Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Long Journey Home

It goes without saying, but, well here goes: it’s a long way from San Diego to Portland. My nephew and I had an amazing road trip. Our last night was spent at Success Lake, an ironic, repeat move from our biggest road trip: the long haul from Nashville to Sacramento, 2009.

In the morning west of Porterville headed towards 99 North.
Old tree sunrise, Andrew D. Barron©1/10/12
We lingered in Madera for a long time. I shot the rest of my pack of Instax Wide film.

Once back on the highway, the general theme for this blog began to emerge: out the window with the infrared camera.
Sacramento Valley, Andrew D. Barron©1/10/12
At some point headed north, I found Ernie’s General Store. The place was amazing. There was a big wall of fame for lottery winners all shot with a Polaroid OneStep camera. I felt inclined to give my pitch for the Fuji Instax 210.

Arriving Sacramento.
Sacramento Valley, Andrew D. Barron©1/10/12
I lingered in the capital city for a day or two and made my way to Chico. There I rummaged through my storage unit, visited family, and shot a lot of Instax. I even got to play some music with my old friend Robert at a folk circle. It was a huge circle and in two hours, the song only got to me once. I played Slaid Cleaves’ Keychain.

Just one key left from all I ever owned.
I’m turnin’ that key, lettin’ out the clutch.
I never did like this town that much.

Then I made for Portland the long way up US97. North of Mount Shasta, I felt like shooting again.
En route to Klamath Falls, Andrew D. Barron©1/15/12
En route to Klamath Falls, Andrew D. Barron©1/15/12
There was a lot decaying towns along the road. I photographed with the Instax quite a bit. Scanning film photographs will have to wait for another week. On Sunday near sunset, I had to shoot this gas station.
Gas station south of Klamath Falls, Andrew D. Barron©1/15/12
The light was amazing for a split second. The birds, though subtle, do everything I could hope for in a photograph.
Gas station south of Klamath Falls, Andrew D. Barron©1/15/12
Klamath Falls was a nice place to be all alone in a mexican joint.

And the snow comes down from a desert sky,
Tellin’ everybody somethin’, but it’s usually goodbye.
But not you. You’re my one. You’re my only one.

Jeffrey Foucault
Mesa, Arizona

I drove around and shot, but it was getting well past dark. I headed north, camped north of Chemult, and made my way to Bend in the morning. That Monday morning, I saw single digits in my car’s outdoor temperature for the first time.
Five degrees, OR, Andrew D. Barron©1/16/12
I made it to Bend and did a few loops groggy and cold.
Red branches at Bend, OR, Andrew D. Barron©1/16/12
There is much to see in both Klamath Falls and Bend, but I will have to return when the temperature is warmer than 20 degrees farenheit to explore. I turned east for a moment when I saw Smith Rock near Madras, OR, another place I look forward to returning someday.
Smith Rock state park, OR, Andrew D. Barron©1/16/12
Against my own instincts, I had no idea the white knuckle drive from hell I was about to get into on the 26W over the Cascade range at Mount Hood. Well, actually I had some idea. Here, looking west outside of Madras at Mount Bachelor (I’m told), at 60 miles per hour.
Mount Bachelor from US26W, channel swap infrared, Andrew D. Barron©1/17/12
In short order, the snow was really coming down and my heart was pounding. I was too far along to turn back, but the ‘chains required’ signs were taunting me.
Snowbound US26W, Andrew D. Barron©1/16/12
I had mixed feelings about the crawl that traffic had come to for the better part of 20 miles. I was a little concerned about getting moving in the freezing slushy snow, but I never lost traction. It was quite similar to the many times on I80 headed to or from Truckee in years past. When will I learn to listen to myself? See, I missed the turn to stay on 97 and head through The Dalles while in Madras. I figured it wouldn’t be that bad. In the end, I made the 120 mile summit crossing in a tad over four hours.
Snowbound US26W, OR, Andrew D. Barron©1/16/12
Since I drove away from Vancouver, Washington on December 23rd, my trip was 2,712 miles. When I left, I had no intention of being in the Anza Borrego desert, nor much of anything else that happened in the last three weeks. This was my last trip of this sort for the foreseeable future. Now to deal with these 14 rolls of film, among all else.


  1. Wonderful pictures!

  2. Really cool pictures, Andrew. Hope things are going well for you. Keep shooting and posting.


Search This Blog

Blog Archive