On Friday, 5/29/2020, I packed my Canon gear in my car, and ventured off from Mount Airy, MD with no particular destination in mind.  My goal – to highlight some of the beauty of this amazing country we live in with both cityscape photos of some of America’s cities, and landscape images showcasing her magnificent and majestic beauty.  I will document my journey here.

Day 1

Miles traveled since trip started – 518

States driven through and visited on Day 1 – Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky

On Day 1 of this journey, I left Mount Airy at approximately 11:00am and headed west along I-70 and I-68.  The first leg of my trip was very stormy, with lots of very heavy rain, thunderstorms, hail and strong winds.  Definitely not the type of weather conducive to outdoor photography!  Unfortunately, I did not have good opportunities to capture many photographs for the first part of the trip because the storms were so frequent and very heavy.  But the drive was still beautiful.  Also, I live in Maryland, so I can pretty much photograph the mountains of western Maryland nearly any time, perhaps on my way back home after this road trip comes to an end.

I traveled through the Appalachian Mountains in western Maryland and West Virginia, and once I reached the border of Pennsylvania and Ohio, I continued west past many homes, farms, and fields.  Once I reached the city of Cincinnati, it was as if the sky just magically cleared, giving me an opportunity to catch a photo of the absolutely beautiful skyline of Cincinnati across the Ohio River from Kentucky.  It was so magical and amazing watching the sun go down to the west, and the lights of the city begin to glow.

I have always been the adventurous type, always doing things spur of the moment.  Life is so amazing and this world around us is just so beautiful.  My passion for photography gives me the ability to show the world what my eyes see and how beautiful cities, as well as nature and gorgeous landscapes make me feel.  I pray that as you follow me along on this journey, I will be able to share photos that make you all get the same emotions I feel as I capture them.  We are so fortunate to live in America, where the beauty is just so breathtaking!

All of the images from this trip will be for sale on this website.  They make beautiful wall art!  You can get regular prints, gorgeous canvases, incredibly beautiful metal prints and wall mounts.  Just click on the “Landscape Wall Art for your Home” Link on this site. If there is one you would like to hang up in your home, restaurant or office, I would be son honored!

And if you are on Facebook, please like my business page and play the “Where In The World is John Dukes” game d

I ended the day in Sparta, Kentucky.  So excited to begin the second day of this journey and hoping I can capture more images on Saturday!  Thank you so much for following me on this journey through this beautiful land!  I welcome your comments and feedback!

Day 2

Miles traveled today:  566

Miles traveled since trip started – 1084

States driven through and visited on Day 2 – Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri

I spent most of the day heading westward, with beautiful 70’s weather, blue skies and light, puffy clouds.  I took lots of photos today, but because I am spending so much time on the road I have little time for post processing.  I will be sharing some photos along this journey, but most of them will be after I am home.  My travels took me through the state of Kentucky, passing through Louisville and the southern portions of Indiana and Illinois and into the beautiful state of Missouri.

The beautiful arch of St. Louis, otherwise known as the gateway to the West, welcomed me into the state of Missouri and the center of the country, right into the heart of tornado alley at the end of May.  (Yikes!)

The city of St. Louis, MO is truly a spectacle to see.  I arrived in St. Louis at about 3pm and and surprisingly. I found myself all alone at Malcolm W. Martin memorial park, right across the Mississippi river from downtown St. Louis.  The view was absolutely breathtaking, so I captured some images of the city, many of which I will be sharing later.

Right after sunset, I arrived in Kansas City, MO and captured an image of a not-so-common view of the Kansas City skyline from across the Missouri River at Kaw Point.  It was here I decided to end day 2 of this adventure.

I am having such an awesome time exploring the USA.  Cannot wait to share all the images from this trip!

Day 3

Miles traveled today:  566

Miles traveled since trip started – 1650

States driven through and visited on Day 3 – Missouri, Kansas, Colorado

Wow!  What a day today was!  Truly magnificent in so many ways!

I left Kansas City, MO this morning, and entered the state of Kansas.  The drive across Kansas was very long, and very hot!  The temperature reached 99 degrees at one point, especially in western Kansas.  And the winds!  It was so windy and so much dust was blowing around.  Many trucks even had to pull over onto I-70 for the winds were just so intense.

I did visit a very interesting town in Kansas.  I took a pitstop at a very small town (and I mean really small) called Wamego, Kansas.  What was so interesting about this place was that they had a shop, a museum,  and even a Mexican restaurant all with themes from the Wizard of Oz!  It was truly amazing and I found myself singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow almost the entire day today.

I also learned something I never knew about Kansas.  I wanted to visit the town that the Wizard of Oz was filmed in, and was disappointed to learn that the entire movie was never filmed in Kansas at all!  The whole thing was filmed in Los Angeles in a studio!  I never knew that the actors and actresses never even stepped foot in Kansas during the entire production!

After I crossed the border into Colorado, I was met with a huge storm.  And the temperature dropped from 95 degrees down to 72 degrees in what seemed like just a matter of minutes!  Very stron winds, heavy rain, and even little tiny tornadoes up in the clouds that I was very fortunate did not touch down.

Then, I saw the beautiful Rocky Mountains start to appear in the distance as I made my way into the Denver area.  As I approached the city, it literally took y breath away!  I have traveled to many cities across the USA, but there is nothing that compares to this place.  I am totally in love with Denver and I do not want to leave!  But there are more places to visit, more photos to capture.

This journey so far, has truly been the experience of a lifetime.  Cannot wait to see what tomorrow brings!

White River Natural Forest just east of Glenwood Springs, CO.

Day 4

Miles traveled today:  351

Miles traveled since trip started – 2001

States driven through and visited on Day 4 – Colorado, Utah

After spending some time in the morning in Denver, I drove through the gorgeous mountains of western Colorado.  The beauty of this place was just absolutely magnificent and I found myself stopping many times just to take it all in.  I fell completely in love with the city of Denver and of the entire state of Colorado and although this was my first ever visit to this state, I knew that I would be coming back soon.

Mid-afternoon, I arrived in the state of Utah and spent the afternoon in Arches National Park in Moab, UT until sundown.  Just the scenic drive along through Arches was absolutely breathtaking!  There are many places to pull over, take photos or just take in the gorgeous scenery with all the twisting roads and beautiful rock formations.  As the sun went down and golden hour approached, it felt like a beautiful dream as the setting sun lit up the rock formations with a glowing gold look.  Absolutely magnificent views!

Day 5

Miles traveled today:  287

Miles traveled since trip started – 2288

States driven through and visited on Day 5 – Utah

The views have simply been stunning the past few days.  Today was the first day I did not cross a state line and just stayed in Utah for the entire time.  Arches National Park was simply amazing and the only thing I wished were different, was if I had more time.  But I needed to continue so this time, rather than heading west which has been the general direction I have been heading, I decided to head north towards Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake, has to be one of the most gorgeous views on earth, and the people are oh so very friendly and so eager to share the beauty of this amazing town.  It is quite obvious to many around here that I am not from this part of the country.  People who live and work in Utah are so proud of their state and understandably so!  They are so accommodating and are just so eager to give recommendations to the best places and the best spots to capture photos.  It was in having a delightful conversation with a wonderful barista in Starbucks, where I learned about Antelope Island Park.  She suggested I take the drive there, promising I would capture fantastic photos and also enjoy all the park had to offer.  She could not have been any more correct.

Antelope Island State Park is located north of Downtown Salt Lake City.  It is 42 square miles of nothing but gorgeous mountains, lakes, beautiful wildlife and wildflowers.  The many bison who call Antelope Island their home are easy to spot and fun to photograph, while keeping a distance of 25 feet or more away, of course.

After driving, I spent the entire day in the park, until sunset.  Upon leaving, I spotted a man rowing his rowboat towards the horizon where the sun had previously set, and stopped my car in order to capture a photo.  It was just so beautiful and one of the biggest highlights of this trip so far!  Just terrific!

Day 6

Miles traveled today:  464

Miles traveled since trip started – 2752

States driven through and visited on Day 6 – Utah, Wyoming

Well, it is time to start heading east again.  Although my heart wanted to continue going west, I knew that I had photos and memories to capture back home in Maryland, so it was time to start heading back.  But photography, and capturing memories for people is what makes me so happy!  I get to travel and capture photos of celebrations back home.  I just love this job!

My journey today took me across northern Utah and into the great state of Wyoming.  While I was very much interested in taking a trip to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park, it was a little tremor that changed my mind!  Stopping at a rest stop along I-80, the ground began to shake and everyone there felt it.  No doubt!  An earthquake.  I turned on the local news on the radio and learned that Yellowstone had been getting many quakes within the past week!  Wow!  So maybe I will make another trip out here soon, and make it an exclusive Yellowstone and Grand Teton trip?  Most definitely and soon!

The journey out of Utah and into Wyoming along I-80 was, as expected, absolutely spectacular.  I stopped along at Pilot Butte Wild Horse Scenic Loop and it was so awesome to see wild horses and other wildlife in their natural habitats.  I spent much of the afternoon here just enjoying the horses, watching the antelope running, and capturing images of beautiful flowers and birds.  And no more earthquakes after that one, thank goodness!

I stopped in Cheyenne for the evening and managed to capture a few shots along the way.  Wyoming has so much!  And I just know I will be back.  As the Rolling Stones once sand, wild horses won’t keep me away!