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Previous | Next :: Road Side Shrine : Near Dodge City : Kansas | May 20, 2013, 12:27 am

Road Side Shrine : Near Dodge City : Kansas
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One of the things I immediately loved about America was the feeling that all sorts of stuff was more drastic than the UK .......... most of this was good ........ The most immediately noticeable was the constantly drastic weather ........... when I first lived in New York I was shocked by how hot... how humid ....... how much rain...... how windy ....... how cold it was all in turn ......... in winter spilled hot coffee could turn to ice on your coat before you could brush it off ............... I loved how drastically defined the seasons were......... winter was certainly winter ........ spring was amazing spring......... Summer was burning hot......... and the fall ..... autumn for us Brits ...... was beautiful color as the leaves began to fall.

And the storms ......... I have known a few .......... I loved the storms............ I still love the storms ......... but since traveling to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and actually feeling the force of Hurricane Sandy as she came ashore in Delaware ....... Also seeing the terrible destruction caused by tornadoes in Joplin Missouri ......... I have become more respectful of the sheer horror they can bring ............. and my excitement at the natural phenomena is always now tinged by worry about the hurt and destruction wrought by so many of the major storms.

Tonight its midnight ......... We are rolling towards Oklahoma City we got the heck out of Dodge (City in Kansas) at 9PM having photographed till the end of the light under incredible slate grey skies listening to the distinctive grating sound of the extreme weather warning siren on the radio .......... ' This is an extreme weather warning .... Confirmed tornadoes have touched down in Jefferson County' .......... We have been rolling for just over 3 hours ........... The lightening surrounding us on all sides has not stopped once ............ Currently we are sheltering in the car under the forecourt roof of a closed up gas station ......... to protect the Beast car from the golf ball sized hail ........... Yeah America ........ The weather is pretty drastic all right.

Another drastic thing still happening in the US of A........... is the number of fatal car wrecks................ of course there is only terrible sadness and loss in this ......... no amazing natural phenomena .............. On this journey round America I have been acutely aware of the number of roadside shrines......... marker crosses at the location of fatal accidents ........... Where loved ones are remembered by their families and friends at the actual place where they died ...... I have seen hundreds ........... I find these sad little crosses very moving .......... It really brings home the terrible loss in a way the statistics never could ............... We stopped to pay our respects and photograph at this double shrine ........ again right there at the side of the road at the scene of another fatal accident ........... Such a sad place .......... So moving to consider how lives were ended so suddenly right here ............. I made this picture under the brooding sky just outside Dodge City before getting back in the car and rolling with the incredible storm constantly raging above ....... Me and Matt took it in turns to drive ......... all the while doing our best to try and stay safe .......... on this rather too drastic night to be on the road.

Cheers Jez XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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