Category

Preparing

Preparing for the trip.

October 6, 2017

Lessons Learned

After a trip of this magnitude, we have lessons to share. The lessons learned are categorized below. We hope this serves as a guide to others.

After a trip of this magnitude, we have lessons to share. The lessons learned are categorized below. We hope this serves as a guide to others.

Lessons Learned

After a trip of this magnitude, we have lessons to share.  The lessons learned are categorized below.  We hope this serves as a guide to others.  (Note, some of these are specific to photographers.)

copyright 2017 db walton
Route 66

Lesson 1 – Bring Less

We over packed.  The next time I will bring less.  For example, I brought things from home that I’ve never touched.  If I would have needed them, I could have stopped at a store to purchase them.

I planned for 14 days of clothing.  However, most hotels had a self-serve washer and dryer.  Next time I’ll bring 10 days of clothes (just in case).

Lesson 2 – Give More Time

30 days to do 2500 miles isn’t enough time.  Give more time to your trip.  Perhaps one way is to break it in to several small trip.  Of course, that would be more costly, but we honestly missed quite a bit.  We planned for about 100 miles per day.  I think 40 miles per day would have been much better.

Lesson 3 – Have a Back-home Support Person

We had one.  It was my wife, Elizabethe.  She handled all of our lodging and would text us where we would be staying and the confirmation number.

Lesson 4 – Rent a Car

Don’t take your own car.  We put 7500 miles on the rental car.  Rent one with unlimited miles.  If you have the time, drive to and from on Route 66.  If you have the money, drive one way, and fly home.

Lesson 5 – Visit Museums Early

If you plan to visit museums along the way, plan to visit early in the day.  Most of them are closed by 5pm (or earlier).

Lesson 6 – USPS Offices Have Shorter Hours

If you need to mail postcards or letters, visit the Post Office between 10 and 11am, or 1 and 2pm.  We found most Post Offices closed when we arrived.  11am to 1pm, they were out to lunch.  After 2 pm they might be closed for the day.  Before 10am, they might not be open yet.  As a result, you only have a couple of small windows of time.

We actually found one that wasn’t a Post Office in spite of the building bearing the words, “United States Post Office”.  (Location:  Beverly Hills, California)

Lesson 7 – Don’t Trust Models

We had arranged for a few models to meet us along the way.  In spite of much advanced planning, they flaked.  While my professional experience is that most models aren’t professional these days.

So, if you make arrangements to meet a model, don’t be surprised if they flake on you.

Lesson 8 – You Won’t Need Certain Lenses

That’s right, you won’t need certain lenses.  You want the widest angle lens you can get without going to a fish eye.  My 15-36mm was the lens I used the most.  I wish I had my 24-70mm (it was in the shop), however my 50mm came in handy.  I brought my long zoom lens (70-300mm) but it proved to be useless for this type of trip.

Leave the long telephotos at home.  Bring the wide angle lenses.  The wider, the better.

Lesson 9 – Lots of Cards

Bring lots of memory cards.  I had enough, but it was close.  I shoot 32GB cards and filled about 3-4 cards per day.

Lesson 10 – Lots of Batteries

Bring lots of camera batteries.  My battery pack allows for 3 batteries.  There were days when I had to swap them all out for recharged ones.

You should also have a 12v charger just in case.  This way you can charge them in the car.

Also, don’t forget your charger AND don’t forget to charge your batteries at night.  You might want to bring an extra charger or two too.

The most important lesson learned is this – when you venture far from the car, make sure you have spare cards and batteries on you.  As a result, if you do not, you’ll kick yourself because you left them in the car.  This only happened to me once and I learned my lesson.

Lesson 11 – Don’t Trust Google Maps

That’s right – don’t trust google maps.  This lesson learned is a result of relying on Google Maps which ran us in circles because a freeway off ramp was closed.  Other times it lead us to empty fields with no hotel for miles. (They guy at the hotel, when we finally got there, said it happens to a lot of people.)

A good way to verify it is to turn the satellite image on so you can see what buildings are in the area.  However, the best way is to carry a paper map along with a good Route 66 guide book.

Lesson 12 – Buy It Don’t Bring It

If you can buy it, don’t bring it.

This doesn’t apply to everything – mostly consumables.  Don’t bring a lot of snacks from home.  You’ll be stopping for gasoline and potty breaks, buy the snacks then.

Bringing too much fills the car and makes the trip less comfortable.  As a result you should plan to pickup a snack when you stop for gas.  AND, don’t buy too much.  Just one item at a time.

May 27, 2017

Casting Call

This is sort of a casting call. Paul and I are looking for people to photograph as we travel Route 66. You don't have to be a professional model. In fact, you don't have to be a model at all.

This is sort of a casting call. Paul and I are looking for people to photograph as we travel Route 66. You don't have to be a professional model. In fact, you don't have to be a model at all.

Casting Call

This is sort of a casting call.  Paul and I are looking for people to photograph as we travel Route 66.  You don’t have to be a professional model.  In fact, you don’t have to be a model at all.  (Although, models are always welcome!)  Also, you could be a guy with a very cool car and want pictures of your car.  That’s cool too.

For models, we encourage you to dress for where you plan to meet us.  If you plan to meet us at a 50s diner, dress in 50s attire.  But, you don’t have to play dress up for the shoot.

If you’re a car or motorcycle owner, you can have your picture taken with your car (or motorcycle) or just the car/motorcycle by itself.  This is a chance to make your car/motorcycle famous… and possible you too.

How This Works

Here is how this works…

  • Look at our travel plans at http://route66photographers.com/dates/
  • If there is a day and location that works for you to meet up with us, contact me at brent@route66photographers.com and let me know the day and location.
  • In your e-mail, include the following:
    • Your name
    • The best phone number to reach you at (and let us know if you accept text messages)
    • A picture of yourself so we’ll recognize you
    • A short paragraph of why you are meeting us at the Route 66 location.
  • When the day gets close (1-2 days before) we will contact you and let you know if we are running ahead or behind schedule.
  • You must be flexible on the time of day.  We are driving from Chicago to L.A. over a 30+ day period.
  • When we meet, you’ll have to sign a release.
  • We’ll take a few pictures (it won’t take very long).  We’ll shoot until we get some good usable photos
  • That night, you’ll see your picture on our blog, social media pages and/or in our vlog.
  • We’ll e-mail you copies of the pictures we publish.
copyright 2017 db walton - casting call
Standing on a Corner in Winslow, Arizona

We Cannot

  • We cannot photograph minor children without a parent signing a release.  And, we cannot photograph minor children without the parents being present the entire time.
  • We cannot offer financial compensation for your modeling.  This isn’t that type of venture.
  • We cannot guarantee we will agree to meet up with everyone.  Schedules are very nebulous for our tour.  We will not leave you in the lurch if we say we will meet you, but if we have to cancel, we’ll do so at least 24 hours in advance.  (We’d expect the same from you.)
  • We cannot provide “copyrights” to the images.  That would involve legal fees and involving lawyers.  But, we will give you license to share whatever files we send to you on social media, your personal website, and e-mail them to friends and family.  If you want prints, we are partnering with Bay Photo Labs.  You’ll be able to order professional prints at www.dbwalton.com.

Summary

In summary, this casting call is simply… we want to meet you and photograph you as we take this epic journey.

April 24, 2017

A Bit Over Four

A bit over four months before our epic Route 66 Tour. Paul and I met for lunch today and discussed what is going to make our Route 66 Trip different than any other Route 66. I didn't even have to think about that answer. The answer: It will be comprehensive from end to end.

A bit over four months before our epic Route 66 Tour. Paul and I met for lunch today and discussed what is going to make our Route 66 Trip different than any other Route 66. I didn't even have to think about that answer. The answer: It will be comprehensive from end to end.

A Bit Over Four

A bit over four months before our epic Route 66 Tour.  Paul and I met for lunch today and discussed what is going to make our Route 66 Trip different than any other Route 66.  I didn’t even have to think about that answer.

The answer:   It will be comprehensive from end to end.

Meaning…

Comprehensive means we’re going to cover every mile of the Mother Road.  Even if it seems like a long and boring stretch, we’re going to tell you about it.  I know, that sounds boring, but trust me, it won’t be.

The Goal…

The goal being you’ll be able to take our blog and use it as a comprehensive guide to Route 66.  Hmmm… that has me thinking I should develop a standard so you can search specifics.

For example, I want you to be able to search for “Route 66 mile 344”, and receive a result from our blog that tells you exactly what to expect at mile 344.  You then will be able to follow any section of Route 66 and turn to us as your guide.  Another example is you could enter “Teepee Motel” and find out exactly where it is.

The Plan…

The plan is to let you see more than just snapshots along the way.  I will show you the people, food, colors, nature, wildlife and anything else we cross along the way.  Each day will be jam-packed with information and images.  If I could capture the smells, I’d do that too.

For Your Listening Pleasure…

October 28, 2016

Barbershop

My grandfather used to walk me to the barbershop. The barber pole outside the barbershop always intrigued me. I'd love watching it spin.

My grandfather used to walk me to the barbershop. The barber pole outside the barbershop always intrigued me. I'd love watching it spin.

Barbershop

My grandfather used to walk me to the barbershop.  The barber  pole outside the barbershop always intrigued me.  I’d love watching it spin.

It was a different era 50 years ago.  We had barber poles, oil in cans, pop sold in glass bottles, gas pumps that only delivered on grade of gasoline, and silly little signs along the road that told a joke.  (I’m talking about the Burma Shave signs.)

copyright 2016 db walton
Closeup of a Gas Pump

Only men went to barbershops, and women went to beauty salons.  You didn’t pump your own gasoline, and attendant did.  And, if you purchased a bottle of pop from a machine, you might get asked to finish it there so they could have the bottle back.  (Yes, we had bottle deposits back then.)

Route 66 is a journey down memory lane.

For Your Entertainment

Route 66 is even popular outside the U.S.A.  Here’s a great example…

October 25, 2016

Route 66 Museums

Route 66 Museums dot the road. Like Route 66 itself, these museums are dedicated to Americana. When driving Route 66 it is important to visit these museums. On one such trip, my wife and I visited one in San Bernardino.

Route 66 Museums dot the road. Like Route 66 itself, these museums are dedicated to Americana. When driving Route 66 it is important to visit these museums. On one such trip, my wife and I visited one in San Bernardino.

Route 66 Museums

Route 66 Museums dot the road.  Like Route 66 itself, these museums are dedicated to Americana.  When driving Route 66 it is important to visit these museums.

On one such trip, my wife and I visited one in San Victorville.

copyright 2016 db walton
California Route 66 Museum

Once inside we found all sorts of treasures.

copyright 2016 db walton
Trailer Inside the Museum

Many of these treasures were found along Route 66.  Some were found and restored, while others were in good enough shape to place on display.

Locations

There are many locations of museums along the way.  While I’ve only visited a few in California and Arizona, here are some other locations:  Berwyn, IL, Elk City, OK, Pontiac, IL, Litchfield, IL, Clinton, OK, Tucumcari, NM, and Barstow, CA, to name a few.

Paul and I plan to visit each one we find.

For Your Entertainment

Here’s Louis Prima… on of my favorite performers from the past.

October 24, 2016

Route 66 Sign

I'm watching a recent episode of Scorpion and what do I see? A route 66 sign! There, in the room, on a post was a Route 66 sign.

I'm watching a recent episode of Scorpion and what do I see? A route 66 sign! There, in the room, on a post was a Route 66 sign.

Route 66 Sign

I’m watching a recent episode of Scorpion and what do I see?  A route 66 sign!HL_00113_Route66

There, in the room, on a post was a Route 66 sign.   It didn’t surprise me.  Route 66 signs are symbols of Americana.  In fact, I have one in my studio on the wall.

I find myself seeing landmarks and I think, “That’s on Route 66!”  It goes to show I have Route 66 on my mind as we prepare for this tour.

In the last week I have had two people ask me when my Route 66 trip is.  It is September 2017.  It is just a little over 10 months away.

Planning

Planning is crucial.  Sponsors are crucial.  As we plan we will contact sponsors and ask for their support.

The big items we need are…

  • An automobile sponsor
  • Lodging sponsors
  • Dining sponsors

If you, or someone you know, works in these industries, let us know.  Or, you can grease the skids and let them know we’re looking for businesses to sponsor the trip by advertising with us.

For Your Entertainment

As a kid, I listened to Stan Kenton and Perry Como.  Here’s Perry Como’s version of the theme song…

The Author

These posts are written by D. Brent Walton, CPP, Cr.Photog.  Brent is owner of photography by db walton llc, and one of the two photographers on this tour.

October 20, 2016

Sample Video Blog

This post is a sample video blog entry. This is to give you an idea of what we will be posting as we drive Route 66. In this example, we are featuring only one sponsor, Bay Photo Labs, however the actual video blogs (vlogs) and blog entries will feature several.

This post is a sample video blog entry. This is to give you an idea of what we will be posting as we drive Route 66. In this example, we are featuring only one sponsor, Bay Photo Labs, however the actual video blogs (vlogs) and blog entries will feature several.

Sample Video Blog

This post is a sample video blog entry.  This is to give you an idea of what we will be posting as we drive Route 66.  In this example, we are featuring only one sponsor, Bay Photo Labs, however the actual video blogs (vlogs) and blog entries will feature several.

Route 31 – October 14th, 2016

Today Paul and Brent hit the Village of Palmyra, New York, on New York’s State Route 31.  If NY SR 31 is Western New York’s Main Street, then Palmyra is the hub.

Situated halfway along NY SR 31, Palmyra is known as the Queen of the Erie Canal.   This little village, founded in the late 1700s, became a bustling place in the 1820s because of the Erie Canal.

Main Street Palmyra (Route 31) intersections NY SR 21.  At that corner are 4 churches.  There is one on all 4 corners.  Guinness World Book of Records lists it as the only such intersection.

copyright 2016 db walton
Looking West on NY SR 31 (Four Churches, steeples, can be seen)

The Village Hall on Route 31 once featured an opera house.  Next door is the old firehouse, now a gift shop.  Across the street is Village Park.  Main Street Palmyra is beautiful with its 19th century buildings and charm.

copyright 2016 db walton
Village Hall (left) and Former Firehouse

Who Would Have Thought?

The crowning gem on Route 31 is the E.B. Grandin Building (aka The Book of Mormon Publication site).  Who would have thought in April, 1830, when this book was published it would be part of a world-wide religion of nearly 16 million members!

copyright 2016 db walton
Inside the Grandin Press Building

Paul and Brent stopped at an iconic location for lunch.  Mark’s Pizzeria, located at the east end of the business district on NY SR 31 in Palmyra, makes a great pizza.

Listen while Paul gives a little overview in today’s VLOG entry…

The pizza was great, the place is clean, and it has plenty of seating.  Sean, the manager, tended to the oven with the pizza peel (we learned a new word – peel – that big spatula they use to maneuver the pizza inside the oven.)  Paul and Brent posed for a quick picture.

copyright 2016 db walton
Brent (l) and Paul (r) at Mark’s Pizzeria, Palmyra, NY, NY SR 31

Thanks to…

Thanks to Bay Photo Labs for their sponsoring us.  Turn to Bay Photo Labs for all your printed product needs.

Bay Photo Labs Logo

October 18, 2016

Video Coming

We have a video coming soon. We will post a video, once available, that is a sample of what we will post as we drive Route 66. We hope to have it posted in the next week or two.

We have a video coming soon. We will post a video, once available, that is a sample of what we will post as we drive Route 66. We hope to have it posted in the next week or two.

Video Coming

We have a video coming soon.  We will post a video, once available, that is a sample of what we will post as we drive Route 66.  We hope to have it posted in the next week or two.

Meet Up Requests

We have received many meet up requests.  For example, a group of motorcycle riders asked if they can meet us part way and follow us for a while.  Of course! The best thing to do is monitor this web site and our Facebook page.

Hulu

Did you know you can watch old episodes of Route 66 on Hulu?

For those who didn’t grow up in that era, and those who miss it, you can watch them on Hulu.

Sponsors

Sponsoring this trip is an affordable way to advertise.  Route 66 has a following, and we intend for all our followers to know those businesses that are making this trip possible.  We’re only starting.  In a year we should have thousands of followers!

Sponsors, get your kicks on Route 66!

copyright 2016 db walton - Video Coming
Bottle Tree Forest

For Your Entertainment

We’re on the lookout for Route 66 covers.  Here’s a live rendition that has a 1940-ish feel.

October 13, 2016

Bay Photo Labs

We extend a special welcome to Bay Photo Labs as an exclusive sponsor (category - photo labs) of our Route 66 Tour.

We extend a special welcome to Bay Photo Labs as an exclusive sponsor (category - photo labs) of our Route 66 Tour.

Bay Photo Labs

We extend a special welcome to Bay Photo Labs as an exclusive sponsor (category – photo labs) of our Route 66 Tour.

Bay Photo Labs Logo

As we visit diners and small businesses along Route 66 we are photographing the owners along side Brent and Paul.  Bay Photo Labs will be sending those businesses an 8×10 print to hang on their wall.

Personal Experience

Brent’s personal experience with Bay Photo Labs is this…

  • They care about their customers.  Bay Photo offers great customer service.  You are not an account number at Bay Photo Labs.
  • They have an extensive product line, along with some innovations that are only available at Bay Photo.
  • In rare cases where there is a problem, Bay Photo quickly replaces the defective product.
  • Watching their Facebook page you find promotions.
  • BayROES makes ordering simple.
  • It is a business success story.  The owner started in his garage and gradually grew the business.

Sponsorships

We offer many opportunities for sponsorships.  No matter where your business is, or what your business does, we can promote you as we travel.    You can choose your level of sponsorship.

Promotion of your business begins as soon as you commit to sponsorship!  That’s right, as we build up to our 2017 tour we will be talking about our sponsors.  This is not a one-time, 30-day promotion, but a year long promotion.

Even after we return, your sponsorship will live on as we do presentations.  Brent and Paul will take their presentations on the road and talk about Route 66.  As they do, they will be mentioning sponsors and how the sponsors made the trip possible.

A Jazzy Version

For your entertainment here is a jazzy version of the Route 66 Theme Song.

October 11, 2016

Truckers

Much of Route 66 is not accessible to big rig trucks. Some portions are maintained by private funds (i.e. not tax dollars.)

Much of Route 66 is not accessible to big rig trucks. Some portions are maintained by private funds (i.e. not tax dollars.)

Truckers

Much of Route 66 is not accessible to big rig trucks.  Some portions are maintained by private funds (i.e. not tax dollars.)

Stopping on Route 66 is often free of big trucks, however, check and make sure you leave plenty of room for traffic to pass.  Even if you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere, a speeding car can come along at any time.

copyright 2016 db walton
Road to Oatman on Route 66

As you can see by the above photo, there is a pull-out area.  The road is decent, but it does have a lot of cracks, and it is windy in this area.  (Some areas are flat and straight, others windy and mountainous like above.)

Road Safety

When taking photos roadside, be careful!  Shooting during daylight is safer than shooting at night.  At night, park where you cannot be rear-ended!  During the day, give plenty of room for traffic.

If you go out in the road to shoot, have a spotter.  The spotter’s job is to watch for traffic, both ways.  They should yell to you to move to the side of the road.

Wear bright colors.  Grays and browns blend in to the background.  At night, wear something reflective, like a safety vest.

Speaking of Truckers

Here is a group covering Route 66 – The Blues Truckers.  The rendition is good, and it has a nice slide show to accompany it.