This is the introduction of my newest book “JourneyAmerica:Behind the Image”. It’s a collection of stories about how some of the most popular images on my homepage, JourneyAmerica.org, came into existence.
I realize the dreams to travel were not mine alone. I have friends that have dreamed of traveling and trekking since the days that we all roamed the woods around Hot Springs, Virginia.
I realize that most of those friends will never have the opportunity to journey. Life gets in the way sometimes. But I have tried to share the majesty, intimacy and timelessness of places in my photographs in a way I hope everyone can relate to. I’ve tried to capture the reality of my childhood imaginations and share them with you. I realize that despite having grown up with these dreams, nobody needs to go on trips like I do.
But as we work through the daily routine of life at home, sometimes it helps to know that we could go. That it’s all really there.
Better yet, I hope my photographs inspire a few of you to actually follow your dreams and take your journey. I want to remind everyone that ordinary working people can visit remote places like I have. They do it all the time.
These are not expensive or difficult places to explore if you travel independently and stay with the locals.
And of course, there are endless experiences to be had in the wilderness areas of your own backyard.
You can’t begin a journey if you don’t step out. There is nothing mysterious about a rucksack. All you need are a couple changes of clothes, some hard earned time off and less money than you think.
Get out there with me and watch the ravens fly through the dazzling glow of a remote slot canyon, watch the northern lights dance over the snows of Denali, walk with the lions and tigers in Lujan, roam the barrios in Buenos Aires looking for the next photograph, stand in the plaza as the Pope gets installed, watch in amazement during the Prayer Dance of the Native Cultural Center in Tennessee, break bread with veterans from the Falkland Islands war, listen for the choppers at the M*A*S*H set in Malibu, drift on The Snake River as we pass The Grand Tetons, stay silent in the Sonoran Desert as we wait for the Mexican drug cartel to appear, break bread with the Shoshone in Idaho, walk a knife-edge ridge in the Smokies and sit around the campfire in the Ozarks with other veterans. Fish for Pirrhana in the Amazon, watch autumn leaves fall in a gentle snowstorm in Patagonia, stand with me as 300 buffalo stampede towards us in Eusick, Washington, marvel at a palm tree swaying dark against a billion stars while camping on a moonless night in the middle of the South Pacific, sail a 16th century ship through the sound into open water, be ’embedded’ with OccupyDC during the winter, live with rugged miners in even more rugged Appalachia and drink Dr. Pepper on the front porch of the old Hatfield homestead in Mingo County.
It’s all there.
And the earth needs people who travel this way, who earn their time with its treasures, and promote its conservation.
Time is the most precious commodity we actually own.”