Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #158 – Along Back Country Roads

I am honored to be guest hosting this week’s Lens-Artists photo challenge. As I pondered what topic to choose for the challenge I thought about how many of us are happy to be able to travel again. For this challenge I am asking you to show us your images that show your interpretation of going along a back country road. It can be a road where you walk, go for a bike ride, take a scenic drive, go off-roading in a jeep or four wheeler, or a road you take to get somewhere.

To me, a back country road can be any road that’s off the beaten track. The road can be paved, gravel or dirt. It can be one that takes you through farmland, desert, forests, quaint small towns, or in the middle of nowhere. It may even be one with quirky roadside attractions or funny signs you see along the way.

When we go on a road trip we enjoy getting off the main highways for a more scenic drive. Recently, we have even started avoiding interstate highways altogether. The header photo at the top of the page was taken on the Dalton Highway north of Fairbanks, Alaska.

Have you ever driven by a dirt road and wondered where it went? That’s just what we did one time when taking a scenic drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. We couldn’t resist turning on the road in the first image below. I don’t remember where we ended up but the beautiful stream shown in the second image ran beside the road.

Sometimes the only way to get where we want to go is on a dirt or gravel road. These next three images are examples of some we have taken in our adventures.

The Great River Road in Arkansas follows the Mississippi River
Top of the World Highway in Yukon Territory, Canada
A steep dirt and gravel road to Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park in North Carolina

On a recent trip to Orlando, we traveled over 1,000 miles without driving on an interstate or major highway. It was heaven not dealing with semis or drivers passing us like it was the Daytona 500.

The roads were paved, two lane roads with little traffic. There were some fun things to see as we drove along.

Bison farm near Darien, Georgia
Woodbine Fire Museum and Antique Shop on Highway 17 in Woodbine, Georgia
Businesses just outside the Ocala National Forest, Florida
I wondered where this road went in the Ocala National Forest
Lunch was delicious at this popular local restaurant in Salt Springs, Florida

I’m honored to be one of the guest hosts for the month of July while Tina, Ann-Christine, Patti and Amy took the month off.

In your post, please include a link to my original post and use the Lens-Artists tag so everyone can find your post in the WordPress reader. Be sure to check out the first three guest hosted challenges.

John Steiner of Journeys with JohnBo – On the Water

Anne Sandler of Slow Shutter Speed – Black and White

Bert and Rusha Sams of Oh the Places we see – Getting Away

Next week on July 31, please visit Ana Campo of Anvica’s Gallery for her challenge – “Postcards.”

I’m looking forward to seeing where your back country roads have taken you!

Twists in the Road

While on our RV journeys across the U. S. and Canada in our fifth wheel we have come to many twists in the road.

Moose on the Alaska Highway
Moose on the Alaska Highway

Bridal Veil Falls Overlook on Icefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada
Bridal Veil Falls Overlook on Icefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada

Big Thompson Canyon Hwy 34 Colorado
Big Thompson Canyon Hwy 34 Colorado. This road flooded in September, 2013, about 2 weeks after this photo was taken

Twist in the Blue Ridge Parkway
Twist in the Blue Ridge Parkway

We’re not wandering at the moment. These are just a few of our favorite twists in the road.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Twist

Day 47: Driving the Haul Road

Day 47: July 1, 2013

If you are a fan of the show Ice Road Truckers you have heard of the Dalton Highway. If not, the Dalton Highway is the road the truckers take to get to the industrial camp at Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic Ocean. The road begins 84 miles north of Fairbanks and ends 414 miles later in Deadhorse on Prudoe Bay. The road was originally called the Haul Road because all of the supplies for Prudhoe Bay were hauled by truck to get there. The Arctic Circle is about at about milepost 115 on the Dalton Highway.

The highway is mostly dirt and gravel with some paved sections. The road follows the Alaska pipeline and was built because of the pipeline. The scenery changes as you go along from birch and spruce forest to tundra. Purple wildflowers bloomed in many of the fields.

The Bureau of Land Managment manages a small campground and picnic area at the Arctic Circle. When we arrived two young women from the visitor’s center in Coldfoot were set up under a tent with mosquito netting. After having our pictures made, we received a certificate for crossing the Arctic Circle! We ate lunch there and decided to continue on to the Visitor’s Center at Coldfoot, another 60 miles north.

The visitor’s center had a lot of interesting displays including a display showing the location of the Arctic Circle all around the world. At the Arctic Circle we were farther north than Moscow, Helsinki, and Stockholm. For both of us we were farther north than we had ever been in our lives.

By the time we finished at the visitor’s center we had been gone from our campground for 7 1/2 hours and had to drive all the way back. With so many miles to go, we only stopped a couple of times on the way home.

It started raining on a dirt portion of the road when we were almost at the end of the Dalton Highway. Henry said driving on the wet dirt road was the worst driving he has had to do this whole trip. When we got back to Fairbanks, we had to stop for road construction at 9:00 at night. Fourteen hours after leaving the campground, we arrived home and collapsed into our chairs. A long day but well worth it.