If there is one thing I did to an excess while driving cross-country, it was taking photos.

Between my new camera and my iPhone, I logged thousands of photos.

Because the iPhone was easy to tote around, there were so many instances when I simply pulled it our from my purse (or from the arm rest when I was driving) and snapped pics.

I like to think these photos help show the beauty of the lesser traveled/boring drives through the heart of America. For even more photos, be sure to click the links.

Enjoy the “iphoneography!”

The journey begins in Las Vegas. Dave and I head north on I-15 to Zion. Our drive through Nevada is flat, with desert surrounding us and mountains in the far distance.

The drive north on I-15 past Las Vegas, Nevada

A quick 2 1/2 hour drive from Las Vegas is one of the most spectacular spots I have ever visited — Zion National Park. Our first night, we grab dinner at the Bit & Spur, a cute Southwest restaurant with views of the fiery orange rocks from the patio.

The Bit and Spur at Zion National Park

The next day, we go and explore Zion. Walking from our moderately crappy motel, we hit the entrance to Zion on foot.

Walking in to Zion National Park in Utah

The entrance to Zion National Park in Utah

Pink blossoms hang from trees inside Zion National Park

Our next stop: Colorado.

We drive for 10 – plus hours. My eyes having a hard time to stay open as we go from high desert to the Mars-like landscape of barren red rock jutting out at different levels with the Rockies (or what I kept saying were the Rockies) in the distance.

Heading towards the Mars-like landscape in Moab, Utah

Finally, we cross Utah into Colorado and we get our first glimpse of the magnificent Rocky Mountains.

Driving on I-70 through the Colorado Rockies

Suddenly, I am awake. Thrilled to be in such a spectacular landscape.

I-70 through the Rocky Mountains in Colorado

From Denver, we head back up to Keystone for a conference. While I wait for our conference to kick-off, I spend time wandering through the main street of the charming ski town of Breckenridge.

The resort town of Breckenridge, Colorado

In Keystone, we are treated to high altitude and a sunset to rival some of the best I’ve ever seen. I’m sure that had something to do with the peak with little bursts of lingering snow set against the pine trees and pinks and blues of the sky.

The sun sets behind the Rocky Mountains in Colorado

I said “see you soon” to Dave in Keystone and then began the rest of my road trip with Erica. In the middle of the night, we drove from there to Denver, and in the morning we were off through the flat roads of Nebraska (and Colorado).

A photo from I-80 in Nebraska

Sunset off of I-80 in Nebraska

Eventually, we stopped in Omaha and enjoyed the awesomeness of the city and a dive bar tour.

A visit to a dive bar in Omaha, Nebraska

A visit to a dive bar in Omaha, Nebraska

The next day, we head out to Chicago via I-80 and Iowa. I’m surprised and delighted by what we see out of the window. It’s beautiful.

Driving on I-80 through Iowa

Driving through Iowa on I-80

Iowa from I-80

Of course, as we get closer to Chicago, traffic stops. Which gives me time to hang out the window and take some pics.

The Chicago skyline from a distance

A photo of the Chicago Theater in Downtown Chicago

Another look at the Downtown Chicago skyline

After Chicago, we headed south through Indiana …

Windmills in Indiana

… to Louisville. Of course, we took obligatory shots at Churchill Downs and of the charm in Downtown Louisville.

Downtown Louisville's main street

Our second night, we hit up Holy Grail, a church-turned-bar near my friend’s place.

The Holy Grail in Louisville, Kentucky

No visit to Louisville is complete without trying some bourbon!

A bourbon sampler in Louisville, Kentucky

After two weeks of driving cross-country, we finally headed to Maryland, stopping to see my brother first in Frostburg.

An old hotel on Frostburg, Maryland's main street

And then, eight hours later, we were to my house. And the next brief chapter of my life began.

32 comments

  1. Great photos and what a cool trip you guys did. Was enjoying all the photos via Instagram but nice to see them all laid out and with a story. Hope things are going well with the new chapter of your life!

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  2. Hi Diana

    Some lovely shots here – I am a huge Iphoneography fan with 18 different photography Apps on my phone now – Have you tried 645 Pro ? thats my favourite at the moment, well worth a look.

    Tristan

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    1. Hi Tristan, I have not heard of that app. I mainly use Snapseed. It is so user-friendly and easy. I also have Photo Wizard, but there are so many options it make my mind whirr!!

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      1. Hi Diana – I have not tried photo wizard i will have to have a look at that one – Yes snapseed is pretty amazing – The thing i like about 645 is that it has focus and exposure lock and the quality is really high.
        Another one i use a lot is lo-mob which can be pretty good for editing.

        Tristan

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      2. Photo Wizard is really overwhelming — so many options!!! Snapseed is a little less of the overwhelm and I like just enhancing the pics versus completely changing them. 645 sounds really cool. Going to have to make a list of these!

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  3. Cool post! Makes me want to *almost* drive cross-country (but i hate long car trips). I love the Camera Awesome app on the iPhone. All the features and effects aren’t free, but they’re worth it. My favorite pic is the first one — gorgeous sky!

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    1. Ha ha … it is definitely one very long car trip! Haven’t heard of that app … will have to look into it. Thanks! And, it is hard to beat that blue sky in Nevada. When I was in Maryland, it made me sad how not blue the sky was, even on sunny days.

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  4. Awesome photos Diana! I always love reading posts more about our country. As travelers, i think we often forget that we also have some of the most beautiful places, landscapes, cities, and whatnot right in our own backyard! I’d def love to do a roadtrip out on the west side of the country!

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    1. THank you, Antoninette! I tried to write as much as I could about living in America while I was there. We do forget the beauty in our own backyard. Driving cross country reminded me how gorgeous our country truly is. The west coast — man that is one hell of a beautiful drive!

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  5. I don’t think I’ll ever be one of those people who uses the iPhone camera almost exclusively, because I love my DSLR too much, but it sure is convenient! Looks like an awesome road trip from these photos, I’m glad you had fun!

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  6. I just got an iPod touch recently and take so many more photos now. I would never feel like carrying around my SLR, so I missed a lot of photos. It’s nice to have the iPod/iPhone handy. The photos look beautiful. I love the ones from Zion and the one of the Chicago theater. So jealous of this trip. I am really keen to do a US road trip one day!

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    1. It is so convenient! I took it my DSLR and iPhone with me yesterday to shoot up at the park. I left my camera in my bag b/c of the threat of rain and just walked around with my phone instead. Pics were pretty great. You have to do a road trip! America by car is so cool.

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  7. Very cool post.

    The iPhone is great because it’s always with you. I took a photo of the Chicago theater very similar to yours a few months back. I also edited it in Snapseed as you did.

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  8. I love your pictures and it reminds me of our big road trips in the US in the past couple years. I don’t say this just because I am from there, but Chicago sure is a beautiful city – if you loved shooting the buildings with your iPhone, do the architecture boat tour next time you’re there – trust me! πŸ˜‰

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  9. A little surprised how green things are out there. I expect fields of yellowbrown corn. Love the shot of the Chicago theatre with Fiona Apple and Barry Manilow.

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