Take a Ride on the Wild Side

FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (18mm, f/9, 1/750 sec, ISO200)

This is the third blog post covering one late afternoon in Lone Pine just in case you ask yourself if Lone Pine is worth a visit.

This is such a fantastic place and it’s easy to see why Hollywood used this scenery for so many movies. One of the more recent ones was Ironman in which Tony Stark demonstrated his newest missiles in Afghanistan. I guess it was easier to convince Robert Downey Jr. to come here.

FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (37.4mm, f/9, 1/750 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (21.9mm, f/10, 1/500 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (24mm, f/10, 1/950 sec, ISO200)

Another one was The Lone Ranger. I highly underrated movie if you ask me with true funny main actors. Depp/Hammer are a joy to watch. The scene where Arnie Hammer kills two bandits with one bullet with what “was supposed to be a warning shot” is priceless.

And there was The Gladiator, Godzilla, Chaplin and Star Trek. You got the picture this place was in many big pictures. 😉

FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (10mm, f/10, 1/640 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (10mm, f/10, 1/640 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (10mm, f/10, 1/500 sec, ISO200)

At the beginning I stopped on every corner to take pictures but I soon discovered that to drive on this perfectly smooth sandy road was much more fun.

What else could you do with a big and heavy V8 beside driving fast on a gravel road. The fact that our rental car was only rear wheel drive wasn’t a problem at all. It only enhanced the experience. The only thing that was holding me back was the fear to crash. It was not so much concerned regarding our safety, what I feared was the embarrassment when I would try to explain why I could not stay on the road despite the fact that I was only 20mph. I was a tiny little faster of course.

So the outlook to be embarrassed helped to keep me on the road. That and my wise wife.

FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (16.6mm, f/10, 1/850 sec, ISO200)
SONY ILCE-6000 (18mm, f/9, 1/160 sec, ISO100)
SONY ILCE-6000 (18mm, f/9, 1/160 sec, ISO100)
SONY ILCE-6000 (19mm, f/9, 1/160 sec, ISO100)
SONY ILCE-6000 (54mm, f/8, 1/200 sec, ISO100)

To drive a car in the South West of the USA is simple. Unless you are on a eight lane highway in Los Angeles trying to find your exit you should be fine. The highways are wide and many especially those in New Mexico are as straight as Jame Bond. Or as one famous Austrian singer said it once: “Die Strassn is min Lineal zogn, geht von do bis and End da Woed”. (good luck trying to google translate that, one hint: it’s a kind of German).

And despite the straight, wide and empty roads there are strict speed limits and people tend to follow them. Driving in the USA is relaxing but it’s hardly entertaining or tricky. A toddler could drive here.

So you can imagine my joy when I finally had a really exciting ride on this this little gravel road. On every corner I let this little 3 ton baby drift a little bit.

SONY ILCE-6000 (18mm, f/8, 1/125 sec, ISO100)
SONY ILCE-6000 (70mm, f/7.1, 1/160 sec, ISO100)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (24mm, f/10, 1/640 sec, ISO200)

Luckily the road ended before I got the chance to become to adventurous. But what a ride. I can’t remember the last time when I had so much fun behind a steering wheel.

No, that’s not true. I know exactly when. It’s about 7 years ago and I was driving on an empty,  snow covered country road somewhere in the Czech Republic. I was in my Volvo V70 AWD and I was enjoying to drift though the corners.

I guess no matter how old we are, deep down we are still just boys and sometimes that boy breaks out. I’ll be back!

FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (18.2mm, f/10, 1/600 sec, ISO200)