The Life in My Years

An anthology of life

This week John, author of the site, Journeys with Johnbo, leads the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, choosing the topic flights of fancy. I was stumped and ready to bow out of this one until I realized how easy this one could be for me.

My flight of fancy has been the road. The road; cobbled roads; dirt roads; highways; country roads; farm roads; busy roads; lonely roads. Roads have led me to places that I’ve dreamed of seeing and places that I never dreamed existed.

“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Roads have carried me to interesting and beautiful places, but the road itself possesses its own singular beauty and character.

A road less travelled. Saxeville, Wisconsin

It’s the road that’s allowed me to experience places of matchless grandeur and beauty and to share them with my wife. If not for roads I would have never experienced the twin pleasures of viewing nature’s handiworks and Cora’s joy and awe.

I don’t know which was more beautiful, the Black Hills or Cora’s awe in seeing them.

“Every road is different, just like every human being; every road has a different voice, different character, different spirit and different dreams! Every time you take a step on a new road, it’s like you meet a new person!” ~ Mehmet Murat ildan

A country road near Jackson, CA in the Gold Country

For years I yearned to see the Beartooth Highway. In 2021, a road trip led us to the Beartooth, one of America’s most scenic drives.

View from the Beartooth

“But the road,
The road is my mistress.
Devious and open,
Harsh and nurturing,
She seduces me with love”
~ Foster Kinn, Freedom’s Rush II: More Tales from the Biker and the Beast

One of my longtime goals has been to drive Highway 395, which runs along the eastern reaches of the states of Washington, Oregon and California. I recently took two road trips on sections of 395 in Oregon and California.

Highway 395 can be flat as a table; roll like a coaster; travel as straight as a bullet; wind like a snake. It takes you through open range…

Open Range Eastern Oregon

…and high desert.

Hwy 395 Oregon

395 led us to an abandoned mine near Bridgeport, California.

Head Frame Chemung Mine

The road has wound us into autumn’s mountains.

Eastern Sierra Nevada

Roads have been mysterious. Leading to?

A winding dirt road in Montana


Road to nowhere?

The road has taken me to the interesting…

King Saddlery, Sheridan, Wyoming

…the quirky…

The worlds longest hockey stick, Eveleth, Minnesota

…and some strange accommodations.

My home in Tonopah, Nevada

The World Famous Clown Motel

“If there’s a there there, there’s a road that’ll take you there.”
~ Foster Kinn, Freedom’s Rush II: More Tales from the Biker and the Beast

The road has been my flight of fantasy.

And there are many, many more miles to fly.

Banner photo: A section of Route 66 near Dwight, Illinois

Please visit Journeys with Johnbo (click here) to view John’s Flights of Fancy and those of other Lens Artists.

23 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Flights of Fancy: The Road

  1. Great pictures Paul! I love this kind of photography!

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you Peter. Much appreciated.

  2. I am glad you thought of featuring the road. Your images surely lead to flights of fancy… or drives of fancy, anyway.
    To add reality to the metaphor, I like to take the road less traveled for the unique stops you don’t see on the main thoroughfare.

    1. Paul says:

      Hello John,
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting and for coming up with a great challenge.
      You are right about roads less traveled. They lead to the pleasant surprises.

  3. m.caimbeul says:

    Great post Paul 👌

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you Mike. Glad to see your own blog back.

  4. Tina Schell says:

    Loved your approach to the challenge Paul, spot on for a flight of fancy. The road —– of course!! The creativity this week has been wonderful, yours included.

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you Tina.

  5. JohnRH says:

    Great great series. I love road shots! ‘To infinity… and beyond!’

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you John.

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you M.M.

  6. What a lovely idea: a trudge of fancy 🙂

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you so much.

  7. Anne Sandler says:

    Great take on the topic Paul! I loved the post. For years we traveled the roads in our various trailers. I’ve never been disappointed and loved every minute of it.

  8. Leya says:

    A great idea, Paul – and in lovely company of amazing photography!

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you Ann-Christine.

  9. eden baylee says:

    Hi Paul,

    “I don’t know which was more beautiful, the Black Hills or Cora’s awe in seeing them.” << What a beautiful statement to make about your wife, a swoon-worthy moment for me.

    It makes perfect sense your flight of fancy is the road. You've travelled a lot of it, even in the short time I've known you.

    Great shots, and your photo of Eastern Sierra Nevada is truly breathtaking.


    1. Paul says:

      Hello Eden,
      I’ll never forget the Grand Canyon, for both its vistas and seeing tears in Cora’s eyes when she first gazed over the rim. I’m fortunate to have been able to travel on my own terms and to travel with my wife and enjoy the shared excitement.

  10. I hope I’ll learn how to use my I-Phone and be able to take beautiful photos almost as beautiful as yours — someday. Cheers, Muriel

    1. Paul says:

      Hi Muriel,
      Sorry for the late reply. It was a challenging week – healthwise. All good now.
      I appreciate your kind words. Thank you so much.

  11. Toonsarah says:

    Coming to this belatedly but it’s such a fantastic theme I couldn’t ignore it of course. I especially love the look of the dirt road in Montana and the road to nowhere. The Beartooth Highway looks amazing too!

    1. Paul says:

      Hello Sarah, Thank you so much for reading and commenting. The Beartooth is an unforgettable drive. You can go from a pleasant 70f in Red Lodge, Montana to watching skiers near the summit. If you ever go to the Yellowstone area again, you should put it on your list.

Would love to hear from you

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