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If you could explore the back roads of America, where would you go? Who would you meet? What photos would you take along the way?
If you could explore the back roads of America, where would you go? Who would you meet? What photos would you take along the way?
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33 backers pledged $987 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything.

- Charles Kuralt

My name is Tony Case, and I've been a photographer all my life, ever since my mom gave me my first Kodak Instamatic when I was a wee lad back in the seventies. From film to digital and back again, I've always had a camera not far from arms reach. The other thing my mother gave me along with that camera? Wanderlust!

It was August, 1977 when I was on my first road trip. It was a drive down Interstate Five from Seattle to Los Angles and then a trip back up Highway 101 along the coast. The roadside kitch, the sights and smells of the mom-n-pop greasy spoons, the endless rolling road winding through the redwoods and next to vast ocean, the hole in the wall motels full of character and life. It was the first time I clearly remember falling in love with traveling.

As I wander, I realize that I have a need to document the changing face of Americana, the places and location that have been lost to history, the people who don't have their stories told. The stuff that's just around the next bend in the road that will be lost to the mists of time forever . . . if someone doesn't document them!

And that's where we come in. Wouldn't it be great to put together a book about the back roads of America? Wait - no, that's way too big of a project. So, I'll focus on just one road: US Highway 101 and the Pacific Coast Highway. The major north/south coastal route for many decades, Highway 101 is one of America's most famous highways, second only to Route 66

What better way to celebrate the highway than by meeting the colorful people along the way - farmers, shopkeepers, other travelers, old folks sitting at the general store watching the world go by. If I can, I'll document their stories and try and capture a slice of their lives as we pass one another.

WHAT YOUR GENEROUS DONATION WILL GO TOWARDS -

- Unforeseen events such as flat tires and random highway mayhem

- As many rolls of Fujichrome Velvia 50 Film as I can get my hands on

- Film processing

Wait, did I just say film? Yes! As Kodak is shuttering their slide emulsion after a hundred years of production, I can't think of a more perfect medium than slide film. As much as this project is about Americana being phased out for urban sprawl and interstates, so it is a last hurrah for the Kodak Moment.

THE PLAN, AS IT CURRENTLY STANDS -

- Early Summer 2014

Assuming I shoot a roll of film a day (plus a bit extra just in case) while on the road, I'll gather 20 rolls of Fuji Velvia 50

- Late Summer 2014

One to two weeks on the road from the Olympia, Washington down through Oregon along the coast to Legget where I follow California State Route 1 through Big Sir to its termination in California at Capistrano Beach. Then a speed run back up I5 to home.

- Fall 2014

Develop the film, edit and produce the final product, print the books and calenders, and send everything out to the donors. Depending on the quantity and quality of the photos, this phase might take the longest of all three stages.

Thank you for reading, and I'll see you on the Open Road!

- Tony

POST SCRIPT -

Since it's unreasonable for me to ask you to buy my work sight unseen. So, here's some samples of my recent photography from the last couple of months. Mind you, these shots are not from any one particular project, but the results should be comparable to what you see here. . . .

Ready for Takeoff
Ready for Takeoff
Death Valley Footprints
Death Valley Footprints
Old Red Barn
Old Red Barn

Risks and challenges

One never knows where The Road might take you, be it the car breaking down, really bad weather (like the tropical storm I almost drove into one trip), detours down unknown highways, or no motels within a hundred miles of the target town for the evening, or even just the whimsy of "Oooh, what's over there!". That said, of the five or so long term road trips I've documented, very rarely do I have one go significantly "off script".

So barring any serious emergencies ("Your mother has broken her leg and your house is on fire! Come home at once!"), I don't see why I shouldn't be able to complete the shoot in my projected time frame.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    One dollar will get you my eternal thanks, as every penny helps!

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A postcard from somewhere on Highway 101, mailed to you during the shoot! Will you get a card from Prehistoric Gardens in Oregon? Perhaps it'll be from the Trees of Mystery! Lets find out!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Some kind of Chachki from along the road. Will it be a shot glass from The Mystery Spot? Will it be a fridge magnet of an Orca Whale? Who knows!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    An 11x14 print on poster-board selected from the photos I took along the way Please add another $10 to ship internationally

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    An 11x14 collage of shots on poster-board selected from the photos I took along the way.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    How about a 9x11 Calender for 2014? It'll sport 12 reasonably awesome pictures of lighthouses and people and as much of the the assorted cool stuff along the way as I can reasonably squeeze into the day-per-day slots!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    All the photos (well, at least all the ones that are any good) in a finished book.

    Please add another $10 to ship internationally

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A signed copy of the finished book, a Calender, plus a postcard, some roadside Chachki and the 11x14 print.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    If you are anywhere along the coast (or even the I-5 Corridor) I will come to your house and give you a hug plus take you to dinner somewhere! Plus you'll get the post card, the nick-nack, the calender, the book and the print.

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Funding period

- (30 days)