Let’s Travel Club—A Photography Road Trip

Joyce Shumate

Jim Burkstrand, a Quail Creek resident and an avid photographer and world traveler, has always loved the idea of a photography road trip. On Friday, Jan. 19, he will tell you about his latest trip.

Jim and his wife Marilyn began a 33-day road trip on July 26, 2023. The plan was to drive to Minnesota to visit with family and friends. Along the way, they stopped at four national parks and one national memorial. On the way home to Green Valley, they stopped in Colorado for two train rides. In total, they covered 5,700 miles and took about 3,000 photos.

The plan for the national parks was to take self-guided driving tours using an app on their smartphones which tied in with the GPS. They took photo walks in the recommended scenic areas, not long hikes in the wild.

They started driving to Durango, N.M., where they met up with their nieces and nephews who were also visiting the area. Since Mesa Verde National Park was close, they stopped there first. They stayed inside the park at the Far View Lodge. From there they headed to Grand Teton National Park, with stops in Park City, Utah, and Jackson, Wyo. After a one-day driving tour of Grand Teton National Park, they headed for Yellowstone National Park where they toured for two days, spending the night in West Yellowstone. Leaving Yellowstone National Park, they headed for Boseman, Mont., and the next day on to Rapid City, S.D. From Rapid City they visited Mount Rushmore and the Badlands National Park before continuing on to Richfield, Minn., to see their family.

Leaving Richfield, they stopped in Colorado Springs to take the Pikes Peak cog rail train. From there they went back to Durango to ride the Durango-Silverton train. Finally, they headed home to Green Valley.

This presentation will cover the trip from the planning stages to the final photos printed in a book. Jim will talk about the places he visited, the challenges he faced, and the lessons he learned. He also will share many of his favorite photos from the trip. If you’re considering taking a photography or long road trip, come to the Let’s Travel Club meeting to learn more about Jim’s journey. The meeting will be held on Jan. 19, at 2 p.m. in the Kino Center, Mesquite and Ocotillo Rooms.