More of my US car plates series. More of mottos, state nicknames, landscape backgrounds, colors and details.
A brave French family visiting America, and worse, Texas!!! I wonder how many times they had unpleasant encounters with the usual idiots, you know the kind to rename French fries into freedom fries, to insult or ban anything French. All of that because the French government didn’t support the American brass and told them not to go to Iraq and risk hugs losses for little gains. Again... Same stuff for Vietnam remember… they didn’t listen there neither.
Oh, and I’m not French by the way. So if someone sends me flak, spare me the usual crap on that.
not a firefighter truck but a private firefighter’s car.
I’m a bit surprised by the Alaskan plates. I saw only 2 and both only mentioned the state birthday…out of a such a magnificent state, sure there was more to find to show off on a car plate… Funny how the yellow stars on a blue background seem very similar to the European flag.
I had once a Missouri plate, when I bought a car in '97 to tour America for 6 weeks but there was a lot more colors on it.
This plate is one of the simplest I’ve spotted but still more interesting than the dull Belgian type.
Route 66…great sceneries especially in the western part. Is it worth doing? Yes but the touristy touch is a bit too heavy to my liking. It’s so “authentic” you’d think… no mostly just cheap but still funny. And then as I said, the landscapes, and the people.
see the thing that was mostly cheap? The number “66” is everywhere, just everywhere. Sickening in the end, that spoils a lot. We fucking know we’re on the 66, there are road signs, notices, ads…every 50m. No need for extra double paintings on wreckages. I bet some owners have their underwear and condoms labelled with something 66.
and 66 again! Or historic 66 just in case you’re really dumb…
see this lovely blue shop would be better off that bunch of yellow signs or the ‘66’ tyre.
finally you see more of authentic America where no one advertise for it. But I’d go again.
Taos, New Mexico, one my favorite vintage cars: a Chevrolet Bel Air ‘56.
Some wrecks in Seligman, Arizona, on Route 66
There were dozens of them alongside that main street crossing Seligman.
A beautiful Corvette Sting Ray. Hackberry, Arizona, Route 66, another area littered with wrecks, except this Corvette, and in the middle lies an old derelict fuel station transformed in a shop selling memorabilia about the Route 66.
Santa Fe, New Mexico, another dream place for vintage cars.
How does this guy manage to pick such a girl? AND how does he convince her to sit on that non-existent saddle 2 inches from those helmet spikes? In case of heavy breaking she gets a facelift for free....
I know I’ve been living in Tanzania for 14 years but even to me this looks like a good road, no? Well the rental companies forbid to use non tarmacked roads. And the local Indian tour operators and guides try to rip visitors off, trying to convince them one needs a 4x4 jeep for this! Well f… them all. Here we were on the Monument valley dirt roads.
Crystal River near Tampa, I spent a few weeks there for a flying upgrade.
This bar was a bit…special. I heard there used to be anti French mottos on the walls, and French people were just plainly not welcome. Maybe there is a new management and new patrons because I didn’t meet any morons to challenge my French accent (though I’m Belgian).
The front place was interesting enough: A Harley next to a Japanese bike and a carriage, an elephant, a 9/11 memorial. Funny enough the American bald eagle looks very much like the Africa fish eagle. Latin names are respectively haliaeetus leucocephalus and haliaeetus vocifer. Quite a long way to fly apart for these cousins.
The owner was pleased that I had stopped to take a few snaps and ask some specs about the car. He said people around were not nice to him, considered him a red neck and thus avoided him. Well true Florida is a nest of retired religious right wingers but then look at the car… seen from my European point of view, this car seems indeed to belong to the redneck pool.
Or this one.
Renting a discrete RV seems mission impossible in the USA…
But then why would you want to be discrete in the US?
Florida seems flatter than Holland. I wonder where this modified SUV needs such a high wheel clearance? To drive over gators?
This poor girl spent hours yelling, clapping, dancing in the sun. She still made an effort to pose for me.
Some pictures on the long I 95, between Bullhead (Arizona on the edge with California) going north to Las Vegas.
Karine and the rental Ford. With all our bags and photo gear and shopping goodies, this car size was a minimum to hide everything in the boot.
Harleys…the myth goes on. Nowadays, Harley trips can be organised from abroad. Rent your Harley and ride! I try to imagine a French biker meeting a group of hard core indigenous bikers haha. Over the years on US TV shows, I’ve spotted a dozen remarks towards France, usually negative. It seems the smart finger the French gave over Iraq invasion still doesn’t go down well with some people. I’m not French by the way so any attack on my opinion should keep this in sight
No there is no river there, just a funny casino on the border between Arizona and Nevada.
I must say I’m not always keen on the road signs system, a bit messy sometimes. Maybe I would just need time to get used to…
I have to fish for the close up picture of that contraption because this model is the “Serengeti” version!! I’d like to see that monster on the narrow and winding dirt roads to reach the real Serengeti through the Ngorongoro area….
many signs like this one were spread alongside highways, usually on the same theme.
Bryce Canyon under snow. It was in May 2010, some storms had burst in the area, lucky us.
An impressive thick arch.
On the superb scenic highway 12 in Utah.
Kodachrome was the 1st color slide film, produced in the 30’s, was the best film ever made and was unceremoniously dumped by some bloody short-sighted marketing or economist punks at Kodak a few years ago. My camera was a Leica M6.
The Kodachrome was the best film ever. The first color slide film to be used extensively by the great photographers, including the National Geographic Magazine. Then 2 years ago Kodak, among many weird decisions decided to cut its production. Sometimes you can’t help thinking the bankruptcy is not really a surprise. On top of it, the film department was the only one still making profits, quite a wonder after all the products they’ve thrown out…
Arches NP, same view, different lenses, 28 and 90 mm.
On the road near Telluride, Colorado.
Best film? Then one of the best cameras, a Leica M, was used for these shots.
this guy doesn’t listen to his mother! I’m sure she has told him many times to wear a helmet or at least a hat for the sun. Seriously I can’t believe some US states don’t require the helmet for riders. In a country where one sues anybody for any moronic reason, so by now some wounded bikers would have sued some legislators because they were not told it was dangerous to ride without helmet… worse in Florida, the law was reversed under Jeb Bush and it’s not compulsory anymore. Just like his bro’ he must have been rocked too close to the wall when he was an infant….
Kodak, killing the golden goose again, stopped that marvelous film some years ago, that is the Kodachrome 64 (after the 25 and the 200). It was still possible to develop it through 2010, so I used some of my last rolls on a road trip in May 2010, the rest in Tanzania. All with a Leica M6, a 28 and a 90mm lens.
Monument Valley, Arizona. Dust storm coming on the top picture.
Just leaving Zion, Utah.
Bryce Canyon, Utah. Karine and I were lucky: snow was still hanging around
On the great scenic route 12 near Bryce Canyon, Utah.
the Little Colorado River near Grand Canyon.
OK here there is a trick, this is an infrared picture in Zion nat’l park, Utah.
My beautiful Rolleiflex 3.5F, a medium format twin lens reflex that uses 6x6 cm negatives. This vintage great beast is from 1961, But older models from the 30’s , barely different, are still out there doing great pictures. Not the easiest camera to use but it gives great pleasure.
I’ve visited this incredible location twice and I wouldn’t mind to go gain. There were no many visitors which is perfect so one can nearly feel the place is deserted. The absence of tarmacked road also helps a lot. It’s not difficult to imagine this desert was the shooting location of many wild west movies.
Claudia Cardinale was briefly here for “Once upon in the West”. That strikes a cord more than for John Wayne…
I can’t help being in awe and surprised when I come across a tree in this harsh environment. Monument Valley post cards don’t help either: seen from far away, it seems the desert aspect is always put forward. So scrubs and small leafed-trees are common in here.
the place is a reserve run by Navajos, so the style is different, more basic than in government-run parks elsewhere. Which is not always a bad thing: except a stall or 2 for souvenirs and a dirt track, the landscapes and vista are left untouched.
horse riding trips are available. That would be awesome, right? My bloody horse and donkey allergies…
at the end of our visit, a dust storm approached, pretty impressive soon.
Florida…I only some time there to pass an ATP rating, basically that upgrade implies flying instruments only with a pair of partly blinded goggles. So the flights only happened at one airport and no looking outside. How frustrating! So I went once or twice as a passenger just for the sake of it, and I took aerobatic lessons too but aerial photography was then not in my mind.
Here are some pictures from a flight between Tampa aera to Fort Lauderdale…
see how mountainous Florida is?? So young US would-be pilots willing to fly the bush later on should do some flying in Arizona or similar states to get more useful lessons or mountain flying, density altitude…
well funny that is for non Americans of course. Anywhere else in my knowledge car plates tend to be dull and barely allow some playing with letters and digits but still within an imposed set of rules. Anyway here are some US plates.
The state nickname is most common, usually with a landscape background, though style can vary! I bet that this clown would love am elephant skull on his bonnet, if he were living in Africa...
Guess what, this Cadillac 56 owner was an Elvis impersonator.
Karine and I had rented this Ford in Las Vegas, a long way from home, Washington…
Yep, the Wright brothers are from Ohio. I’ve got no idea what else Ohio has to offer, maybe I should check on Wiki.