West Bound and Down

It was sometime last year that I decided to make the journey westward. I don’t remember why I caught the notion. I just remember the idea seemed brilliant! Taking off toward California without a care in the world. I think I’ve needed a break for a while. I think I can honestly say, a few aches and pains aside, that this is truly the most relaxed I’ve felt in a LONG time. This cold, rainy tent feels like home tonight more than my house has in too many years. Plus in the morning I know I’m going to wake up to another view like this one.

Tonight I am sitting at a beautiful campground in Grand Junction, Colorado. We are squatting here for a few days, and waiting on my other beautiful seester to arrive sometime tomorrow. This is definitely the easiest wait I’ve had in a long time. I can tell I’m getting older because I can’t seem to stop bringing up how great the water pressure is here in the showers. I can tell my priorities have definitely came a long way since the days of hanging with Lucy, and laying on the ground in the woods lucky to have a blanket. Growing up is a helluva a thing 🙂 The journey is a long one, but I’m definitely enjoying it along the way, water pressure and all.

The journey to this point was not necessarily the most enjoyable. I don’t know why I always think it’s a great idea to work my third shift job and then try to drive anywhere the next day. I can’t even grocery shop when I’m tired, so last minute packing and deciding to go the “scenic route” almost killed me I think.  I had always wanted to hop on Highway 50 and keep going without looking back. It’s been a dream of mine since I was young and learned it was possible. I have conquered I65 back and forth to its furthest point in good ole Alabama many times over. It was past time to fulfill my west cost desires. I didn’t count on one thing, though. The Midwest is the Midwest is the Midwest. I65 southward gradiates slowly from farm land to beaches as you travel. The same doesn’t hold true for 50. Indiana looks like Illinois, looks like Kansas. I will say Missouri stood out a little, but partially because of the beautiful old school record store we stumbled across while in seek of a Pizza Hut. Coolest store EVER. I know I say it a lot, but for real this time. After the record store, I was seduced into a little affair with an underpass 🙂 It was a love triangle <3 Me, my camera, and the Tunnel of Love. Check it out…

Just a little spot we pulled off on right inside of Colorado Saturday morning for a driving break. I’ve always had a thing for tunnels. Strangely I think I like the abstract one the best this time, though <3

That underpass wasn’t the only thing I was turning my evil camera eye on that morning. I suddenly realized while going to put my gear away that I had not subjected my navigator to any of my visual chronicling as of yet, and that would never do…

Little did I know when I took this photo that I might possibly never see the sun again. Less than half a day after I shot this we arrived at the start of the mountains. It was all fun and games at first. All oooohs and aaawwwsss. The Vail Mountain Pass was not fun, however. My dentist is more fun than the Vail Mountain Pass.  I’m not speaking from experience, but I’m going to guess a full body cavity search is more fun than the Vail Mountain Pass. I completely understand what happened to Jack Torrance in The Shining now. I can say with 100 percent certainty that it wasn’t the possessed hotel that drove him nuts. He muss have had to take the Vail Mountain Pass.

After finally making it to our camping destination, and getting the tent set up we set about on my #1 priority other than great water pressure. One of my loves closely following my lust for photography is with a Colorado made tequila. It is made at Peach Street Distillers. I haven’t look at any tequila the same since I had their brand. I immediately went in search, and was foiled when the neighborhood liquor store was without. The second day after waking I tried again at a little shop next to the grocery store we were aiming for. I made a beeline for the tequila aisle. I became over excited with glee when my eyes drank in that familiar label. My mouth water with desire as I caressed the bottle, and carried to the register. The second I got back to the tent and got relaxed I broke that freshness seal. I insisted my non-drinking sister try it as I told her it was liquid gold in my bottle. Unfortunately it was not until she agreed and we bent elbows that the realization came that I had chosen  poorly. I had picked the wrong metal! When donning jewelry I’m hands down silver, but I only like Gold in my tequila. My sister winced in agony at the potent liquid fire. I’ll have to say I winced a little myself. Not only was it not the good taste I had been expecting, I was unprepared for the brute strength… not that that’s a bad thing. You can see in the photo below how happy I was at the prospect of having my favorite vice in my hands at that moment. THIS is the moment right before your dreams get shattered. THIS is the moment right before all the ballots are in.

Mountain passes and liquor stores aside it has been a pretty fabulous trip so far. As I sit here blissfully writing and listening to the pitter patter of rain drops on my ceiling my heart is glowing. I’m filled with baited anticipation of the Grand Junction adventures I’ll find tomorrow, but I know, no matter where I’m headed, it’s going to involve that damn tequila! Until next time light and love my beautiful friends. Much much light and love from me and Colorado to you all, and to all a good night <3 🙂

Categories: Melodie Yvonne, News and Stuff, StorytimeTags: , , , ,

Melodie Yvonne

Melodie Yvonne Ramey, owner, editor, & contributor at Photographic Melodie, grew up in the small southern Indiana town of North Vernon. She picked up her first camera at the young age of 5, and was immediately hooked. Every trip, even just to the local park, was turned into a fantasy scene of her own imagination that would later be turned into epic tales in word and photos.

Melodie spent her teen years learning from and mentoring under professionals such as Richard Young, John Sheckler, and The Grand Conundrum. She received an Associates of Applied Science in Visual Technologies majoring in Photography from Ivy Tech in 2002 after studying under acclaimed professors such as Hoosier photographer Darryl Jones, Jonathan Wilson, and many other masters in the field.

Melodie’s main focus has always been music photography. Growing up with photography and listening to amazing musicians inspired her dream to create visual images that made people feel the way they do when they hear the music. She wanted to help people SEE the music by capturing every magical moment of concerts that she could only dream about as she gazed into music magazines like Rolling Stone and Spin.

Melodie has done numerous jobs around the country ranging from working for bands to even being the official photographer on many southern Indiana Poker Runs. Her specialties are in nature, music, and candid event photography, as well as one of a kind photographic creations. Melodie published her first print book Photographic Memories: In the Beginning, a collection of poetry, in 2011, and has since published 2 more print works, Photographic Memories: Meet me in the Middle and Hoosier Heavens, her first photo book. Melodie currently acts as publisher, editor & lead contributor at Photographic Melodie and does freelance work with many other media outlets, venues, and artists.

Melodie says, “I started out with a Tweety bird camera and a dream and I never let go. I will always love photography and the vessel it has given me to share the images of my heart and mind with the world. I have found that every single person on this earth visualizes the world in very different ways. Some people are optimists, some are pessimists. Some people are daydreamers, and others keep their feet firmly planted on the ground. Photography allows me to show some of these different visualizations. It allows the rationalist to see that it’s okay to dream, it can show the monsters hidden in the dark, and it can show even the saddest of people that there is still joy in the world.”


  1. Norma Gardner

    I am probably the last person you would ever expect to hear from while you are making your journey to California. I am thrilled for you and your sisters. You only live once and this is the way to go. My sis and I made many a jaunt while I was interested in photographing. My husband and I made one impromptu trip out west that resulted in our making trips again – four or five times, and each one was different and we viewed things that were breathtaking, like your photo of the tunnel and the view from your tent window. Be careful and enjoy. Someday you will sit back and enjoy your memories. Blessings to all of you. Everyone will miss you here in Indy. Norma G

    • It’s great to hear from you, Norma! I definitely took time to stop and smell the flowers and enjoy this one! 🙂 Hopefully I’ll have many more trips to come like you 🙂 Much light and love to you, and stay in touch! 🙂

  2. Mary Speer

    Where are the updates? We’ve enjoyed your trip so far. Love you girls! Aunt Mary and Uncle David

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