Tuesday, March 31, 2015

on the road: boston to denver

So... I definitely did not plan to camp out in my truck on the side of a field in Kansas last week.

That said, the silver lining about sleeping outside is just that: a literal silver lining around 6am, as the very first light of a new day spreads across the indigo plane of the eastern horizon. As the minutes pass the sun creeps slowly higher over the hazy highway, turning land from violet to heather grey to lavender and the sky from pale grey to a blushing peach. After two days and 1520 miles of driving this first spectacular sunset on the plains of eastern Kansas alongside a pasture of longhorns felt like a good sign.

I left Boston early on March 20th for a solo road trip around the country and have been traveling for the past week. There is almost no experience I love more than being on the road to a new destination... the intrigue of the unknown and the promise of countless new people, places and experiences is addictively alluring and invigorating to me, and long roads refreshing. It's been a while since I'd been on a road trip and even longer since I'd been back home on the west coast, and the month in between finishing up commissions and starting up SoWa Open Market season felt like the perfect time to do some exploring and inspiration seeking. After ten years and 138,000 miles together my beloved Nissan finally gave up last month, rusted and rattling, and so I found a used 4Runner and packed it full of camping gear and set off west.

I drove twelve hours to Columbus, Ohio, where I caught a concert with friends Mike & I met camping in the Virgin Islands, and then another twelve from Columbus to Emporia, Kansas. In Kansas I started to take it slower, meandering down gravel farm roads and alongside railroad tracks, rolling through tiny towns and down long straight country highways.

Western Kansas is almost impossibly flat, sometimes allowing you to see for a hundred yellow miles nearly uninterrupted. I took a quick detour down a gritty dirt road out to the Kansas Monument Rocks, and inexplicable grouping of 70-foot tall, 80 million year old sedimentary chalk pillars jutting out of the dust. I was the only soul there besides a handful of lazily grazing cattle.

After leaving Kansas under an equally beautiful farewell sunset, I drove to Limon, Colorado, where a thunderstorm rolled through overnight draping a heavy blanket of pewter clouds over the prairie, and then headed towards Denver.

My loose plan for this trip is to make it down to Los Angeles, then spend a week or two driving and camping up the Pacific Coast Highway to see my family in Seattle and then back to Boston via an unknown (but likely Southern) route. Any suggestions? :)


  1. Loving the updates, Mae. Looks like your collecting some amazing material for your art!

  2. GORGEOUS photos! Your passion for travel is so evident in your photography.

    Also - did I hear you're in LA now? If your schedule allows, I'd love to meet you and take you for coffee. (Yes, this is me awkwardly asking you out on a girldate. Ha.) Let me know - lesley at lesleymyrick dot com. xox

  3. Those rocks are amazing! And strange! haha. Thanks for taking us on the trip with you! Have fun and stay safe!

  4. wow! love this!! what an amazing opportunity :) thank you for sharing it with all of us!

  5. I am a Kansan, and your Kansas photos are beautiful! <3 :D

  6. What a cool experience - I'm so jealous! Love the pictures, and looking forward to seeing more! :)

  7. That first image makes me feel like I have died and gone to heaven, breathtaking!!!