Life Is A Road Trip

The Amazing Adventures of a Zoobroker and a Sentiographer


Indeed the road is open again

nevadaMatt HillComment

Duckface. There. I did it. Now that we got that out of the way, I promise you will never see it again. This is an act of irony. From JFK to SFO, then rubber met the road and now I sit in Reno, ready for another journey.

This time around it's in pursuit of art. One month of art.

Stay tuned for productivity on steroids. We aim to create.

Valley of Fire

nevada, photographyzoobrokerComment

Las Vegas sits in the middle of some of the most beautiful terrain this country has to offer.  And most of the millions of fucking tourists never see it.  It's like they say, "ooh shiny!  oooh tits! ooh buffet!" and while they're inundated by fake they quickly lose their hold on reality. I mean, fuck, I like shiny.  I like tits. I love the fucking buffet.  So we struggle to remain even sort of rooted, so getting the fuck outta Dodge is a requirement.  We headed to the Valley of Fire.  If we didn't have shit to do, I'd rework the 23rd Psalm to my purposes. Alas, I'm just gonna drop a teaser.  We went with friends of Phaux ... maybe more on them another time. Good people.

Sometimes I think we should rename this blog Proof Of Future Cancer with all the smoking that's captured on film.   Anyway, Phaux, thanks for the ego-porn.


Yeah, this a road.  It screams Moto Guzzi commercial.  Except we were driving a Kia.  But everytime we parked it, it looked like one of those depressing mini-van commercials that consoles both men and women about the depressing sterility and banality of their existence by saying, "You will not always be changing dirty diapers in the living room watching SportsCenter, sometimes you will be changing dirty diapers in the the desert."


So, this is the kind of shit that you get when you take 3 awesome photographers to the desert ... serious ego porn.


These were taken with a IR-modified Canon G9, which for some reason turns my clean shaven face into very strange 5 o'clock shadow, sort of like the oldest brother on Party of Five.  You know, the guy who became the doc on Lost?  Don't you think it's strange that when he's living on Alamo Square with running water and Walgreen's within walking distance he never could shave, but when he gets on the semi-deserted island in the middle of Pacific, he actually is Wall Street clean shaven? Weird. Oh, yeah, that's a knife.  Not the Global, but hey.


That's Sylvester.  Photographer-slash-Art Director.   That's my grill going in the background.  Cowboy cheesesteaks, rosemary pork tenderloin au poivre, asparagus.  That's why they let me tag along.


I hate to tease all of you with this shot ... but pretty sick, huh?  And that's not even the best shot.  God I just creamed myself.


Vegas usually annoys the piss out of me ...

bars, girls, nevada, slappedzoobrokerComment

... seriously. It's full of cheeseball douchebag wanna-be brainless fashion victims. It annoys me so much that normally I go windmill tilting and try to annoy it right back, but that has generally ended badly -- like, my-friend-covered-in-a-third-party's-blood badly -- so I thought, okay, this time I'm going to play nice ... .. apparently, I didn't play nice enough ...


... I really don't get why women take so much pleasure in hurting me, but moving on ... we headed downtown with every intention of shooting some pictures of Fremont, when I saw:


... it screamed "road trip classic", I just knew that this was my bar ...

... minus the tila tequila wanna-be, pictured below ...


... great locals joint. Sexy women, cheap tequila, midget twins ... can you really lose? Well, apparently I can ...


... I guess I offended her by wiping off the copious lipstick ... we did make up after that ...


.. right before her husband, who was there the whole time, made his appearence ... oops .. I guess "I'm here with my girlfriends" means something else in Vegas.

Glitz and Bits

nevadaMatt HillComment

_mhp2344 Vegas, helloooo again!

Zoo and I are on a little R&R and hopped over to Fremont for some photo ops and she-nan-i-gans.



Reminds me of my head.


Rub it...




Zoo spotted this bar, had a hunch and made a run for it.


Music wasn't impressive, but I felt like we were transported to Portland, OR. It was so NOT-VEGAS, chill, firelit and filled with younger, somewhat less-skanky people.


And some beautiful people...


And fun people, some with sequin pants and mismatched shoes. Good times. Will come back, for sure.

Black and white photos from RT3

iowa, nebraska, nevada, photography, south dakota, SpamZalot, utah, wyomingMatt HillComment

I just realized that I never posted the black and white panos from RT3! So, for your viewing enjoyment... High Desert, eastern NV

Canyon, southern Idaho

Salt Lake City, UT

24 more photos after the break - click on!

Idaho Highway

Idaho Railway

Badlands, SD

Badlands, SD

Badlands, SD

Badlands, SD

Great Salt Lake, UT

Great Salt Lake, UT

Great Salt Lake, UT

High Desert, eastern NV

Canyon, southern Idaho

Desert, southern Idaho

Zoo on the Road

Desert road and dappled clouds, southern Idaho

Desert, southern Idaho

Desert, southern Idaho

Desert, southern Idaho

Reservoir, southern Idaho

Continental Divide Rd, WY

Western Wyoming

Western Wyoming

Salt Flats, UT

Badlands, SD

The Corn Palace, South Dakota

Day 10: Spammer's Closing Thoughts, Part 1

musings, nevada, on the road, south dakota, SpamZalotMatt HillComment

Social spamming was hella fun.

Taking - no - MAKING time to have a road trip with Zoo Broker was one of the best decisions I have made this year, and let me tell you folks, it's been a year for decisions. I so very enjoyed myself that it is hard to clearly explain. Perhaps all of the posts we made for you (well, for us really) will, in total, represent an experience that mirrors my path in life. Deliberately unplanned, but pursued with enthusiastic vigor.

Full entry after the jump.

If you take a peek at my opening musings, you'll find that I put forth some goals for the trip. Let's see how I did:

  • Uncertain destinations (YES)
  • Lots of photo-ops (YES)
  • Some ridiculously inebrious evenings (YES)
  • Perhaps double mileage versus previous trips (3,200 miles)
  • Meaningful, probing conversation (YES, IN PLENITUDES)
  • Glee (YES)
  • New people with interesting stories weaving into ours (YES, SEE BLOG)
  • Potentially embarrassing moments (YES, SOME NOT SHARED WITH THE PUBLIC)
  • Incredible discoveries only found via an open mind and no agenda (YES, SEE HERE & HERE)
  • Deep, satisfying exhaustion (YES, TOOK A NAP YESTERDAY)

Do you achieve all your goals? I am not mystified at all that I did. I chose my priorities and focused on them. Everything else fell into place alongside this journey because I have learned (and practice) that you have to focus on the things you can control, and let everything else take care of itself.

Here is the wonderful part... Now I get to set NEW goals. Yes, exciting! I do already have some big plans involving some art, and am ready to jump on that immediately, as well as getting back to a healthy diet (big wink).

As for Zoo Broker, he has been the finest friend I could ask for. Exciting, sharing, generous, thoughtful, encouraging, brazen, inspiring and made me laugh until I cried more than a few times.

Let me share some insights that found me while on this epic journey.

People are generally the same, no matter where you go. To be specific, there are so many indiviual people with different goals and dreams (or dreads), that an generality by region is impossible. Each person you meet is full of potential. Some are more exceptional, and I think this is because they also have a keen interest in life.

America is diverse and wonderful. From the seediest piss-smelling alleys to the majestic and barren desert mountain ranges, it is a composition of amazing things. I love it all. Juxtaposition is the key. I recently went to an Edward Tufte seminar and he states that presenting data without comparison is a meager meal. In this case, seeing the smallest of towns (population 16) to the big metropolises, the plains to the Rockies, the desert to the forest gave me a grand scale for comparison. It's within these differences that lie the opportunity for gratitude, and I am very grateful to have learned more about my country.

I knew this already, but it has been reinforced during this trip: If you do not make time to do the things you love, you may never do them. Just change your priorities.

Being selfish is not a bad thing. After all, who is more important in this world than yourself? I had an interesting conversation with a mostly drunk architect last night and brought up my favorite question (for architects), "Have you read THE FOUNDTAINHEAD?" LOLz, it realy gets some of them going. I see that book as having lots of people acting on the beliefs surrounding "being selfish". Exercising your personal right to choose happiness for yourself before choosing it for other people is what I choose. In general, America sees selfish as a very negative word. I do not. I will always choose my happiness first. This does, however, go hand in hand with the belief that I treat the world as I want to be treated. That is harmony.

Doing unplanned things is one of the best ways to learn something you do not know. It sounds so obvious, but you won't know what Imean until you do it. Why re-learn things you know? Life is toooooo short.

Take the time to tell other people that you like your life. It helps the world become a better place when people know that happiness is out there...

As Zoo Broker repeatedly says, "the opportunity never taken is something that will never happen. It's always better to do it, than not do it." You only get one chance (that we know of) here and now. Do something you like with it.


The Desert, the Mountains, Salt and the Road

nevada, photography, SpamZalot, utahMatt HillComment

Zoo found another winner today. After discovering we had 35 miles of construction between us and Salt Lake City, he chose a road north that connected with the arm of the salt flats we wanted to hit. Below are images from just before we left paved road, to an unmapped (by Google) dirt road, Nevada to Utah to Nevada to Utah and then back onto the highway again and into the city limits of Salt Lake City.

Another fine find, Zoo. Excellent roads. Tons of photos after the break:

Zoo almost stepped on a Horny Toad! (LOL..)

And he scampered away...

In Utah, beliefs can make mountains float like clouds...


musings, nevada, utah, ZoobrokerzoobrokerComment

I'm sure there are two destinations within a few hundred miles that are more different than Elko, Nevada and Salt Lake City, but I'm hard pressed to think of another so polarized pair.

Elko: Whores, 24-hour access to alcohol and gambling, all-you-can-eat steakhouses.
SLC: Mormans, 24-hour access to group prayer, and all-you-can-marry churches.

We'll give you some more details on Salt Lake City after we hang out a little tonight ...