Monday, November 4, 2013

O Beautiful, For Spacious Skies…...

On September 5th David and I packed the car and headed off for 7 weeks of unscripted travel around America. (I shared the back story here and my packing technique here.) Our travels had a variety of themes one of which was photography. We each had a Canon Rebel DSLR and had planned to take photos across America. When we biked across in 1972 we had a Kodak Instamatic camera and very little money for film. We have very few photos of that remarkable experience and we weren't going to make the same mistake on this adventure.

We have returned home with close to 6000 photos.  I have been pondering how best to share a part of the collection with you.  It was the photos of the fields (amber waves of grain) that led to my approach.

Road and Sky - Crossing America

America IS beautiful! I will be sharing a few of the many photos organized by the lyrics of America the Beautiful  - Words by Katharine Lee Bates in 1913

O beautiful for spacious skies, 

For amber waves of grain, 

For purple mountain majesties 

Above the fruited plain! 

America! America! 
God shed his grace on thee 

And crown thy good with brotherhood 

From sea to shining sea! 

Today, are photos to illustrate the first line - O beautiful for spacious skies……

Crossing Ohio

David and I each had a camera and both took many photos everyday. At this point we can no longer identify which photos are mine and which are his.  I watermarked them all AshbeeDesign and some are mine, but some are also his.  I guess we give photo credit to the Roy Team.

While we took many images at the various sites we visited, we were visually stunned by the passing roadside.  We learned to shoot out the window as we drove, always marveling at the simple beauty of the landscape. We would bump up the speed of the camera to over 1/1250 to still the motion of the moving car.

South Dakota, Badlands National Park

We come from heavily forested New England and big sky is not what we see.  We loved watching the clouds and the storms as we crossed the plains states.

Northeastern Wyoming

Devil's Tower National Monument - before the hail!

We saw impressive and majestic wind farms outlined against the skies in many states.
Washington State Windfarm

And were awed by the combination of sea and sky as we reached the Pacific…..

Waiting for Sunset, Seaside, Oregon

Traveling Route 101 South along the Oregon Coast

The glorious blue along with white clouds made the incredible red rock formations in Arches National Park all the more stunning. We were lucky to be there for a sunset and captured beautiful light. (We were lucky to be there at all. Thank you Utah for opening the parks!)

Arches National Park, Utah

And, after turning back east the skies over the Rockies became angry and stormy. We didn't see much of the mountains as we climbed the pass on I-70 through Vail.

Entering the Rockies from Grand Junction, CO. along with snow.

Come back for more… Amber waves of grain next.

For Amber Waves of Grain here.
Modular Packing here.
The Story behind out trip here.

©2013 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy


  1. Thank you for sharing the photos :) My favourites are Seaside Oregon and Arches National Park :))
    Looking forward to seeing more :))


    1. I was mesmerized by the Oregon coast. Wait until I publish the photos to go with "from sea to shining sea". They are coming.

  2. Gorgeous. I hope you are going to show a lot more than just these. I love the storm rolling in and the beautiful lighting in the Arches Park in Utah.

    1. I will! I am planning a series for each line of O, beautiful. Next is "Amber waves of grain". Just put them up in small batches so as to not overload everyone! Thanks for visiting and commenting. It makes the sharing so much more fun!

  3. You both have amazing eyes as these photos are just spectacular. Interesting tip about the camera speed. Thanks