|Rocky Mountain Front near Heart Butte, MT - 102311|
Plans change as life forces them. I just got back from a long road trip through Montana.
This wasn't my first trip of my vacation either. Just before that I went down the California central coast with my brother and his wife and stayed in two different motels. In the past 18 days, I've slept in 9 different hotels, each one for only a night. Needless to say, I am really good at checking in and out, unpacking and repacking, and moving on.
Last Sunday, a week ago, I was kayaking on Kintla Lake in Glacier Park near the Canadian border. The fall colors enticing me to paddle a little further as the sun went down. That was a magic day. There were other magic days along the way as well, but I hate reading or listening to others' traveling tales almost as much as seeing their photos. The memories or photos really only have meaning to the traveler, not their friends. Their are exceptions though, if something newsworthy happens, if the traveler has a life changing experience and shares that, and a few other rare traveling gems.
|Kintla Lake, Glacier National Park - 102311|
Most of the trip involved me driving my little mid-life crisis sports car at just over the speed limit (I did get up to 100-110 mph for a dozen miles and also set a personal speed/time record for a curvy bit of Idaho road). I saw 2905 miles of the American West through my bug-splattered windshield. If I averaged 60mph over that distance, I spent 2905 minutes (~48.5 hours) being alone in my head. You would think that during that much time in some of the most beautiful autumn scenery around I would find some deep intrinsically valuable nugget. I didn't have any life-changing epiphanies on this trip.
On the second to last day I checked my credit card and bank account balances online. I was shocked by how the former had grown and how low the latter had dropped. I was being pretty frugal by staying in 1-2 star hotels, eating the free breakfasts, and keeping other expenses down. It is amazing though how fast it all adds up. It was worth it though.
I also started to notice my own energy/enthusiasm savings account was running low. It didn't help having a cold and needing to rest and drive minimal distances for two days. Like my monetary backing, I was running out of personal resources. By the time I parked in my driveway I had to rethink how I am going to live the rest of my 8-week vacation. By the end of week three I had used up over 2/3rds of my money I set aside for this time.
I originally planned to take this trip to Montana, then head to NYC for a week and end with a trip along the eastern Sierras on another road trip to Las Vegas. That stuff isn't going to happen.
NYC is out. I love the city more than any other. It is very difficult to cut that trip, but I have to. It isn't just the money and energy. I need a plan for what I want to do and capture there and sadly, my plans seem empty. I really want to photograph the place, meet up with a few friends, work with models, both new to me and as well as veterans of my work, and create life-changing (at least to my life) art. Sadly, I am not feeling the inspiration for what to create and don't have the time and money to gamble that something will come up when I get there.
A Las Vegas trip is still in play since it will be much cheaper and I will soon have a stronger/more permanent connection to that city. That trip comes in November.
There is another reason for these deep changes to my travel plans, I need to take care of some shit in my life. For years I've neglected finishing things that I started. I have a truck in the driveway I restored 95% a few years ago, and it has sat at 95% for two years. I have a website that cost a bit of money to set up and I need to finish it so I can gain the benefits from it. There are thousands of untouched photos on my computer that I need to finish. I have two or three major photo projects I need to finish up before starting new ones. My home needs some repairs before the winter rains hit. My physical and mental health is deteriorating due to gluttony and neglect. The list goes on.
I am sad I will have to snuff out the sexy, cool and exciting plans I created for this special time off. I always desire to move on to the next thing at the cost of not finishing what I am on. It is exciting to live like this, but also comes at a heavy cost of unfulfilled commitments and strained/broken promises and relationships.