After 65 days, 32 states, and 12,022 miles it feels really good to say that I have officially made it back home to Portland! I am currently typing this while my dog is sleeping next to/partially on me and it is pretty awesome. A more reflective post of my journey will be coming soon. For now, I am still processing being back home, everything that has happened over the last two months, and going a little crazy realizing that I still have a lot of work ahead of me as I jump back into my regular life. So, I will leave you with a post that updates you on the last few stops on my trip.
After Chicago, I headed to Des Moines, Iowa where I grew up. It was great getting to see friends and lots of family that I hadn't seen in years. Iowa also happened to provide me with one thing I have been searching for this entire trip, the original speakers at the drive-in! It might seem like a strange thing to be so excited about but after visiting nearly 30 theaters (abandoned and operational) and seeing thousands of the poles where the speakers used to be, it seemed like a huge part of the drive-in experience that was missing from my photographs. When I pulled into the Valle Drive-In located in Newton, IA I was more overcome with joy at the sight of the speakers. After what felt like several failed ventures in the past month as I kept hitting rain and loosing models I really needed this final win on my trip.
My best friend from high school assisted me on my trip to Newton and he may have won best assistant of all time. The Valle Drive-In is basically a big square hole cut into the middle of a corn field. I was trying to capture that but the corn was too tall and there wasn't anywhere to drive into it to get a good shot. Donny came up with the master plan of having me hop on his shoulders and carrying me into the field so I could get the perfect picture. He also let me climb on top of his SUV so I could get another shot about the corn.
After I left Iowa, which by the way was raining and cold for most of my trip, I was ready to get home. For the first time in my trip, I was all on my own and that made for long days of driving as well as difficulty when trying to shoot and not having an extra set of hands. I powered through to Idaho where I visited The Spud Drive-In. I was sad to get there mid week and find that they are only showing films on the weekend now that school is back in session but I stopped by and snapped a few photos. This place is pretty adorable with their potato truck in front and potato sculptures all over the place.
All in all, it has been an amazing adventure. I am so thankful to all of you who supported me via Kickstarter, who helped with Charlie while I was gone, and who believed in me and pushed me towards making this dream a reality. I am also so grateful to Honda and their Project Drive-In for loaning me the 2015 Fit for my trip. I can't imagine how this trip would have gone without Wonda the Wonder Honda! So thank you times a million. Now to start working on the book!
*For legal purposes please note that all opinions about the 2015 Fit are my own and my opinion is that I wish I could keep this car forever!