see drive by with catchy advertising slogans (“HOT BABES: DELIVERED RIGHT TO YOU!”).
The answer to that goes to the heart of something we do care a lot about: our wedding photography business.
I have participated in a certain online wedding photographers’ forum for the past few years, and it’s been a super great place to learn, share and improve. As part of that, I’ve become aware of several American photographers who I respect a great deal. So when we realized that a certain group of them would be holding their annual workshop in Vegas this year, and that the timing was pretty good for our schedule, and that this would be the last year they were holding it, we decided we wanted to make it happen.
We had been talking about doing a bit of longer vacation, so Laura has taken the bulk of her holidays for the year. This will allow us to continue the roadtrip after the workshop. We’re going to head back up I15 and check out some of Utah and Arizona’s world-class parks (Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Grand Canyon), before circling back around into California, where we plan to visit Joshua Tree and drive up the coast to see the redwoods.
The next few days will be dawn-to-dusk wedding photography, as we’re holed up in a ridiculously nice mansion with a bunch of very talented folks all looking to improve their businesses. Although I know we will post all about that eventually, both here and on our photography blog, we probably won’t be able to post much until after the workshop ends. So, thanks for following along so far. Lots more to come, I promise!
Amazing photos! The scenery makes me want to make that drive myself.
Chris Beauchamp Reply:
March 25th, 2012 at 6:39 am
Do it Mark! But wait for Nora to get old enough to enjoy it.
Yep: Yucca brevifolia 😉
just to add to my already nerdy reputation, i’d like to point out that tree in question, while commonly referred to as a Joshua Tree, it is more correctly a species of Yucca (Y. brevifolia), a diverse group of arid-adapted plants native to the US and Mexico.
i really want that souvenir.
Cool trip dudes! Some pretty gnarly landscape you’re travelling though.
While Marcia is correct on the type of tree, I believe that particular tree’s name is Jimmy.
By the way, we were showing isla some pictures of herself on facebook last night (one of her favourite pastimes) and flipped through a bunch of the photos from your last trip. She saw a photo of your grizzled mug, Chris, and made me flip through all of “Cwris’ ” photos too. She was asking for you again this morning. No idea why. 🙂
Any chance you’re going to head up the coast through Oregon, Washington and BC on your way home? I hear Route 101 is pretty righteous and we’ve got another little miller you haven’t met yet.
Hope you two crazy kids have a great time in Vegas!
Pretty sure it’s a Joshua Tree Chris… but I could be wrong! Time to blast some U2 perhaps?