One thing that everyone seems curious about is how I came to the point of taking this sort of trip. The story is a lengthy one though I'll try to keep the explanation as short and to the point as possible.
The birth of the concept occurred back in February of 2012 when I took a hastily planned short trip to Northern Arizona / Southern Utah. The trip was thought of and executed in under two weeks which subsequently made it a very expensive ventures. In that trip I flew from Chicago to Phoenix and then drove to Page Arizona where I checked out upper Antelope Canyon area and Horseshoe Bend before heading to Monument Valley for a couple nights. The entire trip was four days and probably cost me about four grand.
As I was wandering around the Page Az area the thought occurred to me that with the right vehicle and time I could see a hell of a lot. I flew back to Chicago with ideas churning in my mind of all the places to see that could lead to amazing images in my portfolio.
I immediately set to work figuring out what would be required to make this trip feasible. I decided to see the most places in the least amount of time would require a strong off road vehicle. I also knew I would need camping gear as seeing I would never be able to afford hotels for any sort of serious trip.
In the fall of 2012 I was given a unique opportunity to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. This trip was only about 7 days but allowed me to see a significant amount of he park. It was at this point when I had the chance to test out my photography skills and concepts with the help of a great photography tour guide. I walked away feeling confident that I had enough skill to reasonably pull off the photography side of this trip.
In February of 2013 I purchased a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon. This vehicle is considered king of stock off road vehicles. It is this vehicle that will serve as my means of getting into and hopefully out of some very remote areas. While many people hike to these areas, that requires time and energy that will be in short supply. For me I'd rather spend the time creating images rather then hauling my arse and gear into the backcountry.
A month to the day after purchasing my vehicle I lost my full time job. While I can't say that I miss the actual work, the people were some of the best I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. This also threw a massive wrench into my plan. You see, after nearly nine years I had accrued some 16 weeks of vacation which I intended to use for my travels. Uncle Sam however saw better ways to spend a good chunk of my vacation time / pay. That bastard.
As I went about looking for a new job I was damn sure of one thing. I wasn't going to delay this trip any more then was absolutely necessary. Lucky for me I found a career that, like my long term part time job, allows me to build my own schedule each month. That ruled out any employer conflicts with my travels.
In the fall of 2013 I began picking up my camping gear and building my itinerary. This was also the point when I cut my planned duration in half from 16 to 8 weeks. Turns out you just can't be everywhere at once after all. And today I sit here preparing to depart within the next hour or so. Time sure does fly.