August 29 marked 2 years since the darling, adorable Hanabibti and I married, and to celebrate, we took a road trip: Dallas to Eureka Springs, AR, where we stayed the night at Mom’s; Eureka Springs to Springfield, IL to meet up with an old friend and professor; Springfield to Chicago for 3 nights to see some sights and meet up with another old friend; Chicago to Memphis for a night; then Memphis back to Dallas. It was a load of driving, but loads of good times too, Alhamdulillah.

I took way too many pictures, and didn’t spend any time on the computer, so it’s taken me awhile to get through them all. And in true James fashion, I plan to share pictures one day at a time. Today, it’s all about getting from Dallas to Eureka Springs.

The trip sorta routine for me by now: get on 75, head North; 75 becomes 69, continue North through McAlester and Eufaula; continue North to I 40 and head East to I 49 (fka I 540) to Fayettville, AR; then an assortment of State Highways and backroads to Eureka and Mom’s place. I’ve been going up there via various routes since about 1985: my Aunt and Uncle moved there in the early 80s and my Grandparents spent 4 years there in the late 80s and early 90s. I used to quite enjoy Eureka, but the people there are so nasty to my darling, adorable wife and I that I refuse to spend any money there, and I only go if really pressed: life’s too short to hang out in places where you’re not wanted.*

But I digress.

The trip started out fairly uneventfully.


The sky and clouds were beautiful and I mastered driving and shooting some time ago, so…


As we continued into O K L A H O M A OKLAHOMA!! OK! the pretty sky turned a bit dark and scary.


The clouds went all swirly and began to churn.


And then it started to rain.


And it rained and rained, all the way into Arkansas.


The rain stopped and the sky had cleared by the time we reached that tunnel on Interstate 49.


And we made it to Mom’s without incident.

Just before dinner, I looked outside and decided to try my hand at some bird shooting, so I detached the 24mm f/2.8 and plugged in the 75-150mm f/3.5 E Series and fired away for a bit.


And that’s why I don’t do much birding.

Most of the pictures up to now were shot with the D7000 and Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 AI with a circular polarizer on top (more on that in a future post, maybe). For the birding, I switched out to the Nikon 75-150mm f/3.5 E-Series. In the camera bag, I had the Nikon FG and Nikon 50mm f/1.8 E-Series and the Lomo LC-A, both (at this point) with B/W film in that I wanted to shoot up so I could get to some color film for the trip.

This was the best of a bad lot from Mom’s house, but I got some slightly better ones later on in the trip.

It was great to see Mom, Aunt Peggy and Uncle Gary. Food and atmosphere at the Thai restaurant were good, and the landscape there is pleasant.

We didn’t otherwise get out much: we got there about 2 in the afternoon, had some lunch, and then a nap, and mostly just hung around with Mom, but that was the plan the whole time.

Stay tuned! Tomorrow, we head to Springfield.

*But I would like to hire a couple of coaches and take busloads full of openly and obviously Muslim families and interracial couples up there and parade them all up and down the streets for a week or so, give them a bunch of money to wave around, but not to spend, stay in Fayetteville and have picnic lunches at various scenic overlooks where they like to send security to check out cute little Muslim ladies and their new husbands, etc… Oh, to dream.

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