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Texas Escapes
Online Magazine
TEXAS TOWNS

STEPHEN MICHAELS
Nationwide Photography

WHERE'S STEPHEN?
America Coast to Coast
Website: www.bigrigtravels.com
Truck Cat
"TK"
Email: BigRigSteve@bigrigtravels.com
TEXAS >
  • Toyah
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  • USA

  • Arizona: Yucca, Arizona Ghost Town
  • Nevada: Lovelock Ghost Truckstop
  • Arizona in Bloom: Flora Behind a Tucson Truckstop
  • California: Pollard Gulch, Whiskytown-Shasta-Trinity National Forest
  • Idaho: Snake River Canyon, Twin Falls
  • Michigan: near Battle Creek
  • Montana: Missoula
  • If the title question was asked, the most frequent response would be: “He just left.” Stephen is a big-rig trucker. He also happens to be a trucker with a camera. He also has a big camera – and like gunfighters of yore, what sets him apart from his peers is that he knows how to use it.

    “If it’s Tuesday, this must be Mingo Junction”

    The “postcards” we receive from Mr. Michaels are from locations and time zones that usually have nothing to do with the nagging time / space constraints that most of us deal with. Missoula on Monday, Battle Creek on Wednesday, Hot Springs on Thursday and Paris, Texas on Friday. We recently had coffee with Stephen in Flatonia, Texas on Tuesday and when we next heard from him on Thursday, he was not only in Savannah, Georgia, but was leaving Savannah, having already dropped his freight and taken another load.

    To paraphase an old Chinese proverb, it could be said that Stephen has driven over more bridges than most of us have driven over roads. When he does have time to stop and photograph a town, he applies the "fine-tooth comb method" of exploration, leaving no brick unturned, no alley unexplored and no sign unread.

    In an effort to keep up with Mr. Michael’s photographic playground (AKA the USA), we’re presenting a mere sampler of Stephen’s photographs here, with a link to his website: www.bigrigtravels.com where there are many more photos.
    When the opportunity arises, in-depth coverage of selected towns will appear on TE pages. Take a road trip via www.bigrigtravels.com and don't give a thought to the price of gas. You can relax, knowing that if something needed to be photographed, it was. - Editor

    TEXAS

  • Addison 1-6-08
  • Barbarossa 4-10-10
  • Blossom 10-8-08
  • Bracken 1-12-08
  • Calvert 6-7-08
  • Carrollton 12-28-07
  • Chillicothe 9-10-08
  • Cibolo 1-28-08
  • Claude 1-16-08
  • Clear Springs 8-22-11
  • Comal 1-28-08
  • Comanche Lookout 2-18-08
  • Converse 1-4-10
  • Corbyn 4-10-10
  • Cuero 8-3-08
  • DeKalb 2-28-08
  • Etter 1-24-08
  • Farmersville 1-2-08
  • Garden Ridge 4-4-12
  • Goliad State Park 2-9-08
  • Grandview 4-14-08
  • Grey Forest 3-13-08
  • Helotes 3-13-08
  • Hereford 12-23-07
  • Hill County Courthouse 7-6-08
  • Hill County Village 3-13-08
  • Hillsboro 7-6-08
  • Hollywood Park 4-16-10
  • Honey Grove 5-6-08
  • Independence 10-30-08
  • Italy 6-23-08
  • Itasca 6-12-08
  • Joshua 8-19-08
  • Leroy 4-14-08
  • Live Oak 1-13-08
  • Lorena 10-8-08
  • Luxello 3-13-08
  • Machovec 4-19-10
  • Memphis 1-15-08
  • Paris Monuments 9-3-08
  • Pecos 10-27-08
  • Portland Cement Plant 11-2-08
  • Putnam 8-25-08
  • San Geronimo 4-16-10
  • Schertz 3-1-08
  • Shavano Park 1-7-10
  • Shiner 8-26-08
  • Solms 1-3-10
  • Stratford 1-16-08
  • Texline 1-1-09
  • Toco 4-28-08
  • Tours 4-18-10
  • Toyah 8-31-08
  • Universal City 1-24-08
  • Van Horn 8-30-08
  • Vega 9-8-08
  • West 4-7-08
  • Wetmore 1-23-08
  • Yorktown 8-1-08
  • Zorn 9-4-08


    KANSAS
  • Englewood 12-16-07
  • Ness City 2-7-08
  • Ness Co Bank Building 2-7-08


    SPECIAL FEATURES
  • Kress Buildings 3-3-08
  • Rust in Pieces 12-19-07
  • STEPHEN MICHAELS' BIO

    Howdy from Somewhere in America!

    I’m Stephen Michaels. Christian, trucker, photographer.

    I’m currently a cross-country, big-rig trucker carrying almost everything most of you go to the grocery store to get. I drive all night to get your ice cream to you, or I might meet a ship on the East coast to pick up apples to haul across the top of our beautiful country to deliver to Washington State so California stores can sell you fruit strips. Imagine that.

    Photography has always been a major interest that has carried through the years from first hands on with my parents "Brownie" camera. Whatever I’ve done, my camera has been my sidekick. My present traveling job allows me to see more breathtaking shots than I get to take. But take them I do wherever & whenever. Many shots I get straight through the windshield. Hauling through the many miles of orchards in California, up and down the Utah Mountains, through the heat of the Mohave Desert, or plowing through the ice and snow of Vermont or Nebraska...... Sometimes I pull over to drink in the beauty of the moon shining into the forest, and afterwards sleep in my home on wheels. The long, dusty miles of the West "where the Buffalo roam" remind me of the lines to “America the Beautiful.”

    Who knows what great photo I’ll see tomorrow……hope I can capture a few nice ones to share with all of you.

    About My Photography
    As I make the turn on a two lane rural road, I come upon some abandoned buildings. I see them all the time, everywhere I go. But this time, I see a place where I can safely pull my 72-foot truck over and park. Right away, I start to get a sense of the town. The people who lived here and the buildings they left.

    These old buildings were born as someone's dream of starting a new business. Then, most likely, they were passed down to the next generation. Some new paint, maybe some additions to it.

    But what happened between the time it first proudly held a "Grand Opening" sign to now, when it's just an empty shell with missing bricks? In most cases, all traces of what it once was is gone.

    But if you walk slowly, open your mind and ears, you hear a story or even find a telltale hint of history. Maybe you see a vision of a child smiling because her dad handed her a little pet - right where you are standing now.
    Only that now empty building knows.

    Like every town has a history, every building has its own story.

    I just take a walk, and suddenly I hear something. Something is whispering for me listen to "their" story. I put my camera up to my eye, focus, and say to myself "Go ahead. I'm listening."

    At that point I press the shutter, and capture a photograph.
    No, wait. I captured a story.

    - Stephen Michaels
    December 16, 2007
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