There's a Gordon Lightfoot song that best describes my mood today:
Carefree highway, let me slip away on you
Carefree highway, you seen better days
The morning after blues from my head down to my shoes
Carefree highway, let me slip away, slip away on you
This time of year, the first week of October, is usually when I'd pack up my Jeep with food and film, and head out for a week or more of photographic exploration. When I took these trips with my dad, we'd plan the route and the hotels carefully. But by the time I was exploring on my own (before I started to date my wife), I'd have a general idea where I'd want to go, and then just let the days take me as the did. I'd often pick a single location for 2-3 nights so I could explore the entire area. And yes, I miss those days.
One trip that I took in 1995 really sticks out to me, because it was one I took with other photographers. But on this trip we went off the beaten track a bit, and found the roads less traveled. One of them is Utah highway 14, which heads west from highway 89, north of Mt. Carmel Junction, and then continues past Cedar Breaks National Monument, through the Brianhead ski area, and then down to Cedar City. It is a lonely 2-lane road, but it is filled with the natural beauty that abounds in south central Utah.
One place in particular sticks in my mind. A spot of aspens just next to the road, with a stream and series of beaver ponds. As the group stopped there, we spent a wonderful hour or so photographing in that area. It makes me miss not just being on the road, but discovering the beauty of nature with other photographers who seek the same thing.
I miss the open road, and with all the other goals (both the necessary and the inspired), I don't know when I'll return. But I will. That road keeps calling me.