And From the Ashes…


It happens when I’m not looking. And usually takes a goosing from the first thunderstorm of the season to deliver me from my refrigerated stupor. This year in the absence of early tornado warnings, I ratcheted to an upright and cheerfully alert position from crumpled truculence all by myself. I’m quite proud. And very happy to report Spring is here.

One month ago this:

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Downtown Tulsa March 2010 Snow

Today this:





This is what Okies look forward to in the coming weeks. Notice the smiles on their faces.


Thank you Trevor & Beth for this photo. I discoverd it on your memory stick. That’s right, the one I still have.

For those wanting the rest of the camping series, keep checking back. For now, go camping. Or fishing.

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 Join the Road Trip Revolution at the Solo Road Trip Facebook Fan Page, here.

Cliché Suppression

We’re still clutched in winter’s half-light. Despite the execution upon our clocks of the thing called Daylight Savings Time, the seduction of air struck by sun hasn’t made it round.  It’s March 20 and snowing.  Like the shuffle of one nondescript town after another on a forced trip across Kansas*, the sight is unwelcome as family showing up unannounced.

Only yesterday was I prepared to write how the initial blush of spring’s color had begun altering the silver whisper of winter.  Those dogwood blooms, the forsythia bush’s siren of bright yellow, the “tulip” trees’ delicate drooping pendulums were enough to float cliché to the top of my vocabulary.  My fingers were suspended over the keys that would have delivered “amber light” to this post.

Kyrgyzstan Boy, Western Border of Xinjiang Province

Instead, this email showed up in my inbox (fortunately the anti-critter software called it out as Spam):

“My name is rebecca, i am loving young girl,i will also like to know you better, i want you to send an email to me so that i can send you my picture for you to know whom i am.Here is my email address ([email protected])I am waiting for your mail . Remember the distance or colour does not matter but love matters alot in life.
Yours Love

Dear Rebecca, you obviously do not know we’re still in the vise grip doldrums of half-light.  Bug off.

* To SRT readers in Kansas, you know I love road trips in Kansas, believe Kansas should be the proving ground for all those desirous of calling themselves travelers, but I had to make my visual point and Kansas offered the best example. At the hands of a writer, everyone occasionally suffers.  Notice I made no explanation or caveat to my family.

From My Own Backyard

My feet need to be elevated so high onto the top deck rail the chair balances on a quarter inch of contact between it and the decking, one hand formed around a sweating glass of lemonade, the other making a louvered blind over my eyes squinting at the white heat of summer.

I need the murderous sounds of withering grass clamoring for water in my ear. Okay for maybe a day I need that sound. I’m scraping the pan for some emotion, something good to tell you. It’s been a hard winter here. Lots of snow and cold. But far worse has been the lag of light. The laps of flame from the fireplace have done all they can to help, but their persistent cheer failed in their valiant attempt to coax smiles from us weeks ago. Now the flames leap and crackle ignored. Even the heat’s no longer appreciated.

We traveled today. I had the normal travel joy, but damnably tempered. A bit under duress, strained, contrived even. Still I saw things I’d never seen even though we drove a mere 2 hours from home. Towns are like people. Shaped by all their past experience, each is unique. If you don’t command your eyes to see that a pecan tree in Arkansas is different than one in Oklahoma, the melding of one square mile of American dirt into another will make all pecan trees appear the same. Eyes prefer lethargy and laziness. I fight mine constantly. So far I’m winning.


I think cabbage thinly sliced into a searing wok with a glug of oil and soy sauce served with an overeasy egg and several hard shakes from a bottle of hot sauce is in order tomorrow. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s sunshine on a plate.

An egg is tragically absent from the plate below. None were in sight the last desperate time I made this.


An Atlantic Blue Moon in Black and White

After getting 22 hours away from home on our holiday road trip, my husband and I decided we were ready for our own bed. So we drove home in a day and a half.  It was a good decision – 10 nights on the road without our Tempurpedic mattress threw us into foam-deprived withdrawals.

One thing I didn’t miss: the computer. I made one post about a lonely, homeless fireplace from West Virginia, haven’t tweeted, facebooked, flickr’d, emailed, or stumbled. And all reading was done the old fashioned way – a book.  It was nice, but I’ve missed you.

Thank you for reading the SRT blog during 2009, for your comments, your encouraging kind words. Without you the blog would have been discontinued during one of my many road trips and never resumed even after a great night’s sleep in my own bed. You made 2009 a year I won’t forget.

Here’s wishing you and your family a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. – Tammie

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New Year’s Eve 2009 blue moon taken on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

SoloRoadTrip: Top 10 Road Trip Blog & A Photo Contest Win

SRT is fluttering in blue ribbons. Years ago, flush with the career fever, I announced I no longer worked for trophies, pats on the back, or awards since you can’t eat those. I lied.

Being named by Jamie Jensen, author of Road Trip USA as one of the Top 10 Road Trip Blogs and recently winning the Portrait category of John Batdorff’s Black & White Photography contest has raised my chin and straightened my back.  I don’t want to consider there could only be 10 road trip blogs, and I know for certain John’s contest had some incredible entries, even in the Portrait category. asked Jamie Jensen to compile a list of the Top 10 Road Trip blogs.  Here’s what he had to say about SRT:

“Much as I enjoy traveling with my family, there’s a sense of freedom and exhilaration that comes from hitting the road on your own. The existential excitement of the solo road trip is magically channeled by Tammie Dooley into this beautifully illustrated, thoughtful blog.”

Since I don’t think it possible to spread enough of the road trip love around, here’s the entire list, so you road trip aficionados or wanna-be’s can check out the others. Enjoy!

John Batdorff is a 2nd generation professional photographer whose work has been showcased by the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming. He specializes in outdoor/landscape and travel photography.  John’s blog is a fun, perpetual photography course. He has a knack for presenting his experience and talented eye in a way that both entertains and better than that, sticks – you won’t forget the instruction he imparts.  Anyone wanting to improve their photography should follow his blog. Not only will you learn, but you’ll have a great time doing it.

Click here for all the winning captures in his latest contest.

The photograph of the woman taken during the 4-week backpacking trip to rural China with my son won the Portrait category.

Kyrgyzstan Woman of the House, Xinjiang Province

Celebrate with me for this one brief post. We’ll return to the real world tomorrow. Actually, tomorrow is Thanksgiving!  Happy Thanksgiving. And thank you for being here.


The Grand Climb


Tammie DooleyAbout SRT... I’m a traveler, writer and photographer for whom the open road frequently summons. Adventurous solo road trips are a staple for me, and a curiosity. So I created this website to share them and inspire you to step out and give them a try. Welcome!

A soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone – Wolfgang Von Goethe

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