PHOTO GALLERY

On the Way:
Scenes from the American Road

The American road trip. That iconic, celebrated rite of passage, portrayed in countless books, films, songs, poems. And with good reason: there's just something about the open road. Especially in our modern era, with tight spaces, short attention spans, and ceaseless distractions. The road, though, it represents space, time, room. It's where the day-to-day grind seems to fade away, and we allow ourselves a rare moment to think. Below, we've captured those moments from roads all across America, through the eyes—and dashboards—of some of today's most creative thinkers.

Lone Walking Burro, Arizona
Kevin Russ, Founding Photographer, Stocksy United

On a constant search for nostalgia and trying to capture that with my camera, I explored the Main Street of America (Route 66) in Arizona. I heard about a small, desert mountain town where burros roamed freely and had to see this place for myself. Oatman, once booming with gold and then tourism, was bypassed by Interstate 40 in 1953 and became a ghost town. With dusty, wood-slat sidewalks and old buildings lining the single main street, Oatman was the wild west I was looking to experience.
Near Chillicothe, Ohio
Jeni Britton Bauer, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

Being on a farm is one of life’s great pleasures. I have never met a farmer I didn’t like. Farmers are like artists. They are always coming up with ideas, always trying them, reflecting on what happened, and learning from every season. They have a deep drive to get better year over year. This photo was taken an hour south of our kitchen at Hirsch Fruit Farm where they grow sweet corn, blueberries, black raspberries, strawberries, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes for us. Whenever we visit the farm, which is near Chillicothe, owner Mike Hirsch fills us in on all of the amazing new things they are trying this year. It usually includes a trip in the truck to the top of the hill to look down on the land. The view is stunning.
M-22 Highway, Northern Michigan
Matt Myers, Co-founder, M22

Back in 2002, my brother and I would travel up and down M-22 searching for the next secret kiteboarding spot. Every time we would pull onto a random road off of M-22 that led to Lake Michigan, we were repeatedly amazed by the beauty, and more importantly, the wind and waves! This appreciation for the natural wonders of the area and the desire to explore helped us realize that M-22 stretches beyond a road into a way of life.
Kolob Canyons, Utah
Scott Harrison, Founder/CEO, charity: water

It was our 4th wedding anniversary, and I was desperate to share the beauty of Utah with my wife. I’d first hiked the area around Zion National Park solo while in-between charity: water speaking engagements in Las Vegas. Viktoria has never been one for hiking but on our first day there, I convinced her to hike 8 hours in the water of the Narrows. Exhausted at the end of a long day, what I thought might be a failure turned into delighted surprise as she convinced me to hike to the top of Angel’s Landing the next day. After years, I finally had a hiker on my hands. It was one of our best anniversary trips away, and we ended the trip with this beautiful drive five-mile drive through the reddish hills of Kolob Canyons before heading back to Vegas and then home to NYC.
Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge, Maine
Rama Chorpash, Product Designer & Director of MFA Industrial Design, Parsons the New School for Design

I left New York City early. Traveling over Maine's Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge for an artist residency at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, a misty light-box atmosphere enveloped the span.The promise of pliable spruce trees, thick moss, and a carpet of edible blueberries felt as though it would appear at the end of the crossing—through the wall of fog. I had just passed a long freight train siding a massive steam spewing factory. I could feel the bridge would take me to the other side, where the road would become dirt and then a deer path.
Joshua Tree National Park, California
Brooks Wheelan, Comedian

This photo was taken the summer I realized I loved living in Los Angeles. I don’t love the city of Los Angeles, but I love what surrounds it. I had been in LA for four years, never leaving the city because I felt like I constantly needed to be there doing comedy every second, but then I started to get really burnt out. I felt like I was in Groundhog Day—work during the week, drink and do shows all weekend, then repeat. I was starting to think LA sucked. But it wasn’t that the city was bad; it was my sedentary lifestyle. I decided I needed to mix it up by venturing out of the city, and my first destination was Joshua Tree. It was on that inaugural trip that I took this picture. It was on that trip that I realized you need to shake things up in life. Don’t have a routine if you can help it. Go to new places and see new things. This photo reminds me of the excitement of realizing those things.
Snowy Road, Oregon
Brianna Wettlaufer, CEO/Co-Founder, Stocksy United

After two years of working steadily day and night to launch Stocksy.com, it was time I reconnected myself to my camera. Returning from a road trip from Nevada back to the PNW, the open landscape of Oregon farmland was a photo that, in person, felt like a moment on hold. An intense snow storm had covered the ground in a perfect white blanket beneath an opaque curtain of fog. In any direction—behind us or in front of us, up or down—you couldn’t see where things started or began: an infinite feeling of open space…
Hudson, New York
Ann Marie Gardner, CEO/Editor-in-Chief, Modern Farmer

I probably have the best commute of anyone I know. My office is 12 minutes from my house, north along the Hudson River. Most days I bring my dogs to work. Sometimes I'll stop at Olana State Park and walk the dogs on the trails. It's the perfect time to reflect and gather my thoughts before the usual storm of the day. On particularly stressful days, I'll run the hills: nothing like strenuous exercise to clear the mind. There is a beautiful spot on the trail when you come to a clearing that overlooks the Hudson River and the Rip Van Winkle Bridge. Everyday, the view is completely different. Today was sharp and clear—you could see several farms in the distance and across to the Catskill Mountains. Ski season is about to start; A lot of magazines have summer Fridays, but I'm thinking winter half days would be a lot more fun!
Brooklyn Bridge, New York City
Marc Kushner, Architect, (HWKN + Architizer)

Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge on the way to work is like crossing through a city-sized doorway. The monumentality of it doesn't diminish over time. It always makes me think: being an architect is the best thing in the world.
Somewhere between the Canadian border and Portland, Oregon (Washington State)
Danielle Krysa, Author, Curator & Art Blogger (thejealouscurator.com)

"ROAD TRIP!!!" is what my husband yelled (arms over his head) when I told him that I’d been invited to do a book signing at Powell’s in Portland. Yes, I could have hopped on a plane and been there in two hours, but why rush, right? I’d been flying all over the US for months—it was time to slow down, get some snacks, and take this show on the road. There’s something magical, almost meditative, about watching the changing landscape rush past your window for hours on end. There is time to think, plan, dream, and of course, eat snacks (ok, it’s really all about the snacks).