Road Trip


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My Dad’s house, the only remaining corner of the old farm, served as a focal point for my recent impromptu road trip. I can’t call it my house – I kicked up dust trails, screeching tires as I bolted 36 years ago, Nary a glance in the rear view mirror – no thoughts other than to escape a perceived rural prison.

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Keremeos B.C.

Hitting the freeway out of Vancouver, traveling the 100 miles or so to Hope and the point at which rain forest, farmland and open space gives way to sharp ribbons of mountain highway – the only change in perception is one of feeling my trip has begun. Familiar surroundings still void of emotional attachment. I know what’s coming, understand precisely which bend in the road will ignite inexplicable memories – yet find myself awestruck each and every time. It begins to simmer at Princeton, by the time I reach Keremeos I’m hopelessly lost in another time and place. It isn’t regret or longing, rather an appreciation for the place I came from.

In no particular order, some images of “home”…..

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The place I was raised will never be home again. I can’t “wish back” sprawling acres of fruit orchard we inhabited by telling all the vineyards to go away. It serves no purpose to boo-hoo our baseball diamond – now a parking lot for wine tours or whine because our long driveway now leads to many houses. Beneath the surface I can still make out dirt roads once traveled by our tractor, the “cactus hill” in the middle of my old stomping ground may have a strange home perched on top, yet cactus still bloom and remnants of our old forts still litter the periphery.

What I can do is embark on a road trip – a restorative reminder, not of a physical home but the home that shaped me. A home of sagebrush, rolling hills, clay cliffs, wildflowers and wooden structures. These photographs aren’t impressive, particularly well composed or artistic. What they are is “home” – images that mean something to me.


8 thoughts on “Road Trip

  1. I recently wrote about my home “Time travelled” and from that perspective, I can try and look through those images and imagine what you see. It’s complex and a few adjectives don’t do it but I hope that positive is in there.

  2. This one so resonates with me. I know the feeling well. Every time I drive back to my hometown, I pass the college I went to, towns friends lived in. And I am reminded from whence I come, even though I never quite seemed to fit in there.

    • You nailed it “I never quite seemed to fit in”.That said, my hometown shaped who I am – it explains how I look at life, and I welcome emotional triggers – I have no desire to go back yet smile whenever familiarity rears its ugly head 🙂

  3. Just a thought… Could adding captions with each image be more informative or did you leave them without done on purpose?

  4. I sat in on a couple training sessions for Junior Rangers at the Forest Service and one of the interesting things that came out during one of them was the disparity between place and people — and a discussion about the fact that almost all people associate with places much more quickly than they do with people. ‘Home’ is important to us, and how we feel in a place is a quicker & safer decision than how we feel about people.

    I think it’s a tragic mistake for anyone to think, or worry about whether their photographs ‘mean’ anything — to anyone else, to themselves, as art, etc.. Some of the most amazing photos I’ve seen and ones I’ve taken have been of the most ‘umble of subjects. Pretty much every photo in the world has already been taken by someone else… I don’t think we record these things because they are new… most of the time we are recording what strikes us — and what strikes us isn’t always earth shattering. It’s what makes us feel — good or bad, happy or sad. Recollections of home may be joyous or sad — frequently both. And how someone reacts to our images is none of our doing. It never has been. It never will be. When we say ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ we effectively remove any sense of intrinsicity. A woman isn’t beautiful because of good genes, or makeup; she is beautiful because others see her as beautiful no matter what her visage. A landscape isn’t beautiful because of the arc of a hill or the density of trees, a landscape has beauty when we see something of balance or form that speaks to our soul.

    Shoot away my friend. Share what you shoot. And let the images speak in their own words. They will touch some, and not others — but rest assured they will speak to those who need to hear.

    Travel is good, and going ‘home’ is good whether it’s a healing balm or the cautery of flame.

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