Escape of the Week: America via iPhoneography

Written by on July 17, 2012 in Americas, Blog, Colorado, Destinations, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky - 32 Comments

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. There are so many things to do in Chicago, and I don’t know where to start.

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.

About the Author

Diana Edelman is a travel writer and expat currently residing in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She is a former career breaker and long term solo traveler. Today, she helps promote responsible elephant tourism and is the co-founder of #RTTC, a weekly chat on Twitter focusing on responsible tourism. When she isn’t writing, Diana handles the PR and social media for Save Elephant Foundation, which runs the popular Elephant Nature Park. Her writing as appeared in About.com, Thought Catalog, The Huffington Post, Matador Network, Travel + Escape, Luna Luna, Vegas Seven, World Nomads, Viator, CheapOair, OneTravel and more.

32 Comments on " Escape of the Week: America via iPhoneography "

  1. Larissa July 18, 2012 at 2:00 am · Reply

    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!

    • Diana July 18, 2012 at 9:11 pm · Reply

      It was so cool! I tried to pull some pics I didn’t put on instagram, too! So far, this new chapter is blissfully amazing!

  2. Wftristan July 18, 2012 at 2:59 am · Reply

    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

    • Diana July 18, 2012 at 9:11 pm · Reply

      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!!

      • Wftristan July 19, 2012 at 3:00 am · Reply

        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

        • Diana July 21, 2012 at 3:15 am · Reply

          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!

  3. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures July 18, 2012 at 3:33 pm · Reply

    Awesome pics!!!! I love the iPhone. My favorite shot is the Chicago one.

    • Diana July 18, 2012 at 9:09 pm · Reply

      Thank you, Andi!! Chicago was quite the photogenic town!

  4. Jade Johnston - OurOyster.com July 20, 2012 at 5:35 am · Reply

    Great photos! Even though the quality isn’t as good as DSLR camera… there is just something really special about iphoneography

    • Diana July 21, 2012 at 3:12 am · Reply

      I love being able to use my iPhone to take pics. While it doesn’t have as many options as a DSLR, it is little and easy to use. :)

  5. Diane July 20, 2012 at 5:50 am · Reply

    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!

    • Diana July 21, 2012 at 3:12 am · Reply

      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.

  6. Bohemian Trails July 20, 2012 at 9:18 am · Reply

    Wow – such colorful photos Diana! I’m planning a cross-country road trip for next year so I’ve been loving your posts lately :) I’m getting inspired!

    • Diana July 21, 2012 at 3:11 am · Reply

      Thanks, Megan!! You will have to let me know where you are planning on going!

  7. Antoinette B. | love.antoinette July 20, 2012 at 9:51 am · Reply

    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!

    • Diana July 21, 2012 at 3:11 am · Reply

      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!

  8. Ali July 20, 2012 at 10:20 am · Reply

    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!

    • Diana July 21, 2012 at 3:09 am · Reply

      Ali, I agree! But, it is super handy when you don’t want to carry the other. Had a great time, thank you!!

  9. Christy @ Technosyncratic July 20, 2012 at 2:57 pm · Reply

    iPhoneography is perfect for a road trip – I love the way the clouds pop against the blue skies!

    • Diana July 21, 2012 at 3:08 am · Reply

      It is! Far too difficult to grab the camera and shoot while driving!

  10. Bobbi Lee Hitchon July 22, 2012 at 1:30 am · Reply

    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!

    • Diana July 22, 2012 at 11:39 pm · Reply

      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.

  11. Paul July 22, 2012 at 7:03 am · Reply

    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.

    • Diana July 22, 2012 at 11:38 pm · Reply

      Thank you, Paul! The Chicago Theater is pretty photogenic!!

  12. Jess | GlobetrotterGirls July 23, 2012 at 5:42 am · Reply

    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! ;)

    • Diana July 26, 2012 at 1:29 am · Reply

      Oooh, nice!! I will next time I am there!!

  13. Andrew July 24, 2012 at 1:06 pm · Reply

    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.

    • Diana July 26, 2012 at 1:25 am · Reply

      Yeah, most places we drove through were very lush! And, thanks. That was one of my favorite shots.

  14. Jenna April 1, 2013 at 12:07 am · Reply

    I love traveling in the U.S. and I love how iphone shots give such a fun view of places, of little details and quirky angles.

    • Diana April 2, 2013 at 3:46 am · Reply

      There are so many undiscovered little gems off the side of the road!

  15. Ryan @ Pause The Moment April 1, 2013 at 12:47 am · Reply

    Excellent shots! I visited Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks last year and I had an incredible time. I still dream of going back again and getting some more hikes in. Zion was my favorite of the two.

    • Diana April 2, 2013 at 3:46 am · Reply

      Thank you! I loved snapping pics with my iPhone through America. It was fun to edit them when Erica was driving, too.

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