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03:40pm 18/02/2012
  Remember when during the 2008 Presidential Campaign when Obama and the Democrats were pointing out that gasoline prices were to high and how it was the fault of President Bush and Dick Cheney ? Well, the following photo is a reminder of how expensive gasoline was when Bush left office:

(1 flat tire | for every open road)

New Zealand: Paparoa National Park 
12:10pm 30/09/2010

Paparoa National Park

continued from part two

We continued journeying down the west coast from the top of the South Island and it was our goal to stay at this really awesome looking beach b&b called Breakers Boutique. It was our big splurge for the trip and it just sounded awesome- we had to wiggle timings around a little bit, but we made plans to spend the next night down there. The owner Jan was just fantastic to talk to online and her husband is a photographer as well. Seriously, this lady went out of her way to provide custom directions and sights where us photographers should stop. Amazing!

So it was still a few hours away from our previous hotel in Abel Tasman, well more than a few but that’s what I remember it as and so we had to do some hard core driving through the bush to get back over where we needed to be. The one benefit of the West Coast is it is home to many a Blue Penguin (Eudyptula minor). Next to the elusive Puffin it might be my second favorite bird I’ve never seen so we were holding out hope that we might come across one of those little guys. Sure enough as we’re driving down the ‘highway’, ie: two lane road, we start seeing signs warning us to not run them over. With all this excitement we had to see one right?

On the way down was another park called Paparoa National Park which has these water carved rocks called pancake rocks…essentially it’s a tour bus stop, but not too shabby. I had read all about this special cave in the area so we went and found that, got soaked, and used my special REI shopping spree flashlight to look for penguins [I bought it specifically for this purpose]. Sadly none, but we thought we heard a cave bear.

Not far down there’s also a really amazing small hike called the Truman Track which brings you through all sorts of trees and stuff and into a secluded cove [with tons of 'don't touch the Penguins' signs] and a medium sized waterfall that lands right on the beach! Nice! After all this fun we still weren’t seeing any stupid penguins so we decided to go for the gold and head over to Breakers, home of it’s own small colony! Maybe we’ll see some there…that and I was hungry and felt like I was going to pass out from all this sun. I don’t get out much.

As I mentioned Breakers was fantastic and after a quick little bite we took the path down to the beach to go look for penguins and take pictures and do fun things couples do on their year-too-late honeymoon. After we did a little walking we saw this little midget bird hanging out by himself next to a rock…a blue penguin?! It looked kind of blue if you stretched the imagination and it kind of looked penguin’ish. It even waddled a little bit! So we convinced ourselves it was definitely a Blue Penguin and it didn’t seem to mind us getting in nice and close and staring at it, all while giggling quite loud. Not soon after, we were seeing tons of these little guys just hanging out getting bitten by bugs. Sweet! And they totally didn’t fly so they had to be legit!

We enjoyed a gorgeous sunset by ourselves on the beach and with the knowledge that we just saw the long awaited Blue Penguin. Sure enough, as soon as we got back Jan told us that it wasn’t a penguin, but some other random gray sea bird that can’t fly for a bit when it’s wings got wet….seriously. Our excitement was destroyed, and we came away devoured by sand fleas. The little bastards destroyed our legs and we had bite marks for at least 3 weeks after. True story.

Paparoa National Park

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(for every open road)

New Zealand: Abel Tasman National Park [day two] 
11:15pm 29/09/2010

Sorry I’m just getting around to posting these now, I have a hard drive full of awesome New Zealand photos that I have to share! We’re actually going on our honeymoon v2.0 in a couple months, so I figured I should get the rest of these out of the way first…makes sense!

continued from part one

Abel Tasman National Park

So basically we chose to go to Abel Tasman National Park [up on the top of the South Island] because Tanya wanted a little R&R which we knew we weren’t really going to get elsewhere…being that we were doing a pretty massive roadtrip with some epic long drives ahead. What better place to chill out than along the beach in the sunniest part of the country! Not that we we actually going to sit on the beach or anything…

New Zealand is known for their intense hikes, and it’s not like maybe in the states where you can just pick up and go out for a couple hours- no, their hikes are MULI-DAY DEATH TREKS. Well to us out of shape folks anyway, but seriously, their famous hikes sound awesome until you realize what a multi-day hike really is. Anyway, we weren’t going to attempt that baloney, but instead walk from our little beachside home through the woods to the next little checkpoint of sorts. We had a day to waste, so why not! It also gave us an excuse to go on a shopping spree at REI.

So with this new found ambition we found out the next checkpoint was…8 miles away. Sounds easy enough, so we got our stuff together and here’s what we saw:

Abel Tasman National Park

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Iceland Road Trip – Part Six 
11:11am 19/07/2010

The final days of my Iceland roadtrip were spent driving around the Snæfellsnes Peninsula on the Western coastline. For the first time on my trip I had a decent amount of rain which thankfully included really nice dramatic clouds [and not blinding swan-dive off road fog like usual].

Driving Snaefellsnes Peninsula Iceland Photos

Photos by Ian Grant Photography / Facebook

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Iceland Road Trip – Part Five 
12:34pm 15/07/2010

Getting to Seyðisfjörður up in the north-east was way too much of a pain in the butt [mostly because I decided to drive too far in one day, per the usual] but this photo below was basically the end of my day. Mountain pass to get down into the valley. I knew something was up when I started getting ice warnings on my car and then suddenly it was white out conditions with snow on either side and some of the thickest fog I’ve seen in a while. Pretty cool though, wouldn’t want to be doing that drive in the winter however…

Iceland Photography Driving on the Ring Road

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Iceland Road Trip – Part Four 
03:08pm 12/07/2010

The one place I wish I spent more time in was the Eastern Fjords of Iceland. It happened to be the day that I was going to pull a 6-7 hour drive [more like 9-10] north from Vik to Seyðisfjörður and I found myself stopping and running around every 2 minutes. There were a lot of dirt roads in this stretch, but nothing too bad…you just had to watch out for baby sheep.

Iceland Photography Eastern Fjords Ring Road

Images by Ian Grant Photography // Facebook

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Iceland Road Trip – Part Three 
10:35am 09/07/2010

This part really centers on the eastern area of Iceland’s ring road which is home to many a roadside glacier. It’s funny because as your driving along you pass a bend and are like ‘wow, that’s the most beautiful glacier I’ve ever seen!’ and then you drive a little further ‘Whoa! That one is even better!’ which goes on for a good couple hours. Flocks of swans flying parallel to your car with icecap mountains in the background helps too.

It’s really pretty amazing and at one point you find yourself driving directly towards the biggest glacier you’ve ever seen [literally the biggest in Europe] while 2 other huge ones are on either side of you. If I had a 4×4 I would’ve been able to get closer, but frankly at this point in my journey I wasn’t going to put my car through too much more. Some of the roads to the glaciers were a little too hard core for my little beast of a car. After my car stuck incident my survival instincts [Tanya's voice in my head saying 'Ian bad! Death!'] was in full swing.

Iceland Photography Eastern Ring Road

Images by Ian Grant Photography // Facebook

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Iceland Road Trip - Part Two 
11:41am 06/07/2010

The next day I really needed to take it easy [after eventful car crash/stuck in mud] so I did what any person would do. Go see icebergs! But first I had to go see some awesome waterfalls and play with my new variable ND filter [essentially lets less light in so I can take long exposures in the daylight].

This first waterfall is named Seljalandsfoss [foss being Icelandic for waterfall...you see it a lot in a country with 10,000 waterfalls]. You can actually walk behind the waterfall, but I was getting my gear soaked enough and didn’t need a camera failure a couple days into the trip…

Iceland Photography Road Trip - June 2010
Iceland Photography Road Trip - June 2010

photos by ian grant photography

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Iceland Road Trip - Part One 
08:52pm 05/07/2010

This June I found myself having a nice little window of time where I could get away and after reviewing my ‘places I want to go‘ list from every year, Iceland kept being on the top of the list. The two days of decent prices to go over there just happened to work as well, so two weeks ahead of time I got tickets from Los Angeles to Reykjavík on Iceland Air. Sweet!

First things first, though I saved some money on airfare [It cost around $800 vs. similar dates being $1800] renting a car for a week wasn’t cheap. Though I understood later that it is impossible to not trash your car in Iceland hence the cost, the fact that the cheapest car to rent was $600 for a week seemed absurd. I had read that getting a 4×4 was a smart move, but dropping close to $1k for a week rental was out of the question.

So after arriving at 7am I figured I’d head off to the world famous Blue Lagoon. More people come here each year than residents in Iceland. Sadly it was freezing out and insanely windy. Not the most exciting time to be throwing your clothes off and jumping in 100 degree water. I got some photos though.

See more at iangrantphotography.com

Iceland Photography Road Trip - June 2010

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09:49pm 16/11/2009
  does anyone know a reliable ride share site?
im looking to drive to florida from nyc there and back for christmas. id like to do it straight through but need a 2nd driver.

(for every open road)

Day One: Mendocino Road Trip 
08:31pm 05/05/2009
  As some of you may have followed, my friend Nick and I were able to escape for the weekend and go camping up in Mendocino County of California. On day one we drove overnight up to Fort Bragg from LA and stayed the night at Mackerricher State Park along the beach. During the day we explored Mackerricher and saw some baby seals and later on we headed down to Jug Handle State Reserve which I'd highly recommend. Just the peninsula area overlooking the water was worth it alone.
While it was coastal cloudy in the morning, the later in the day it got, the more rain started coming in which seriously hampered a lot of picture taking. By the end of the night it was downpouring and everything covering us got soaked. Thankfully after some serious time spent we were able to get a fire going which made everything better. The highlight without a doubt was seeing 6 Banana Slugs which are the largest slugs in the world!
I'll be posting day two's photos in the next couple days, hope you enjoy!

Mendocino County California - Mackerricher State Park

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(for every open road)

01:34pm 11/01/2009
  My boyfriend and I are going to be working at Yellowstone this summer, and we've obviously decided to drive there. We're coming from Boston, MA.

Are there any must-sees in between Boston and Wyoming? Maybe some that aren't so well known? Landscapes? Even sweet cheap motels, or classic truck stop diners?

Anything anyone can remember loving that's in between Boston and Wyoming that's worth checking out?

So far, we're stopping in:
Arlington, VA to see family and sleep/shower
Cedarburg, WI to see family and sleep/shower
Omaha, NE just because it's Omaha, NE

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(12 flat tires | for every open road)

What's near El Paso? 
09:46pm 06/01/2009
  So later this month we're going over to do some errands/visit fiance's mother in El Paso, and while we're there and since gas is still cheap, we're thinking of maybe doing some daytrips or a short roadtrip of a night or two from El Paso, or maybe on our way back from El Paso to San Antonio, where we live for now.

so, any suggestions of where to go in late January from the El Paso area? I'm thinking of going to Big Bend and maybe somewhere New Mexico, but not sure which specific places to go to. We've already been to Carlsbad and White Sands.

(for every open road)

16 Springfields 
02:45am 28/12/2008
  Hi Everyone!

I've been a member of this group for a long while, and right now I'm in the middle of a week and a half long roadtrip that I'd like to share with you all. We're traveling from Omaha to New Hampshire visiting Springfields.

Which? All of them. Well, not really, but 16 different Springfields in 16 different US states in 9 days is still pretty good. Though we originally planned it purely as a pleasure trip, it has blossomed into something much more exciting. We are raising money for research for neuroblastoma  which is a rare and deadly childhood cancer affecting 600 more children each year. (The story of how this trip was planned.)

Our  website documents our journey, and we've been blogging about it daily, with updates from the road. You all should check out 16springfields.com. Also, we set up a facebook group and already have 178 members! If everyone can give just $10 to our cause, we will be able to raise enough money to really and truly make a difference in these children’s lives.

Feel free to follow along on our trip - it's been an amazing journey so far!


(for every open road)

New to community 
09:00pm 24/12/2008
  I just found this community and thought I'd share the huge road trip I went on this summer with my boyfriend.

This was the route and we stayed true to it for the most part.

We only slept in hotels in San Francisco (for a week) and once in Wyoming and once in Texas (San Antonio). The rest of the time we slept in WalMart parking lots in the back of our SUV which had a futon mattress. Each night we had to transfer all our stuff to the front. Some nights it was unbearably hot. But, it was all worth it. We saw so much.

I took photos with both my Canon Rebel and Holga. I'll post my Holga Photos here and give you guys a link to my digital ones.
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(4 flat tires | for every open road)

Scientology Protest in Connecticut July 12th, 2008 
04:46pm 03/07/2008
Meet-up Time: 11AM
Protest Location: 909 WHALLEY AVE. NEW HAVEN, CT
Protest Time: 11AM
URL with more information: CTANONYMOUS.ORG or http://forums.enturbulation.org/140-usa-east-coast/new-haven-ct-19073/

The church of Scientology [basically a money making scheme] has for some time now ruined lives, separated families and run many people into debt with their persistent mind games. This is not an attack on the people who have gotten sucked into their cult.. This is a protest against the so called churches ridiculous and cruel practices.

(1 flat tire | for every open road)

maine trip! 
09:43pm 19/05/2008
  my boyfriend and i are planning a week long trip to acadia national park. we spent a long weekend in portland last october and loooooved it, so we are heading further north (and east!) for another road trip. i am the obssessive vacation planner, and i always believe in asking the locals. so if any of you are familiar with the area in and around bar harbor, acadia, etc, give me your tips!

we will be going for 5 days the last week of june. we are planning on staying at an inexpensive motel. i've been doing research on the robbins motel and the belle isle motel. as far as food goes, we plan on hiking/biking (is rollerblading allowed?) the park, so will probably be packing our breakfast and lunch from food purchased once we get up there. for dinner, we have a thing for brewpubs and local beer, so we will be saving our food budget for those nights.

thanks!!!! :)

(for every open road)

Road Trip Builder? 
03:28pm 15/05/2008
  I'm going on a road trip and I have to make a bunch of stops between where I am and my final destination, is there a site I can use to input addresses and it will give me the fastest way to get to all of them, in order of the direction I'm heading?  

(1 flat tire | for every open road)

Great Sand Dunes National Park - Alamosa, CO 
03:28pm 14/05/2008
  Last weekend Tanya and I traveled on a Colorado adventure [thanks to my amazing American Airlines travel voucher]. We pulled in roughly 850 miles and visited two different National Parks on my 'to-do' list, all while suffering from high-altitude sickness and non-sleepage. Our first stop was the Great Sand Dunes National Park, containing North America's tallest sand dunes. I think their tag line should be 'the fastest sand carrying winds in North America' or 'don't exfoliate your skin before you come here park'. Enjoy the pics!

About: Great Sand Dunes National Park

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Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is a United States National Park located in the easternmost parts of Alamosa County and Saguache County, Colorado, United States. Originally designated Great Sand Dunes National Monument, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve was created by an act of the United States Congress on September 13, 2004. The park contains the tallest sand dunes in North America, rising about 750 feet (230 m) from the floor of the San Luis Valley on the western base of the Sangre de Cristo Range, covering about 19,000 acres. They are likely 12,000 years old.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

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Syracuse to Miami! 
01:54pm 30/01/2008
  Hey Everyone,

Starting tomorrow i'll be embarking on my first real MAJOR road trip. I've had a few trips in and around Florida and I've taken busses from one state to another, but never anything of this magnitude. We'll be on a pretty limited schedule (we fly in to Syracuse tomorrow and need to be back in Miami by next week Wednesday or Thursday). The reason we're going up is to pick up my brother's boyfriend who is just now getting out of the army after serving for 4 years in Iraq. Anyway... here's what the itinerary is looking like thus far:

Fly to Syracuse
Drive to Fort Drum (Army Base)
Drive to Teaneck, NJ (where we'll be staying, it's my bf's uncle's house)

Hang out in NYC and Jersey

Hang out in NYC and Jersey

Early morning drive out of NJ
Possible stop over in Philly and/or DC

Depends where we are, eventually drive down to Athens, GA (visit bf's other brother)

Hang out in Athens

Drive down to Miami

Personally, I would love a short stop in Philly because i've never been. Any suggestions for something essential to do while there? We'll be driving 1-95 all the way down so is there any way of not veering too far from the highway? We also want to go to DC (specifically, they want to go to see the Colbert portrait in the National Portrait Gallery as amusing as that sounds.) Suggestions for ways of getting in to DC from 1-95 also appreciated.

Suggestions of things to do in NYC/Jersey/Athens are also appreciated.

Also, advice for driving for long periods of time in a small 4 door car are very welcome. I'm a vegetarian, so ideas for good portable snacks is also ideal. Random things to see off of I-95 are also ideas i'd appreciate.

Thanks to everyone in advance! Pictures to come after the trip (if we survive)!


(for every open road)