At a certain point, I suppose, the question becomes “Why stop at a regular rest area, when we can stop at an inspiring one?”
Another question would be “What, exactly, even IS an inspiring rest area?” And also “Do I need to be inspired, or do I just need to pee?” And these questions are followed by “Why I am asking myself all these questions?”
This trip – a journey, really – that I went on in October was nearly 1,700 miles of driving and very nearly (it felt like) that many u-turns. This is but one example of something that caught my attention, but that didn’t catch it in time to just turn off the road like a normal person. (Doing anything “like a normal person” is not something I generally do anyway.)
A very nice woman in Alanreed, Texas, got the church keys from her mom and gave me a tour around the inside of the church. She showed me the whole place – the door where a homeless person broke in and the room where they lived for a while, some tiny Sunday school classrooms, the old church sign, and some very scary-looking stairs to the baptistry. This open hymnal was the best of everything she showed me.
When I’m out shooting, it’s often the only time I visit a particular location. That makes me think the place always looked the way it did prior to my photograph and would also continue to look that way forever. That makes me always a little surprised if I see it again and it’s different.
As it happened, five weeks after I made this image, I was back on the same street (at very nearly the same time of day). This time, most of the concert posters were gone from the window, there was a big motorcycle parked on the sidewalk, and the building was for lease. Maybe I’ll go back in five more weeks to see it again…
Once, in Lebanon, Nebraska, we were looking in a cemetery for a particular grave. The posted map didn’t match the cemetery’s layout at all – for all the help in provided it could well have been a map of the country of Lebanon.
I always do look for the map (or in this case, the fancier-sounding Memorial Directory) when I’m wandering around cemeteries. It’s sort of like how I always want to see the caretaker’s shack: it ties into my continual interest in the way things work.