There’s no question that Hawaii’s Big Island is an amazing location for a road trip, and one of its most famous drives is Chain of Craters Road. Winding through the black lava fields created by many volcanic eruptions over the years was a humbling experience.
As we descended 3700 feet from the smoking Kilauea Caldera to sea level I was on the lookout for good spots to capture this barren, surreal landscape. The road has been covered several times by lava flow, so for me this shot represents the enduring battle that is so present here between humanity and nature.
The roads throughout the Big Island were fantastic for the most part, as smooth as they were scenic and fairly clear of any traffic. At times the low speed limits were a little frustrating, but for the most part I was just happy to be forced to slow down and enjoy the view. After all that’s what Hawaii is all about!
Our journey to Death Valley began with a slight disaster. Having spent two days relaxing in Las Vegas we returned to our hire car ready to continue on into the desert. We were keen to get going as we had a packed schedule that would see us reach Lone Pine on the other side of Death Valley just before sun down. Having risen fairly early we were ready to hit the road. Unfortunately we were going nowhere fast. We were stuck in a Las Vegas car park with two large suitcases and one hire car with a dead battery.
Eventually, one repair truck and two hours later we made it to Las Vegas airport to pick up a second car. Our journey to the desert could finally begin! This shot was taken at the first rest stop we came upon after entering the national park. It was also our first opportunity to pay the park entrance fee, which was more luck than judgement.
There is obviously an implicit trust that people will pay the fee as the station was unmanned. I’m not sure there was anything stopping us driving onward to our first stop at Dante’s View without paying up. But we didn’t want to find out, so we persevered with the misbehaving ticket machine. After a few attempts it accepted one of our cards and we went on our merry way, the dead battery episode already a distant memory.
Have you ever had a mishap whilst travelling? Did it affect your plans? How did you deal with it? I’d love to hear from you!
When thinking about this week’s photo challenge my mind immediately leapt to road trips. Without a doubt my favourite way of travelling, road trips inspire a sense of adventure and independence that is often lost with the ease and convenience of plane travel. And I think it’s the feeling of isolation and complete control over your journey which strangely makes road trips such a carefree experience for me. It’s just you, your car and the open road, with hundreds of miles to travel at your leisure. This photo was taken on the backroads of Tuscany just outside Siena and it represents when I feel the most carefree, free from responsibilities and lost in an unknown land. As they say, it’s all about the journey not the destination.
When do you feel the most carefree? Do you enjoy a good road trip? Or think I’m crazy?! Feel free to comment below.