Road Side Shrine : Near Dodge City : Kansas

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One of the things I immediately loved about America was the feeling that all sorts of stuff was more drastic than the UK ………. most of this was good …….. The most immediately noticeable was the constantly drastic weather ……….. when I first lived in New York I was shocked by how hot… how humid ……. how much rain…… how windy ……. how cold it was all in turn ……… in winter spilled hot coffee could turn to ice on your coat before you could brush it off …………… I loved how drastically defined the seasons were……… winter was certainly winter …….. spring was amazing spring……… Summer was burning hot……… and the fall ….. autumn for us Brits …… was beautiful color as the leaves began to fall.

And the storms ……… I have known a few ………. I loved the storms………… I still love the storms ……… but since traveling to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and actually feeling the force of Hurricane Sandy as she came ashore in Delaware ……. Also seeing the terrible destruction caused by tornadoes in Joplin Missouri ……… I have become more respectful of the sheer horror they can bring …………. and my excitement at the natural phenomena is always now tinged by worry about the hurt and destruction wrought by so many of the major storms.

Tonight its midnight ……… We are rolling towards Oklahoma City we got the heck out of Dodge (City in Kansas) at 9PM having photographed till the end of the light under incredible slate grey skies listening to the distinctive grating sound of the extreme weather warning siren on the radio ………. ‘ This is an extreme weather warning …. Confirmed tornadoes have touched down in Jefferson County’ ………. We have been rolling for just over 3 hours ……….. The lightening surrounding us on all sides has not stopped once ………… Currently we are sheltering in the car under the forecourt roof of a closed up gas station ……… to protect the Beast car from the golf ball sized hail ……….. Yeah America …….. The weather is pretty drastic all right.

Another drastic thing still happening in the US of A……….. is the number of fatal car wrecks……………. of course there is only terrible sadness and loss in this ……… no amazing natural phenomena ………….. On this journey round America I have been acutely aware of the number of roadside shrines……… marker crosses at the location of fatal accidents ……….. Where loved ones are remembered by their families and friends at the actual place where they died …… I have seen hundreds ……….. I find these sad little crosses very moving ………. It really brings home the terrible loss in a way the statistics never could …………… We stopped to pay our respects and photograph at this double shrine …….. again right there at the side of the road at the scene of another fatal accident ……….. Such a sad place ………. So moving to consider how lives were ended so suddenly right here …………. I made this picture under the brooding sky just outside Dodge City before getting back in the car and rolling with the incredible storm constantly raging above ……. Me and Matt took it in turns to drive ……… all the while doing our best to try and stay safe ………. on this rather too drastic night to be on the road.

Cheers Jez XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

[ 10 ] comments
It looks like you dodged the bullet again yesterday with the Tornadoes just east of Oklahoma City… 1 dead, 21 injured. In the words of
Paul Sykes “stay safe bro” 🙂
Matt @ May 20, 2013, 4:12 am
Yes I must have rolled right past there just before it happened ……. I was on I40……. leaving OK City just as all that was goin
down………. the sky was dark grey I shot pictures against the sky but I did not realize tornado activity was happening so close by :/
Cheers bro Jez XXXXXXXXXX
Jezblog Oklahoma :))
XXX @ May 20, 2013, 9:33 am
I might have to ask for payment on that Matt.. :?).. Well, that was all rather interesting Mr C,if we could get the weather over here to try
and seperate the seasons, we would all be happy..`ish… There tends to be a lot of flowers,some pictures at roadsides over here, a lot of
bikers I`m afraid… Hope all has settled down on the weather front now Mate.. Stay Safe Bro`s
PaulS @ May 20, 2013, 2:53 pm
I have to say biking makes my activities just kinda average on the risk scale……… I had a scooter for a while in London it was great
but total madness ……. So when I moved to NYC I thought no way scooter had to go ……… and by the time you have 3 bullet proof
jackets……….. you don’t need a scooter or a bike to increase your risk profile …….. and I actually think bikes are worse than
photojournalism……. bikes r always a bit of a risk……. photojournalism is sometimes but not always …….. So to quote you back at
yourself……. stay safe out there bro :))))))))
Cheers Jez XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Jezblog Oklahoma :))
XXX @ May 20, 2013, 3:04 pm
Did you put all three bullet proof jackets on at the same time?
Lee @ May 20, 2013, 3:21 pm
Only when exceptionally worried………. hehehe…….. maybe i should try that with the level 2A diplomatic protection vest
underneath…… building up the layers to the hard core ceramic plate jacket with the high neck and the helmet and the whole works
…… Mind u even without the layers…… u can tell when we were worried…….. mostly we always look pretty cool in the hardest of the
hardcore cermamic plate jackets …….. but when u get scared u slide down the little skirt bit…….. always known to all as the bollock
protector…….. u look silly with this down……… but there r times when u really dont care …… ://
:))
Cheers bro Jez XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Jezblog Oklahoma :))
XXX @ May 20, 2013, 3:32 pm
Been watching the news about the devastation, terrible… Heart goes out to all affected.. Hope all is good dude
PaulS @ May 21, 2013, 2:44 am
These things are so depressing…. It’s just so sad to see this much devestation and know that so many are suffering so terribly…. I
am fine … Just a bit tired and done in…. And very sad…. 🙁
Hope things r better with you…. :/
🙂
X
Cheers Bro Jez XX
Jezblog Moore Olklahoma iPhone @ May 21, 2013, 11:30 am
Obviously tragic..but amazing evening light fella xx
PP xx @ May 22, 2013, 10:52 am
Yes this storm lighting in the early evening …… is incredible …….. I am jumping out of the car and gasping to Matt…….. Look at the
light………. LOOK AT THE LIGHT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jezblog Oklahoma :))
XXX @ May 23, 2013, 10:50 am

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