Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Road Trippin Cross Country! Oh That Nashville Charm!

              So I guess December is deer season.  I should have known this from living in Western MA but alas I forgot and was reminded in the most creepy and slightly humorous way.  I left NC bright and early in the morning because I was trying to get to my brother's place in TN and to Nashville well before dark.  I was still also trying to get my self portraits for the trip done somewhere secluded and scenic.  People tend to look at you a little strange when you sit on your car and take pictures.  The morning sky was gorgeous so I was determined to take the pictures that morning.  I went off on another random road and spotted a little path going up to a field.  Since my friends went off roading all the time in MA I had picked up a few tips.  Yes, I drive a small car that has no power but where there's a will there's a way :o)  Oh yeah, I did it!  lol.  I was amazed my car made it up the hill and was able to even back up and find a nice spot.  After about 30 mins of messing around with poses and such a hunter dressed all in camo except for the nice bright orange hat, made his way towards me.  My body tensed up as he came closer explaining to me that he could have shot and killed me being that it was deer season and I was in a field. I thought I was safe due to the fact that there were plenty of houses well within eye shot but it's the south and none of that matters.  The hunter was your typical hillbilly southern folk dawned with yellow teeth and a loaded rifle.  He stopped about 5 feet from me and eyed my car, me, my camera, car and then me again.  At this point I was screaming in my head that this was the end, I was going to die.  No joke.  He questioned me about why I was there and what my story was.  I gave him the slim of answers and prayed hard that he would just go away.  After three more identical notations about how he could have killed me, (my car is white dude and you didn't see that?!) he slowly turned and walked just far enough away for me to feel slightly safe again.   I could feel him gawking at me as I made my way down the hill.  The trek down was a lot more interesting than the trek up which made for nervous giggles the whole way. Go rolla go! My car amazes me sometimes.  The rest of the road to TN was actually kinda fun except for the one really bad accident I came upon.  This was almost a daily occurrence sadly.  I think the most fun of the trip was the curvy road that reminded me of the routes back home.  I passed many cars because this was what I was so used to driving and was very comfortable with hugging the curves.  It sure put a smile on my face!  The abandoned gas station was not as good as I had hoped but I did get a few pictures out of it and the adult movie store across the street did add to it all.  Rest stop for serial killers maybe?  Ekkk.  I arrived at my brother's place at about two so we had to hurry and get on the road to Nashville.  I was so exhausted from the drive and lack of sleep that I slept the entire way.  I was however awake long enough to catch the giant icicles protruding from the rocky walls next to the road.  Those reminded me of MA.  I was really starting to miss everyone back in New England at this point.  I woke up just in time to see the beginnings of Nashville.  Wow!  It was huge!  The excitement jolted me awake but I was still a little out of it when my brother asked me for directions on where to go next.  We just decided to park and wander around.  Exploring was one of my favorite past times after all.  The lights, the music and the people, I was in love!  That Nashville charm had seduced me and I was hooked.  I don't know if I could see myself setting up my business here but the thought did cross my mind.  Singers do need their head shots and promo pictures......  We were bummed that the Grand Ole Opry was not within walking distance so did not see that unfortunately.  I did however see a Lady Gaga license plate lol.  People amuse me!  The 911 sign was amusing to me as well for some reason.  I don't think I've ever pocket dialed the police thankfully.  The shops were the most amusing of all and I got a good giggle out of way too many little things.  We grabbed dinner at the famous Wild Horse Saloon and even got a "show".  The guy in the brown sweater dancing in the middle of the group was great.  I think he got more into the line dancing than anyone else in the group.  Yes, I did take video :o)  Thankfully it wasn't too late when we got back but I didn't get to bed until about one that morning.  Very typical of me.  The next day's drive would completely drain me but I couldn't resist peeping the pictures and working on getting my website back online.  I crashed out knowing that morning would come way too quickly.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Road Trippin Cross County! Giant ornaments and old friends in NC

                  Hey everyone!  I just had to put out a blog post just for the fact that it is indeed 1.1.11. So crazy to think we have now reached a brand new year and have said goodbye to good 'ol 2010. Last year was a crazy and busy year but I know 2011 will bring so much more. I look forward to what the near future holds! Now back to the journey log....  The next stop on my trip was in Charlotte, NC.  On this day I was faced with over 400 miles and at least 8 hours of travel.  This was quickly becoming my typical day.  I was sad to say goodbye to my friend Kevin and to the beauty of DC but I was eager to see my friend Shea who I hadn't seen in years.  It didn't take long for me to track down a Starbucks and get my java fix. It's always a lot of fun to talk to the various Bux employees that I meet along my journey.  I loved working for Starbucks for the people I worked with.  They always make the experience that much better.  Notice how Starbucks employees are almost always happy?  Best part time gig I've ever had :o) Miss you guys! Anywise, I grabbed coffee and hit the road.  With the speed limit getting up to 70 and the roads clear and sunny, I knew this could have the potential for some fun and photo explorations.  I started noticing all the troopers along the way and watched my speed a lot more carefully so as to keep out of trouble.  Getting there slightly sooner was not worth an expensive ticket.  I spotted an abandoned motel off to the side but knew it would be too much of a risk whereas it was so close to the road.  I later would abandon that fear to get the pictures I craved so much. Not always wise to follow a passionate photographer's example lol.  What can I say? Abandoned things are like magnets for me and my pictures reflect that.  It didn't take long for me to spot the row of cars in a field just off the highway.  I just had to figure out how to get to them! This took me on a very random and interesting adventure.  Usually when I go off on the random side roads I am more likely to find abandoned houses and buildings.  I knew the cars were somewhere near the highway so I just went where my intuition and kept driving.  I was not able to find the cars but I did manage to find a house and something that almost resembled a small abandoned town.  The house was not as interesting as I was hoping and after I headed up the stairs I heard what was most likely a person so I quickly and quietly got out of there.  When walking back to my car I caught the attention of a local and paid no mind to it because I didn't plan on staying around any longer unless I found another location worth my time.  After navigating my way down several rural street and almost giving up and turning around I found the little "town".  I also had passed that same local and he decided it was in his best interest to follow me.  Since I was traveling alone this made me a little nervous but it turned out to be a harmless "country boy" from the south that just had to see what my story was and to hit on me.  I thought it was hilarious especially when he told me that the "country folk" around these parts don't care if I poke around and take pictures and that I would be left alone.  Good to know.  He drove off with a big grin and I went on to photograph around the "town". It took me at least a good 30-40 minutes for me to find my way back to the highway but it was worth it.  I did find out what a silver alert was thanks to google and seeing it about every 15 mins.  As quoted from my twitter; "So I found out today what a silver alert is. Old person on the loose! On a more serious note, there is an older person on the loose. "  Yeah, I'm horrible but at least I have fun lol.  I finally reached NC and was stuck in horrible rush hour traffic but was excited to finally be close to my destination.  She practically mauled me when I got out of the car but it was so good to see her.  The rest of the night was filled was old stories, way too much laughing and giant ornaments. Great night indeed! Shea and I did my daily video log and I finally crashed out late only to wake up a few hours later. 

*Last four pictures are from my cell*