My Road Trip From LA to Chicago

Last week I drove from Los Angeles back to my hometown of Chicago. I’ve moved back home for personal reasons. It took my sister and I nine days to get across the US– mostly just eating, driving, sleeping, and taking pictures.

The states I drove through were (in order):

  1. California
  2. Arizona
  3. Utah
  4. Colorado
  5. Kansas
  6. Missouri
  7. Illinois

La to Chicago Road Trip - 1

The first half of the trip from California to Colorado was rather scenic and interesting. This is where I actually took pictures.

The second half, from Kansas to Chicago was rather plain and boring– the terrain was just flat. For the most part my sister and I just pushed our way through the midwest with only stops for food and sleep. It didn’t help that there was a lot of fog and rain through these parts.


I didn’t take too many pictures, as I was trying to balance between visiting interesting places for pictures and making good time for the drive. I experimented with taking a lot of panoramas and merging them together in Photoshop later.

Road to Joshua Tree (California)

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La to Chicago Road Trip - 2

Joshua Tree (California)

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La to Chicago Road Trip - 3

Horseshoe Bend (Arizona)

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La to Chicago Road Trip - 4

Zion National Park - The Great White Throne (Utah)

La to Chicago Road Trip - 5

Garden of the Gods (Colorado)

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La to Chicago Road Trip - 6

Here are my picture albums of Zion National Park and Joshua Tree.

Behind the Camera

Here are a few behind the camera shots I took.

Horseshoe Bend was rather scary walking right up to the edge to get a clear shot of the canyon. Just a few inches forward would be a fast way down and certain death.

La to Chicago Road Trip - 7

Zion National Park’s The Great White Throne as well as the rest of the park puts forth some interesting challenges to photograph the canyons with different lighting from the sun throughout the day.

La to Chicago Road Trip - 8

Final Thoughts

I had fun and would love to do the drive again. There’s one stop I wish we had time for– Antelope Canyon. There were so many delays that I had to just cut this part out of the trip. Joshua Tree is another place I’d like to revisit and spend a night doing night photography in. As well as Zion National Park.

I got to see first hand that America is a lot of different things. I’ve spent most of my life living in or near big cities (Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, etc…). There is a very different part of America that exists betweens these cities where life is a little bit calmer and relaxed.

If you ever feel tired of where you are in life and can afford the time to get away, look to the open road. America has plenty of adventures and interesting places to see.

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