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Leaving God’s Country, Wandering Home

Day 7

I was up before the sun and packing my car. I’d decided to stay the night even though I had the wedding to shoot on Saturday. It’s a 960 mile trip home and I had to get started. I was trying to be quiet so as not to wake the old folks. I was walking back in the house to leave my key about 7 am. Buddy had gotten up momentarily and I said goodbye to him. He gave me a big hug. I’d have been fine leaving if I’d not seen him. But that made me tear up. I love that man and I never know when it will be the last time. I walked out to my car grabbed my camera to shoot the results of the rising sun. Then I was on my way.

I ran out to the ranch to get some last shots of country and critters. There were a flock of wild turkeys running about. The herd of elk was about back in the canyon again. This time much farther away so I could see where they were at various times of the day. If I still hunted this would be good info to know. And I stopped long enough to get a photo of myself feeling nice and peaceful.

I left town by 7:30. Out through Springer and headed to Clayton at the border. I stopped at the trading post at Gladstone to buy some honey and a ristra of chilis for Toni and Rob.

I was driving along when I noticed an old adobe house alongside the road. It was across a well maintained fence but I got several good shots. A little ways up was this cemetery which was strange. I could see if it were a family plot, but it appeared to be a multiple family plot. There were no other buildings and the nearest town is literally 30 miles away. A little far to go to bury someone. Some burials were new enough. Some were old and many were nearly obscured by the encroaching woods. The place looked to be maintained so why not cut the brush back?

Out to Clayton then Boise City, OK where I stopped at No Man’s Land Beef Jerky to buy some jerky. In case you wonder, it’s about the best jerky I’ve ever found. Then up into Kansas following a route Tracey told me about. Literally the shortest distance between 2 points. I missed seeing chimerae as I took the Turnpike through Witchita and up to Emporia. I was making good time until I got to Kansas City and everything came to a screeching halt. It was bad enough because it was the end of rush hour. But to also hit construction with 4 lanes merging into 1 was more than the road could handle. I inched along for 2 hours. Then another hour to Cameron, MO and across Missouri to Quincy, IL and another hour to home. I made it in 16 hours with very few stops, Averaged 38 mpg. Over 1,000 photos shot.

I went in and got a cup of tea to decompress. I was in bed by 2 am and up by 8 am to check my email and see when I needed to be at the wedding. As it stood, I was at home only two hours before I had to leave and head south 70 miles to Pawnee. It was a nice little country wedding. It started at 4 and I stayed until Midnight. I shot 970 photos and gave them to them on CD. Got paid right away. Enough to pay for the gas on my vacation. Plus they fed me. Mostly I did candids and posed shots but I did do a few compilations in PhotoShop for them. They had this arch they got married under and it was lighted. But by the time it got dark they were pretty drunk. So I used a night shot of the archway and the first kiss from the ceremony. I think it came out pretty well.

I got home around 2 am and got 6 hours of sleep before getting up to clean the house and start mowing because the folks were getting there that evening. I left around 8 pm and drove back to Joliet and was in bed by 2 am. Then got up at 6:30 for work the next morning. Exhausted but refreshed. Great trip!




( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 3rd, 2008 09:28 pm (UTC)
In your neck of the woods...
I'll be in Schaumburg next week (10/5-10/9). Get in touch with me if you want to get together!

- Eric
Oct. 3rd, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC)
I envy you. The last time I shot photos at a wedding, it took me two solid weeks to go through around 1000 shots!
Oct. 3rd, 2008 09:58 pm (UTC)
Luckily they just wanted the raw files to save them money. I told them I'd edit where they wanted me to. I just wanted them to have a few really nice ones.

Oct. 3rd, 2008 10:24 pm (UTC)
I didn't even charge the couple since they were friends. My business sense is really bad. :P

Fantastic photos, BTW... I am surprised that you are not using a Flickr account. The networking system there is really good. And the amount of exposure is pretty good as well, especially since you sell prints of your photos.
Oct. 4th, 2008 12:15 am (UTC)
I'll check it out. I'm using Imagekind and they have been pretty good to me so far.

Oct. 4th, 2008 07:03 am (UTC)

Definitely a part of the countryside to add to my "need to see" list.
Oct. 4th, 2008 12:12 pm (UTC)
It's home for me. I'll retire there sometime.

Oct. 4th, 2008 05:42 pm (UTC)
I like that picture of you. Your eyes seem to be the exact same color as your shirt.
You know I am a sucker for green-eyed redheads!
Oct. 5th, 2008 03:08 pm (UTC)
My eyes are blue but they change depending on my mood so I get green sometimes too.

Oct. 6th, 2008 11:35 pm (UTC)
I remember that your eyes are blue.:) I also remember you said they turn green sometimes. That picture sure proves it.
Oct. 5th, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC)
Nice icon by the way.

Oct. 6th, 2008 11:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks. You've seen the real thing. The oil painting....I mean.
Oct. 6th, 2008 11:37 pm (UTC)
Yes, that's what started the discussion about the portraits I recall. So again I'm looking forward to that.

Oct. 5th, 2008 06:55 pm (UTC)
I love listening to your accounts when you get home from a trip. Nice pics too!
Oct. 6th, 2008 05:24 am (UTC)
I still have the NC trip to report on and more photos.

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )