Road Trip!

There's nothing quite like a road trip for me. I relish the planning- where will we go? What will we see? What times to do we want to be in which places? And I love being on the road, finding cool little corners of the country to photograph and explore. The road is a second home to me, and it's exciting to me to get out on the road to go explore with my camera. I thought I'd write a quick blog about the preparation that's going into this next road trip, which will be unique compared to past trips.

Packing for a road trip is always fun. This next adventure will be a two week trip, and with the coronavirus still hanging around, this will be a true road trip, so I won't have to fly. Kristen Wilkinson and I will be driving to the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho. We had two trips cancelled in early June due to the pandemic, but with things relaxing a bit, we decided to plan something, and tried to do it as responsibly as possible. The first decision was we would not fly. Driving means we don't come into contact with a hundred or more people in an airport, and then on a plane, in an enclosed space, with recycled air. The car means it will be just the two of us sharing air, and we've both been pretty isolated with our families since March. Yes, we'll have to stop for gas, bathroom breaks, etc., but we're bringing rubber gloves to protect us when pumping gas, hand sanitizer, and face masks. This should limit exposure pretty nicely.

As for lodging- it will take us 4 days to reach the Sawtooths by car. We mapped out our route and figured out where we needed to stop each day. Once we figured that out, we found AirBnB's in each location. This seemed more responsible than hotel rooms with lobbies that have multiple people moving in an out. Contactless check in, and no one else in the building besides us. We can wipe down surfaces with Clorox wipes and ensure as best as possible that everything is clean.

We won't be dining out at all while traveling. The beauty of AirBnBs is that we have a full kitchen to use. We can prepare our own food, eliminating contact with other diners, wait staff, and more. So, a quick trip to the grocery store to purchase food, then back to the AirBnB. While driving, we'll have cold cuts in a cooler and protein bars and trail mix to satiate us. Ideally, I love to try local cuisine when traveling, but with many states showing an increase in cases, we just want to play it safe.

Now we get to the fun part: the gear. I'll be bringing my new Sony setup that I've been using since I switched last month. I'll be shooting with the Sony A7R IV camera, Sony 16-35 and 100-400 G Master lenses, as well as the Sigma Art 24-70mm Art lens. I'll be using Benro glass filters on camera to manage exposure, and Induro Tripods. I use an F-stop Gear Ajna backpack to carry my gear when hiking. It's a more expensive bag but it has an aluminum frame, so the load is more balanced and evenly distributed to reduce strain on your back, neck, and shoulders.

We'll be traveling in my 2020 Subaru Crosstrek. I have the stuff I need to camp in the car if needed, though that's not anticipated. Nice option to have though, if we end up wanting to shoot the night sky at some point on the trip. I just fold the seats down, lay out my sleeping pad, my sleeping bag, put the removable screen on the moonroof to keep the bugs out, and Kristen sets up her tent outside.

I'm so excited to get on the road, but it's tempered a bit. Normally I enjoy trying local restaurants when traveling, and I enjoy visiting those famous spots everyone likes to. But ultimately, the important part is getting some great photos, and I'll be able to do that without coming into contact with too many people. Certainly no more than I come into contact with at home. I'm just anxious to get on the road!