I can't shake the wanderlust of a long dusty road trip. Full of promise and daydreaming and faraway stares over faraway horizons and strange new landscapes. I suppose it's the bohemian desire to follow in Jack Kerouac's footsteps and experience On the Road firsthand? Or maybe it was the hippies a few decades later traveling in their dreamy VW buses with beads around their necks and sandals underfoot? Or maybe it's just been passed down through the East Coast generations to "Go West, Young Man"? Regardless, I've found myself weak in the knees and traveling the 3,000 miles across the country exactly three times.
Growing up in rural NY there was nothing more romantic than dreaming of life in CA. The beaches. The surfers. The skaters. The sunshine. The beaches. (The beaches.) And graduating from college there was nothing more romantic than packing my worldly possessions into my little red Ford Escort and heading west. I wanted to see the ocean roll into mountains roll into grassland roll into desert roll into mountains roll into ocean again. Along the way I fell in love with the Rockies. I fell in love with Northern New Mexico. I fell in love with San Francisco and stayed for three years.
So three big and beautiful years in San Francisco and my then-boyfriend-now-husband and I packed up my little red Ford Escort and drove back to NY. We fell in love with the California coastline. We fell in love with the Rockies. We fell in love with Northern New Mexico and stayed on a commune in the mountains just outside of Taos. My little red Ford Escort made it all the way to my mother's house and died just a few miles outside of town. Like a homing pigeon, it had completed the trip.
Fast-forward through three big and beautiful years in Brooklyn and then we packed up my father-in-law's little gray pickup and headed back to California. Grad school in Oakland was calling me back. So we packed up the little gray pickup and headed west. That was seven years ago. But that's how we came to these photos. August 2005 and heading back across the expansive states to our beloved San Francisco Bay. My West Coast version of home.
Rediscovering these photos is enough to make me long for another trip. To capture the requisite out-the-passenger-window-landscapes. Our photo shoot traditions on desolate roads with some seriously silly posing via my husband's acting skills. The dusty windshield splaying sun rays across the dusty dash. The sunsets. The mountains. The desert. The dense lush green of the East Coast in warm firefly weather. The long windy roads from here to there. The quest for what might be new. The wanderlust. Yes, the wanderlust.