A few weeks ago I put a shout out for photographers to send me in their travel photos, anything from holiday photos, honeymoon photos to full on travel photography. I had an amazing response, so over the next few weeks I am delighted to be able to share with you some stunning travel photography from all across the world. Today is the turn of Michelle from SilverStar photographic, as she shares with us her 14 day road trip down route 66, she sure did take in a few miles along the way!
Real Travel: Los Angeles – Las Vegas – Grand Canyon – Albuquerque – Amarillo – Oklahoma – Springfield – Chicago
8 States in 14 days! Yeah we are crazy, but we loved every second of it! Started off in LA (yes we did the Route backwards but it didn’t really matter!) We went to Melrose Avenue, Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills and also ventured up to High Voltage tattoo which is where they filmed LA ink, very surreal! We also went to Santa Monica Pier which is where the signs were for the End of the trail so we had to go there, we saw someone from CSI here, awesome! I’d recommend going to Santa Monica, it is very iconic and a major landmark on Route 66.
We picked up the Dodge Charger from LAX and we were on our way to Las Vegas! We stayed in the New York New York hotel which was amazing and we went to see a show called ‘The Million Dollar Quartet’ featuring tributes to Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. We are very much into 50’s music so this was right up our street, the show was so much fun, a definite must see in Vegas. We ate at the Harley Davidson restaurant, just a massive plate of meat basically but it was amazing! Meat sweats all the way! We also went to see the Titanic exhibition, sad i know but It really interested me as a child so it was incredible to see so many things brought up from the wreck and even the famous ‘Big piece’ of the ship just standing feet away from us, very emotional at times, again a must see! We ventured up and down the strip numerous times watching the Bellagio fountains, all the street acts and thinking of films such as ‘The Hangover’ whilst in Caesars Palace!
The next stop was the Grand Canyon; we had been here before so this was mainly just a stop off really as we wanted to get to Albuquerque before sundown. Along the road we stopped at a few places such as Flagstaff which is an iconic Route 66 point, and lots of Native American shops. As you will see in the photos there are so many abandoned cars and buildings. My only guess is that the country is so big they have no need to knock things down to rebuild.
Our plan was to go on the sky tram at sunset when we go to Albuquerque but it was too windy so what else can you do there? Do it yourself breaking bad tour? YES! We went to ‘Los Pollos Hermanos‘ which is actually called ‘Twisters’, Walter Whites House, Jessie’s House, The Crossroads Motel, and Jessie and Jane’s flats. Very strange to think that there are actually people living in these places and you have to be respectful of them and not knock on the door and ask to see the basement! Such a great place, we went to an awesome restaurant called ‘Rudy’s’ which is a must. They have these all across the USA and you have to go there. You order your food (meat!) by the quarter pound, sit down and eat it with everyone on massive tables!
On the way to Amarillo in Texas we stopped off at Santa Rosa for a drink in a Route 66 cafe and we also stopped off at various places to take photos of the abandoned cars and garages. One man allowed us to go into the garage he owned to take a peek at his cars. He had lived there all his life and when he was a boy remembered the route being all illuminated and crazy busy and he has watched it go downhill to the Route 66 we now know. In my opinion it looks better now i’m sure! So surreal to be driving through towns which have no life or people around them, a bit eerie in places too. We carried on through and passed Tucumcari and Vega, and finally made it to Texas. Just before we got to the hotel we stopped off at the Cadillac Ranch, 10 Cadillac’s all buried into the ground for people to spray paint the hell out of! It was created in 1974 representing a number of evolutions of the car line. Lots of fun spray painting the cars and getting some awesome pics! In the evening the hotel booked a limo for us to take us to ‘The Big Texas Steak Ranch’, again iconic and a must see! The steaks in there are to die for and they do something called the 72oz challenge. You have to sit on a stage with everyone watching you eat a 72oz steak and all the sides in an hour and if you succeed you can have it for free! If you can’t eat it all though it’s $72! Needless to say we did not participate in this challenge and went for the 6 and the 12oz steaks instead!
Next up was Oklahoma, this is where we started to see less and less Route 66 memorabilia. It is much bigger in the West side which was a bit sad really as we kept on losing the road a bit, but we managed to pick it back up again in places. We ventured through Shamrock, Erick, Elk City, Clinton, and El Rino some of these place with a population of 500 and finally made it to Oklahoma City. We stopped off at a few abandoned buildings for some pics, some which looked like they had been damaged by the most recent hurricane so that was very eerie but interesting! I had a slight obsession with taking pics of peoples post-boxes too! We went into Walmart and all we got was “Why are you here!” which was funny, they had never met British people before so it was nice to know we made someone’s day! We ventured then to Springfield Missouri, not to be mistaken for Springfield Illinois! oops! On the way here we stopped off at a Route 66 point which was called the ‘Pryor Creek Bridge’. Very weird things were happening on this bridge so we made a move fast, got out the car to take some pics and the car rolled over my foot, there was what looked like a crime scene all over it with personal belongings and also bullet holes in the sign, not to mention the dog we nearly ran over so yes we moved quite quick from there! We stopped by a little village called Vinita and took some snaps of a car garage and had our first ‘Sonic’ Drive in experience! Highly recommended!
We didn’t do too much in Springfield, we left quite early for our 8 hour drive to Chicago. We drove through Granite City, St Louis and had a few stops until we eventually found Chicago! It was St Patricks day so they had turned the river green which was ace! We ventured into a place called Portillos and Bartelli’s for a green beer and a pizza! Such an awesome eatery! We had 3 days here so we went for a wonder round and found ourselves at Cloud Gate in Millennium Park, it looks like a massive mirrored bean! Created in 2004 it was a great spot to have photos and get the whole skyline reflected on it. It was insanely cold in Chicago and we also know why it is called the Windy City! We walked down to the Navy Pier where we took most of the pics in Chicago to capture the skyline and Lake Michigan. There were so many things under construction in this city that we couldn’t do that much but I can imagine it being amazing in a few years’ time.
The trip was a once in a lifetime opportunity and we seriously had the time of our lives. Some places we’d go back to, some places we definitely wouldn’t but there is honestly nothing greater than cruising down the mother road listening to old 50’s tunes! We truly got our kicks on Route 66!
For more information on Michelle’s work go to: