Posted in Photography

Forget The Map & Just Drive

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” —Martin Buber

“You got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.” —Yogi Berra

The day after visiting White Pocket, Ulrich and I drove westward to Kanab, Utah, where we’d stayed overnight a week earlier. Normally we don’t backtrack, but with unimproved roads washed out in so many places the choice wasn’t ours. And besides, I never mind pausing for a day, or even two, in Kanab. Folks are friendly, there’s a retro diner that makes a great chocolate Coke, and if you’re a photographer you owe yourself a look inside Terry’s Camera Trading Company. Especially if you’re a film photographer—you’ll be amazed by what lies under glass in this tiny shop.

Terry’s probably the most honestly enthusiastic photographer I’ve met—with little or no provocation he’ll tell you about the stunning country he lives in and the area’s rich history (especially as it relates to the Western movies and TV series filmed near Kanab), and how great the light was yesterday morning when he was out hiking. I was glad to see his Jeep parked in front of the shop when we arrived.

While Ulrich debated whether to buy a new photo backpack, I checked nooks and crannies for any temptations I’d missed before—this is windy country, remember, and things move around. But that day there were no surprises for me, which isn’t surprising since the D-word isn’t spoken too loudly in the shop. Terry is a 110% film shooter—if he worked for Apple Computer he’d be called an evangelist—and the only things digital he stocks are batteries and memory cards (and not too many of those).

Ulrich finally said good-bye to the venerable Lowepro which had carried his gear around the world, stuffed everything into a well-appointed Tamrac, and we left Terry on the sidewalk where he’d begun discussing printing with another photographer who’d walked up. Just a quick stop for snacks and we were driving north out of Kanab.

While I’d hoped to be cruising lightly over gravel that day without eighteen-wheelers and RVs for company, traffic turned out to be well-spaced and mannered—a perfect fit for tourist photographers like us who will stop on a dime anywhere along the road. This happened more than once, and as the daylight shortened led to another change of plans—Bryce Canyon.

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