Sandi Wheaton's photographic journey from Chicago to LA with a Jeep, an Aliner trailer and a bunch of cameras

pictureRoute66.com


Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

*cough cough hack hack*

I’ve been a bad blogger – because after much time and effort getting the two Route 66-themed art works finished and ready for display on Jan.15, I promptly got sick.  I usually get some kind of respiratory infection in the winter, and I was just glad that this one held off until both gallery shows were open… but, dang!  I’ve had little energy for the tons of catching up I have to do, this incessant cough is keeping me (and probably my poor new tenant) awake at night, and anyone around me is ready to strangle me with all this hacking – in fact I’m about ready to do it myself.  I finally resigned myself to antibiotics today, so hopefully this nasty week-and-a-half-long cough will hit the road already.

installing the time lapse Route 66 photo grid at the AGw (photo credit: Craig Wells)

installing the time lapse Route 66 photo grid at the AGW (photo credit: Craig Wells)

Speaking of the road, I’ve been spending a lot of time with the over 60,000 (!) dashboard camera images I amassed on the recent Route 66 trip.  The time-lapse stuff is on display at two Windsor galleries in two different formats right now, and I’ll describe more about that in my next post.  I realized that I never got around to really writing about the time-lapse camera and process much while I was traveling.  Allow me to fill you in!  (A word of caution: this may really bore non-photographers.  But it’s kinda cool, so it might not.)

Hamtramck's Whiskey in the Jar

Hamtramck's Whiskey in the Jar

First off: like many insane-but-really-cool ideas, the whole time-lapse thing came about over cheap beers in a Detroit dive bar.

I am a member of “Hatch”, a Hamtramck art collective.  Hamtramck is a little Polish enclave of a city literally in the middle of Detroit – Detroit surrounds it on all sides (there are two communities within Detroit like this: Hamtramck and Highland Park).  Hatch purchased the old abandoned police station from Hamtramck, and we’re renovating it into artist studio and gallery spaces.  So one Sunday afternoon after doing demolition at the Hatch building, Scott, Ken and myself, covered with dust and crap, rolled into a local watering hole for $1.50 PBRs.  (God Bless America!  You can’t find a deal like that in my country!!)

I was telling the guys about my Route 66 trip plans, and one of them said, “wouldn’t it be neat if you could snap a picture once in awhile as you drove?”  This got us talking about mounting a camera to the car.  Which got me looking into dashboard cameras.  Which got me researching time-lapse photography, which put me onto intervalometers.  I need to thank my former Scarborough Cable colleague Paul Steinberg for his help with that: Paul recommended Pclix, which is what he uses for his time-lapse photography.  Pclix intervalometers are made in Toronto by Paul Cormack, who does an outstanding job of customer service.  (That Paul was also amazingly helpful in this whole endeavor, so I need to give him a big shout out as well.)

Pclix intervalometer

Pclix intervalometer

The plan was this: use the intervalometer to automatically take a photo every few seconds as I drove all across Route 66 – then later put all of those photos into a video time-lapse sequence of the whole Route.  It would be a way to show what you see as you drive down Route 66, but without requiring the two weeks to do it.  Also, since it would be jpegs taken with a reasonably high-resolution D-SLR camera, the quality and clarity you’d see if you pressed “pause” on the video playback would be much higher than if I just used a consumer video camera with a time-lapse mode (something I briefly considered, since it would have been easier).

After ordering the Pclix and doing more research, I discovered something I had no clue about: did you know that digital cameras have a life span?  Yup, the shutter mechanism on your D-SLR isn’t meant to click indefinitely.  Each camera manufacturer has an estimated shutter click lifespan, and you can’t expect your camera to last much longer than that (although sometimes they do).  The Pentax *ist DL I planned to use on the dashboard (which was my backup D-SLR body) had an estimated shutter life span of 36,906 clicks (average number of actuations after which the shutter died, according to this camera shutter life expectancy database).    Since my math estimates told me I would be taking many more pictures than that for this project, and since my camera already had thousands of actuations logged on it, I figured I’d better get me a backup.  I would be driving across the country, and if the thing died during the trip, getting a used one on the road would be difficult, time-consuming and more expensive.   I scoured eBay and craigslist and other assorted websites, and eventually found one for about $300 in Toronto.  Still more than I wanted to pay, but it had to be done and it wasn’t a bad deal.

Now we needed some way to mount the thing.

delkin-fat-geckoThere are many ways to do this, and many good products out there.  I was going to use Filmtools, but I would have preferred something cheaper and local – cheaper because I no longer had a paycheck coming in, and local in case it wasn’t just right and I may need to return it.  I didn’t have the luxury of time to be shipping products back and forth to LA.  Turns out my local Henrys camera store had a suction cup mount for just under $100 that they thought would do the trick.  It actually did hold the camera up pretty well, and the suction cups were stronger than I thought.  I took it for a spin.

This unit presented a couple of challenges for me.  First off, there was no way to quick-release the camera off the thing. I drive a Jeep with a soft top, and stealing things out of it is way too easy.  I would need a system that allowed me to remove the camera quickly when going into stores, going shooting, etc.  This one needed me to spin the camera around on the little screw on the mounting plate to secure and remove it.  It was way too annoying to do.  Secondly, as I said, I drive a Jeep.  As I believe I’ve mentioned in a previous post, as much as I LOVE my Jeep, a smooth ride it is not.  The bouncing around of the Jeep was a bit too much under the weight of the camera, and over larger bumps, it tended to shift position a fair amount.  Also, the suction cups were sort of getting in the way of the shot.

"THE SILVER pod" bean bag mount

"THE SILVER pod" bean bag SLR camera mount

During a later visit to a different local camera store, Photo Outfitters (great place, great guys, great service), I noticed that their “THE pod”s were on sale.  These are squat, cylindrical bean bags with a mounting screw attached to them, designed to be used in place of a tripod.  I always thought they were kind of neat, and here they were on sale.  The thing about the bean bag pod, is ballast.  The Silver pod model could really hold the weight of my camera pretty well (even has straps and Velcro to hold stuff in place) – and gravity would be working with me, not against me, as I drove.  The camera could actually just stay attached to the pod the whole time, and I could just remove the entire assembly from the dashboard and store it in the baby “trunk” of the Jeep when I needed to get out.  This solution was also less than half the price of the suction cup mount.

The problem?  Registration.  I wouldn’t be able to accurately reproduce the position of the camera shot each time the camera was moved (and, as I drove, it would shift a tad as well).  I decided, in the end, that perfect registration wasn’t that critical, and that if the angle wasn’t exactly the same throughout the whole trip, it wasn’t the end of the world.  “Fix it in post”, as we say in TV land.

OK, I had my mounting solution.  I had my interval solution.  Now I needed to define the interval.

I thought about this, and discussed it with photo friends, at great length.  After doing a couple of driving tests, I found that a good rate of shutter clicks to create a time-lapse driving sequence that was easy to watch and was somewhat smooth, was about 1 exposure every 2 seconds (played back at 30 frames per second, normal video speed).  Here is one of the tests, taken at 1 click every 2 seconds:

YouTube Preview Image

But when I did the math and estimated how long the trip would take me, I came to the conclusion that at that rate, the video of Route 66 might be over 3 hours long.  I didn’t expect that anyone would have the intestinal fortitude to stare at a jumpy, fast-moving screen for that long.  I remember watching tortuous experimental movies at film school, and I didn’t want to inflict that pain on anyone else.  Still, the smoother the video, the better people would be able to actually SEE what lies along Route 66.  (Even better: 1 frame every second… but again, waaaaay too long of a video – and talk about a lot of images!  I would have had hundreds of thousands of photos if I did that.  Below is a short example of a test at 1 frame every second.  Quite smooth!)

YouTube Preview Image

Speaking to my photographer friend Chris Schneider about it, he said that I should totally speed it up and shoot like 1 frame every 5 seconds, so that you’d be able to see the landscapes change REALLY fast.  To him, that would be interesting and would keep him watching.  I ended up decided to split the difference.  I chose to shoot 1 exposure every 3 seconds if I was driving through a city or any landscape that changed quickly – then 1 every 5 seconds for those long, straight stretches where the horizon looks the same forever.  I would also use 5 when Route 66 follows the interstate (since the interstate is the enemy of Route 66, and isn’t that interesting in general, anyway).  Once every 4 seconds when at stop lights, or other times when I wasn’t sure whether to do 3 or 5.  The Pclix has a little dial on it, so changing the rate on the fly was very easy.  (Plus it has a handy carrying strap that enabled me to hang it from the rear view mirror.)

the gear setup for doing time-lapse shooting while driving

the gear setup for doing time-lapse shooting while driving

Power.

You need to power your camera as you shoot.  My *istDL takes 4 AA batteries, and those do NOT last long when shooting ongoingly like this.  Fortunately, the new-to-me backup body that I bought came with an AC adaptor, and I could plug that into the car lighter with a power inverter.  All set.  (NOT, in fact… after I got on the road, I discovered that the adaptor didn’t work, even though I did test it at home before I left!  Then I bought an adaptor at Radio Shack when in Illinois it became clear that my batteries were going to die twice a day.  Which also didn’t work.  So I stocked up on cheap AA batteries at Radio Shack.  Those didn’t work either! <apparently I needed Alkaline batteries, not regular ones>  It took a long time, but eventually I found a universal AC adaptor at a Best Buy in some town, that actually had an end that fit my camera.  Awesome, especially because the package was already opened and they were selling it at a massive discount.)

All set now, right?  Nope.

STORAGE.  Have you ever tried to shoot thousands of pictures in one sitting?  They won’t all fit on your average 1-2GB SD camera card.

No problem, right?  I’ll just buy me one of those new fancy 8GB cards for $25 at one of the WalMarts where I camped.  Done.

Nuh-uh.  My camera is an older model.  Apparently older cameras that came out before these new fancy high-capacity SD cards appeared on the scene don’t even know how to read the things, let alone record photos to them.  But wait!  There is something known as a firmware upgrade.  You can actually download a program from the internet, put it on an SD card, put the SD card in your camera, and the camera’s software will upgrade itself to be able to read the new cards!  Done!  Sweet.

thru windshieldThen there was the realization that I sometimes had reflections of the gear in the windshield (namely the POD logos all over the straps and bean bag), which showed up in the images.  So I started wrapping black socks around the logos.  Eventually I covered the whole camera and pod with the black bag that I use for loading and unloading my infrared film in total darkness, with just the lens sticking out.  (…oh yeah: lens!  I used my 14mm wide angle Tamron lens, to show as much of the view as possible.  Not a lens I use that often, but it sure came in handy for this project.)

I won’t bother getting into other issues like file size, ISO rating, shutter and aperture speeds, or white balance.

Such was the technical setup and learning curve I went through to get this thing going.  It took, I dunno, about a week on the road to work out all these hiccups… but eventually I got it all working.  I’m nothing if not persistent.

OK, I apologize for getting all tech-y here.  I know I’ve bored many of you but believe it or not, this post will be very useful to anyone else trying to achieve something like this.  Wish I had read one like it before I started out!

Now, back to my regularly-scheduled coughing fit.

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Monday, January 4th, 2010

wearing a silly hat my mom gave me at Christmas

wearing a silly hat my mom gave me at Christmas - photo: Megan Hamilton

Happy New Year, all!  I hope everyone had a lovely, stress-free holiday season, whatever you may celebrate (or not celebrate – don’t want to exclude anyone…).  As usual, I spent the holidays with my family back on the east coast of Canada.  I was born and raised in Moncton, New Brunswick, and most of my family still lives there.

New Brunswick is the only officially bilingual province in Canada: everything is in both English and French.  Of all the cities in NB, my home town of Moncton is the most bilingual – in fact in 2002, Moncton became Canada’s first officially bilingual city.  It’s roughly 65/35 English/French, with many of the French-speaking population living in Dieppe (the Greater Moncton Area consists of Moncton, Dieppe and Riverview).  There is even a local dialect called “Chiac”, where English and French are quite literally mixed into one language, with French endings added to English words and the like.  It’s quite hilarious to hear sometimes.  One of my all-time favorite Chiac phrases, overheard on a hot day at the Shediac wharf years ago, was “oh mon dieu, je dois “cool-ay off” (= oh my god, I’ve gotta cool off)”.  I just love that.

(…there is a Route 66 tie-in here – bear with me…)

closed-up rock and curios shop in Holbrook AZ

closed-up rock and curios shop in Holbrook AZ

Moncton is the most centrally-located city in the Maritimes, which may explain why it has become a shopping mecca for the region.  The largest mall, Champlain Place, is actually located in the French-speaking city of Dieppe.  A trip to the big mall is a linguistic adventure for any visitor.  I grew up in the place so I didn’t realize how bizarre it was until I brought my good friend Anne Marie home for a visit a few years ago.

Here’s the thing about shopping in Dieppe: most of the salespeople in the mall will serve you in French, whether you speak English or not.  They speak English too – but often they just keep going in French.  Someone from away like Anne Marie might assume that this is some pride of heritage thing, where we Anglophones are in Dieppe, the French area, and they’ll be damned if they’re going to speak English to us… (and trust me: there are more than enough anti-French and anti-English sentiments around – it’s like our version of racism)… but that’s not how I experience it.  To me it’s always just felt like everyone in Moncton knows that both languages are spoken there.  And although many people aren’t bilingual, you simply develop an ear for the other language enough to have these strange dual-lingual transactions.  Oddly, it sort of works.  Here’s how it goes:

Cashier: Bonjour, vous avez trouvé tous que vous cherchiez? (did I find all that I was looking for?)

Me: Yes, thank you.

Cashier:  Bon.  C’est dix dollars, quatre-vingt, s’il vous plait. ($10.80)

Me: Here you go.  Do you have a gift box for that, by chance?

Cashier: Oui, j’en ai. (gets box)

Me: Thank you!

Cashier: Merci beaucoup, bonne journee!

I’m so used to it I don’t even think about it.  But poor Anne Marie was baffled.  Not only did she not know what was being said to her, but she was even more confused when the cashier’s colleague walked by and the two of them spoke in English – then the cashier returned to Anne Marie (who was clearly speaking English the entire transaction and was having trouble understanding the woman’s French), and reverted back to French again!  My Moncton virgin friend just didn’t know what to think.

On my Route 66 trip, I was reminded of this whole phenomenon when I passed through Holbrook, Arizona.

Indian head neon sign on empty building

Indian head neon sign on empty building - there is a lot of this sort of vernacular iconography on Route 66, and I plan to write a whole post just on that, FYI

My father’s birthday was fast approaching and I needed to send him a birthday card.  I spotted a post office, found parking for the triangle, and went in to mail the card to my dad.  I noticed in passing that the customer ahead of me looked like she was probably Native American (or, “Indian”, as they say in these parts of the country).  The man serving her looked like he may have been Indian too, but I wasn’t sure.  He was very friendly and made small talk with her in English.

Suddenly he said something that clearly was not English to her.  She chuckled and responded in what I assume was the same language.  He said some more things in English – then there it was again: that very foreign-sounding language.  I just couldn’t place it.  I knew there were a lot of Navajo in this part of the world, so I wondered if that was what they were speaking.  They kept switching it up, English and this other language… I was immediately reminded of shopping at Champlain Place back home, and I couldn’t help but laugh to myself.

When I got to the counter, I asked the man what language they were speaking.  “Navajo!” he said with a smile.  I told him that I liked how it sounded, and he responded that Navajo is a very hard language to learn.  To this I replied, “well, I guess that’s why your people were so valuable as code talkers during the war.”  “Oh,” he said, “I’m not Navajo.  I’m from Mexico!”  (What th-…?)  I asked him where in the heck he learned Navajo.  “Eh, I pick it up here and there,” he said with a shrug.  (I could say the same thing about Chiac, I thought.)  So, I decided to use the opportunity to practice my Spanish, and we completed the transaction in his own native language – which seemed to really tickle him.

I found myself missing Anne Marie in that moment.

Indian fresco on side of curios shop in Holbrook AZ

old fresco on side of curios shop in Holbrook

OK – updates on this end: I just finished crunching all of the .jpegs into movie clips for the time-lapse sequence.  This week I’ll meet with an editor to lay all 158 of them down onto a timeline, and burn a DVD to be played at the upcoming car show at Artcite.  It’s a very basic, rudimentary version of the Route 66 time-lapse sequence – this is definitely still a work in progress – but I am really looking forward to seeing them all linked together.  I think it’s going to be pretty cool once it’s all done.

I want to thank Melody Friend for curating and arranging the show of my work at Green Peas Casual Foods in Culver City.  I believe it comes down today, unless they decided to hold it over.  This was my first showing of any sort in the LA area, and I’m very grateful to Melody for all of her support over the years.  Thanks, Mel!!

As far as the hate mail goes… suffice to say, some people seem to think that it is in bad form for me to try market the work I created on Route 66.  Seems I’m not supposed to make any money from the Mother Road, even though I spent so much of my own time and money creating photographs and writing about it…

I don’t get it.  I am a photographer.  That’s what photographers do.  We explore places that are interesting to us, then we share the beauty and wonder that we find through our images.  Are we supposed to give away our work for free?  Is sharing it online for free viewing not already enough?

I understand people who are passionate about their interests, and many people are very passionate about Route 66.  It’s a glorious road, rich in history, and driving it is probably the best road trip out there.  It offers a glimpse of small-town America of days past, where people took the long road and “stopped to smell the roses”.  It’s wonderful, and I hope that more and more people opt to leave the interstate and kick around these sweet, friendly little towns.  (I finally saw the movie Cars over the holidays, by the way – and I can see how it has done a lot to promote the Route.  It’s a good thing.)  But although I love Route 66, none of this means I shouldn’t try to sell my images of it.  As most of you know, I lost my job and am trying to make a go of it as a freelance photographer/writer.  This will most likely mean I will lose my house, too.  We live in a Capitalistic society and money is a necessity.  I can’t live on air.  So, please: don’t expect me to not market my Route 66 work.  And please don’t publicly call me a “fraud”, a “fink”, a “low-down scoundrel” or a “user” when I do.

One thing I learned from the experience: fanatics can actually do more harm than good to their own cherished causes.  This angry man who claims to love the Mother Road so deeply is actually doing it a disservice by attacking those who don’t revere it in the way he thinks we should.  It is a real shame.  There should be a place for – and an acceptance of – everyone on the Route.

the famous WigWam Motel

the famous Wigwam Motel in Hobrook - more on this place later on

Fortunately there are people who are thankful for what I do, and their moral support is awesome.  I really need to thank many of you for that – and I especially want to thank Larry for the incredibly insightful email he sent once he realized my confidence was shaken.  Larry, I printed that thing out and read it daily.  Thank you so very, very much.  I hope to meet and thank you in person one day.

…enough on that!  Time to press on!  Back to the time-lapse now.  Thanks for reading.

And, play nice.  :)

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Sunday, December 20th, 2009

TSB is right: I should keep chasing pavements.  I’m good at it.

night on Route 66 - near Barstow, CA (January, 2009)

night on Route 66 - near Barstow, CA (January, 2009)

Alas, for now, I need to stay put and sort out my pre-pavement chasing life so that I can pursue more pavements in the future.  A mortgage and a road trip of indefinite length are mutually exclusive for now – at least, until I am independently wealthy…  So for the time being, the Aliner is hunkering down for the cold Canadian winter, and I am starting the monumental task of sorting through the mounds of material (both photographic and mental/emotional) I returned home with.  After Christmas, the house gets tackled.  If I want to go, it simply has to go.  The math doesn’t work.

Two important events coming up fast: I will be showing portions of the Route 66 time-lapse document in two separate gallery shows next month.  The Art Gallery of Windsor and Artcite have asked me to be part of their group juried car-themed shows (timed to coincide with the North America International Auto Show across the river in Detroit).   AGW will feature stills from the time-lapse sequence presented in a casual, “storyboard” style presentation.  Artcite will have the first generation of the time-lapse video – rough and incomplete, but hopefully still interesting.  Lots to do.

Also, this is the busiest time of the year for selling prints, so I’ve been busting my butt trying to make a few bucks before the season is out.  That’s mostly where I’ve been, and explains why I haven’t been writing.  (I owe a lot of people emails – thanks for your patience and understanding!)  On top of that, Christmas is coming up fast, and of course that also requires planning and preparation.  I was up literally all night last night, packing and tying things up before the annual Maritime Christmas Pilgrimage back home to the east coast.  I can’t even remember the last time I did an all-nighter!  It feels awful!  My stomach is a wreck.  Don’t try this at home.  Good lord, I’m 43 – I can’t keep doing this to myself.  Anyway, I safely arrived in Fredericton, New Brunswick today.  My luggage, unfortunately, did not.

Enough on that – I think it’s high time I wrote something else about Route 66.  Given my sleep deprivation, let’s keep it simple.

Shoe trees.

the Amboy shoe tree - July 2008

the Amboy shoe tree - July 2008

There are two major shoe trees on Route 66: one near Stroud, Oklahoma and one near Amboy, California.  What is a shoe tree?  Shoe trees are trees that people hang their shoes on.  That’s it.  I’m not sure how or why they start, but they can be found all over the place.  Wikipedia claims there are at least 76 shoe trees in America.  The roadtripamerica.com site calls them “icons of the American Road”, and they even have a page that lists the shoe tree rules.

I don’t know what in the heck was happening with my shoes on this trip, but they were just falling apart.  These were my rather new Rockport hiking boot-style shoes.  Got them at a great price, they fit, were comfortable (if not stylish) and were supposedly waterproof.  That last feature was why I bought them: for those mucky Salton Sea visits.  You need closed shoes on the Salton Sea to keep the dead barnacles from mashing up your feet, and waterproof is just a huge bonus.

my poor Rockports!  what a shame...

But on this Route 66 trip, where I really wasn’t putting them through much abuse at all, my great Rockports started literally coming apart at the seams!  By the time I hit California, I knew they were toast.  A drag, because the soles were like brand new and they were just getting really comfortably broken in.  Anyway, I knew the shoe tree was coming up and I figured that leaving my Route 66 Rockports there, near the end of the Route, would perfectly symbolize the end of the road for me.  It would be an appropriate and honourable resting place for the shoes that brought me there – especially the shoe tree near Amboy, since that little ghost town was what started my interest in Route 66 in the first place, years ago.

So: drove up, saw the many shoes hanging off the tree, pulled over, grabbed my camera, photographed my shoes, then prepared them for retirement.

IMGP3780

fallen shoes scattered in the wash

I’ve actually photographed this tree before, on previous visits to Amboy – but this time the tree seemed smaller than I remembered.  Getting closer, I noticed that a large branch had broken off and fallen into the wash – guess the weight of so many shoes was too much for it.  I admired the many pairs of footwear donated by previous visitors: sandals, sneakers, loafers… even a pair of purple boots and some hand-painted Doc Martens were dangling there.  I wondered about the people who the shoes belonged to – where they came from, what brought them here, whether the shoes were significant to them…  Tying the laces together to act as a hanging mechanism, I scouted for the appropriate spot for mine.  I then lovingly said good bye to my shoes, thanked them for getting me this far without incident, and launched them into the air.

my Route 66 Rockports' final resting place

my Route 66 Rockports' final resting place

Amazingly, they landed pretty much where I wanted them to.  I photographed them hanging there, and I felt pleased to leave a part of me alongside my very favourite stretch of Route 66.  I really hadn’t wanted to get rid of those shoes, though.  They were immensely practical, and I hated the notion of just throwing them away… so I felt quite a sense of satisfaction at having so appropriately retired them as a symbol of my trip ending, on the famous Route 66 shoe tree.  This wasn’t as weird as leaving my bra in Devil’s Elbow, but it was definitely just as fitting.  (On that note, I read there is a bra tree somewhere too… I must find that.)

As much as I loved that area, I couldn’t linger.  I was under deadline: I had to be in LA that night.  I hopped into the Jeep, started up the dashboard’s time-lapse camera, and headed toward Amboy and the famous oft-photographed Roy’s Café.

A few minutes down the road, as I was happily humming along the highway, I glimpsed something up ahead.  It was a tree.  A much bigger tree than the one I just visited, and someone was photographing it.  …what?  Shoes??  Yes, shoes!  Many, many more pairs of shoes than on the previous tree, in fact.  Good god, I stopped too soon.  I had the wrong tree!  I was duped by a fake shoe tree?!  Argh!

approaching the real Amboy shoe tree

approaching the real Amboy shoe tree

I cursed and I groaned, thinking I now needed to stop the Jeep and the time-lapse camera, turn around, try to retrieve my shoes (which would have been not only slightly dangerous, but hilarious to watch I’m sure), and then install them on the correct tree.  But then I thought: 1) I simply don’t have the time, and 2) it’s actually more funny and interesting that I went through this big ritual to retire my Route 66 shoes, but on the wrong tree.  It’s sort of my luck, really.  Very dorky.  Very Sandi.

So I just left them where they landed.  I guess this means I need to do the Route again sometime – and then put the shoes on the right tree!  Oh, and by the way: apparently there are now two Route 66 shoe trees close together in Stroud, OK as well.  (Do shoe trees breed??)  So, be sure you have the right tree before you toss!

(Speaking of barking up the wrong tree… I have to admit that another thing happened recently that made it hard to want to write about Route 66, and made me want to throw in the blog towel altogether: hate mail.  Apparently I barked up the wrong Route 66 tree and the tree came back to bite me with venom.  More on that later.  Sleep now.)

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Monday, December 7th, 2009

new gallery of Route 66 color images at sandiwheaton.com

new gallery of Route 66 color images at sandiwheaton.com

I must apologize for the lack of updates this week – I have been feverishly trying to get some new work from the trip online.   I’ve been doing work on my website, as well as organizing and attending various pre-Christmas shows and sales, so it’s been hard to stay in touch.  The activity pitch is starting to die down now, so expect to hear more from me very soon.  In the meantime, I thought I’d link to a new page on my website that lists Route 66 photos that have appeared in the blog, as well as many that I haven’t shared yet.  This just scratches the surface, of course… I can’t believe how many photos I amassed during the trip!  FYI for those of you interested in purchasing any images as Christmas gifts or otherwise, there is now a purchase page using PayPal on my site.   (Or just email me, that’s probably easier!)

Back soon!

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