Junctures by Bodhi Smith

"junctures" a brand new impression and blog from me...
"i'm in awe, standing in the middle of the road on old route 66...i'm a big part of this impression, connected to the entire universe through a destined confluence of history, amidst lines and elements joining the night to the daylight, the terrestrial to the celestial, on the pathway before me that's leading into my future. infinity is so deeply peaceful here in this consequential juncture of time and space"  bodhinku, juncture 
"be humble for you are made of earth. be noble for you are made of stars" ― serbian proverb
"you’ve come to this juncture in your life, merely because something in you kept saying, that you deserve to be happy. you were born to add something, to add value to this world. to simply be something, bigger and better than you were yesterday" ― rhonda byrne, the secret
"at certain junctures in the course of existence, unique moments occur when everyone and everything, even the most distant stars, combine to bring about something that could not have happened before and will never happen again. few people know how to take advantage of these critical moments, unfortunately, and they often pass unnoticed. when someone does recognize them, however, beauty happens" ― michael ende, momo
"it's truly through the junctures in my life such as this, that i can see the meaning for my existence" ― bodhinku, junctures
"the universe, so far as we can observe it, is a wonderful and immense engine; its extent, its order, its beauty, its cruelty, makes it all so impressive" ― george santayana
"unknowingly, we plow the dust of stars, blown about us by the wind, and drink the universe in a glass of rain" ― ihab hassan, in quest of nothing
"in trying to understand myself, and things that really make me glow with happiness, i created something special here...one fusion joined together from my psyche, dreams, visions, feelings, emotions, thoughts, and illuminations from the inner workings of my combined mind, heart, and soul" ― bodhinku, zen to me
this first song i have selected is an ethereal song by the canadian band, rush, from their power windows album (1985)..it's easily my all-time favorite rush song, and it's also one of the tunes i was actually listening to while i was creating this impression under the stars...it's a perfect tune to match this image, with great rhythm, drums, and guitars that feel like you are under the stars, combined with lyrics of wonder and fascination that match my feelings on this night: "mystic rhythms" by rush ...i sound old, but they just do not make songs like this anymore...(just click on any of words in the blue links to listen to the song)...  

"so many things i think about when i look far away. things i know, things i wonder, things i'd like to say. the more we think we know about, the greater the unknown. we suspend our disbelief and we are not alone...mystic rhythms capture my thoughts carry them away. mysteries of night escape the light of day. mystic rhythms under northern lights, and the african sun. primitive things stir the hearts of everyone...we sometimes catch a window, a glimpse of what's beyond. was it just imagination stringing us along? more things than are dreamed about, unseen and unexplained...we suspend our disbelief, we are entertained...mystic rhythms capture my thoughts carry them away. nature seems to spin a supernatural way. mystic rhythms under city lights, or a canopy of stars. we feel the powers and we wonder what they are. we feel the push and pull of restless rhythms from afar"
 geddy lee (rush lead singer), mystic rhythms
"look up; notice how the stars shine. look in; notice how the stars shine" ― laura jaworski 
"this is where his life has brought him. each strange juncture has led to the next and now he is here. he is here, and it is nowhere" ― j.j. abrams, s
"astronomy compels the soul to look upward, and leads us from this world to another" ― plato, phaedrus
“i will love the light for it shows me the way, yet i will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars" ― og mandino
"damn...makes you think and wonder about destiny at any given place, at any given time...important junctures, being where i am, at exactly when i am supposed to be there...good planning? fate? luck? well, aren't they really the same thing?" ― bodhinku, junctures   
"at this time, at this place, i know something of this certainty comes but once in a lifetime, this juncture in my life is exactly where i was supposed to be at exactly this moment"
bodhinku, this juncture 

"juncture" is defined as: 
1. a point of time and/or space, especially one made critical or important by a concurrence of circumstances
2. the line or point at which two bodies are joined
3. the act of joining; the state of being joined; something by which two things are joined.
each of these definitions of juncture have true meaning and poignant relevance here...
1. i'm at a point in time, as well as a point in space that is vital to the impression. i find myself at a juncture in time and space. a juncture between my past and my future. 
2. and two bodies are joined here, at this very spot...the earth and the sky...or could be the past and the present...or could be the roadway with the milky way. and everything is interconnected and joined in this impression, including myself in the middle of it all... 
i'm in awe, standing in the middle of the road on old route 66...i'm a big part of this impression, connected to the entire universe through a destined confluence of history, amidst lines and elements joining the night to the daylight, the terrestrial to the celestial, on the pathway before me that's leading into my future. infinity is so deeply peaceful here in this consequential juncture of time and space...
so many things are coming together in this image...looking into the past and seeing the future at the same time, history along with this present reality here and now, seeing things both old and new, the earth and the sky at once, both glowing light and pitch blackness, natural and man-made creations side-by-side ...so many junctures in the continuum of space and time...
junctures all happening at once here in the wee hours of the morning, in the middle nowhere...the full arch of the milky way over top of the roadway, then the sunrise happening almost centered directly above the center lines of the road, along with the car headlights shining in the far off distance, and all the while i'm standing in the middle of the road, on an abandoned highway in the heart of the mojave desert that used to be a lifeline between chicago and los angeles, old route 66...
i'm imagining all the hundreds of thousands of people who have journeyed on this historic road over the decades, passed this very spot on their pathway and journey across the country from the shores of the great lakes to the shores of the pacific ocean, from one giant metropolis to another, crossing rivers, mountains, and deserts along the way. experiencing hope, wonder, dreams, and awe over 2000 miles...driving in their '36 chevys, '47 reo's, '57 el caminos, '64 beetles, '74 mavericks, '83 omnis, '94 passports, '01 xterras, and '20 jeep grand cherokees...
and exactly at 4:44am on march 21, 2021, i find myself at this juncture, this very spot, just me and my doggie, alone under the stars, in the center of the mojave desert, feeling the confluence of so many energies simultaneously coexisting...how can i not be overwhelmed and feel so wonderfully insignificant, when surrounded by such harmonious beauty?
damn...makes you think and wonder about destiny at any given place, at any given time...important junctures, being where i am, at exactly when i am supposed to be there...good planning? fate? luck? well, aren't they really the same thing?
and it's truly through the junctures in my life such as this, that i can see the meaning for my existence... at this time, at this place, i know something of this certainty comes but once in a lifetime, this juncture in my life is exactly where i was supposed to be at this exact moment in time...
"realize, the single most important juncture between heaven and earth is, you" ― bodhinku, juncture  
and here is a song that is truly from the heart, so beautifully sung as a duet with matching equally beautiful lyrics...i truly feel these lyrics, and have felt their confliction between hope and destiny in my heart. sometimes we all wish we could rewrite the stars so that our paths with loved ones could align more easily, so that those critical junctures in time when we are confused, lonely, and pulled apart can become just a distant memory: "rewrite the stars" by zac efron and zendaya (from the motion picture the greatest showman) ....(just click on any of words in the blue links to listen to the song)...
"you know i want you. it's not a secret i try to hide. i know you want me, so don't keep saying our hands are tied. you claim it's not in the cards, fate is pulling you miles away and out of reach from me. but you're here in my heart, so who can stop me if i decide that you're my destiny? what if we rewrite the stars? say you were made to be mine. nothing could keep us apart, you'd be the one i was meant to find. it's up to you, and it's up to me. no one can say what we get to be. so why don't we rewrite the stars? maybe the world could be ours tonight...you think it's easy. you think i don't want to run to you. but there are mountains and there are doors that we can't walk through. i know you're wondering why because we're able to be just you and me within these walls. but when we go outside, you're going to wake up and see that it was hopeless after all. no one can rewrite the stars, how can you say you'll be mine? everything keeps us apart, and i'm not the one you were meant to find. it's not up to you. it's not up to me. when everyone tells us what we can be, how can we rewrite the stars? say that the world can be ours tonight. all i want is to fly with you. all i want is to fall with you, so just give me all of you...it feels impossible (it's not impossible) is it impossible? say that it's possible. how do we rewrite the stars? say you were made to be mine? nothing can keep us apart, 'cause you are the one i was meant to find. it's up to you. and it's up to me. no one can say what we get to be. and why don't we rewrite the stars? changing the world to be ours? you know i want you. it's not a secret i try to hide. but i can't have you, we're bound to break and my hands are tied"  zac efron and zendaya, rewrite the stars
"i find myself at this juncture, this very spot, just me and my doggie, alone under the stars, in the center of the mojave desert, feeling the confluence of so many energies simultaneously coexisting...how can i not be overwhelmed and feel so wonderfully insignificant, when surrounded by such harmonious beauty?― bodhinku, at the confluence
"i found this cool spot and upon getting out of my jeep, i quickly felt at peace, all the noise from earlier gone...just me and my doggie besos together alone there...i was lost in awe of the universe as i stood in the middle of the road and took everything in...i knew this was where i was meant to be at this juncture in time, at this juncture in space. i knew this was going to be my impression " ― bodhinku, junctures 
as an artist, sometimes i'm a drifter. i can be a vagabond bouncing from one spot to the next when i'm just not feeling good vibes. it's really quite impossible for me to capture anything beautiful with my camera if i'm just not in the right peace of mind. if i'm not feeling calmness and quietude in my mind, and instead feeling negative and noisy thoughts...if i'm not letting the surrounding nature soothe me and caress my soul, i just cannot create anything from my heart...
the day before i took this image, i drove up to the eastern sierra and the alabama hills close to lone pine, ca, to scout out some unknown arches in the area, and find some new things to shoot with my camera under the stars...i did not expect to capture anything on a day and night of discovering new scenes, but i got lucky and managed to find and capture something special, something fresh and new which i will be releasing sometime in the next few weeks...
i was up most of the night, but managed to get a couple really good quality hours of sleep in...i was feeling pretty good in the morning when i awakened, so i decided to head over into death valley and do some more scouting for some possible unique locations to shoot...
once i arrived, i discovered the park was filled with people, mostly people with cameras. many stupid people, who stopped their cars in the middle of the road to take pictures, oblivious to the danger for others and themselves getting out and leaving their vehicle sit in the middle of a road, a road with lots of traffic going pretty fast at a 60mph speed limit (most in california drive at least 10mph over that speed limit too)...not one person did this, not two, not three or four, but eight cars in separate locations stopped dead in the middle of the road so that their driver could stand in the road and take a picture!
i headed to a remote area on a 4x4 track and got away from the people, and hiked a couple miles out into the desolation with my doggie...although it was quite beautiful, i did not find what i was looking for specifically, but did answer some previously unanswered questions about a couple spots...
i then got back in my grand cherokee, ate a really tasty lunch, enjoying the solitude, and then started to head to a favorite spot to camp for the night...
along the way i passed through stovepipe wells. i have never seen this area so crowded in my life, but i think i keep saying those same very words each time i go back into the main areas of death valley. it seems to just keep getting more and more crowded, with more and more people, people with cameras, and each time i revisit a new record amount of people for me to see...
mesquite dunes were so crowded, the huge parking lot was overfilled and cars were parked up and down alongside the road...such an eyesore, but i quickly drove past, knowing i would be in a place none of them knew about or could find, a place of peace where i would be in a short while...or maybe longer as there was quite allot of traffic on the road, too many cars for my liking...
then i passed furnace creek, which was one giant zoo! so many people everywhere. thousands of people. but i bet the gas station was making a killing with all the people and their $5.95usd/gallon prices...so glad my jeep grand cherokee has a cruising range of 600+ miles on a full tank of gas...
i kept driving down the road, and once again, never have i seen so many people and cars at golden canyon and gower gulch, as i passed by, cars parked everywhere, lining the road on both sides, people walking around everywhere like a flea market was going on...
then i headed back to my favorite hidden area, what a relief to get away from all the lunacy of a death valley overrun with too many living beings...
then the blow...boom, got to my spot and the park had blocked off access with giant boulders, closing me from access to a really nice remote camping spot...not sure why they decided to do this, but probably due to a stupid act of some dipshit who drove out into the salt flats where they should not have...so the park blocked it off, so no one could go back and access the area with a vehicle ever again...i left with my tail between my legs...
still, i was hopeful and not ready to give up and leave the valley, so i drove over to badwater basin to check things out. and yet again, just like everywhere else, too many people, the absolute most i have ever seen here. parking lot overfilled and cars lining the highway on both sides for a mile in each direction...i have never seen so many people walking around on the salt flats at badwater, literally looked like someone kicked an anthill and ants were scurrying about everywhere...crowds in a wilderness are just so misplaced and out of whack...
many of my friends and clients know that my disdain for crowds keeps growing with each passing year, creating bigger obsessions for me wanting to just get away from people at any cost. when i see crowded places, i just want to escape and never return. seems to me that the once unknown and open places in nature are becoming over exploited, mostly due to instagram...
unfortunately, now so many of the once quite peaceful places are being discovered and overrun by the masses. they are all becoming just too crowded. beautiful scenes are now too noisy, with too many thoughtless people looking for a picture at any cost. they're insects crawling all over everything, they're locusts devouring everything in their path, ruining it for others. self-serving beings not caring if they don't leave things in the condition they found them, so others can enjoy them in the future. their destructive behaviors do not matter to their selfish egos, just so long as they got their "look-at-me shot" to put on instagram, ...everything is just leaving a bad taste in my mouth...
so i left. not sure if i will return to death valley anytime soon. i have no real reasons to go back, especially with access to my favorite area blocked off now (sucks)...and if i do revisit, it will be in the middle of winter when nobody is around, never the spring or fall again (and definitely not the summer, never go in the summer, just too hot at 128F)...
so, i just was not feeling it for any pictures, deflated, dejected, and disgusted. my mind was too filled with distaste of all the idiots ruining everything, and too many ugly thoughts locking out my inner peace in negativity...too much noise in my head to be an artist in this moment...
i started driving south, not sure where i might stop for the night...just kept driving, and driving, and the sun set, and the stars came out...and i kept driving and driving. i became me again, found my inner solitude again the farther and farther away i got from death valley...and then a thought popped into my mind...
i knew the milky way would rise around 3am and would be a beautiful arch in the sky at a lower angle to the east around 4am....so the idea for this impression today jumped into my mind...
i knew of an abandoned strip of the old historic route 66 where i could take pictures in the middle of the road (unlike those idiots earlier in death valley on a busy thoroughfare) and not be disturbed all night by any traffic...cars both forcing me to move, messing up the ability to stitch multiple images together, and worse yet, bright lights by cars to ruin the exposures of the stars needing total darkness...
i went about finding one of the route 66 logos painted on the road that had a perfect far off horizon, with an eastward aspect...i found this cool spot, and upon getting out of my jeep, i quickly felt at peace, all the noise from earlier gone...just me and my doggie besos together alone there...i was lost in awe of the universe as i stood in the middle of the road and took everything in...i knew this was where i was meant to be at this juncture in time, at this juncture in space. i knew this was going to be my impression...
i took my time and photographed a panoramic of the stars over the road and then waited for the sun to rise to enlighten the foreground and scenery in the distance that is unviewable in the darkness...then i took a panoramic of the road and surrounding desert scene a little before the sun arose...i would put the two panoramic images together later in post processing...
as you see, my vision and plan worked out, as i was successful in creating this picture your see before your here...hope you like it, as much i love creating it...
"as an artist sometimes i'm a drifter, a vagabond bouncing from one spot to the next when i'm just not feeling good vibes. it's really quite impossible for me to capture anything beautiful with my camera if i'm just not in the right peace of mind. if i'm not feeling calmness and quietude in my mind, and instead feeling negative and noisy thoughts, i'm not letting nature around me sooth and caress my soul, and i just cannot create anything from my heart" bodhinku, peace of mind
and now here are a few more quotes from bodhinku from past blogs to help add to the deeper meaning of this blog today...
"standing here on this night, under this glowing milky way, i feel so utterly lost in silence...and at the same time, i'm found, knowing my meaning is written somewhere into all those billions of stars above me" ― bodhinku, written somewhere
"i dream my photograph, and i photograph my dream..." ― bodhinku, my dream
"if your love for me was a star in the sky, my love for you would be the milky way, glowing alive with billions of you inside of me " ― bodhinku, signs from somewhere over the milky way
"all through the night, out under this beautiful canopy of the milky way stretching across the entire sky. it's my favorite place to be, when the darkness is so dark, that the stars light up everything inside me and out, illuminating everything all around with their collective energies...i was in the midst of an experience with a pure spirit so truly exceptional, time disappeared... and it became obvious soon with all of the coincidences brought to my attention, that this night could not have happened by chance...for all the while as the cosmos moved across the sky, the universe was sending signs that could not be overlooked or dismissed, signs so obvious and clear...and when i laid down in bed later just before dawn, i fell asleep with a smile on my face, finally" ― bodhinku, signs from somewhere over the milky way
"in sweet silence of the star light, i see her radiance glowing bright above, i feel her angelic innocence, i play in her magical wilderness...i know my focus is always up to her" ― bodhinku, bright above
"eternally each night, she glows down freely from the heavens, but without somebody to see her, she has no meaning... his eye is what interprets her impression. his eye sees and understands her for who she is...so, his eye creates the art of her light for all to see, and captures her beauty forever...he becomes the eye of her light, he becomes her meaning...and she becomes his purpose"  ― bodhinku, his eye her light
"i love the milky way...she is my beautiful temptress that visits me constantly in my visions, both awake and asleep. she is made up of the light glowing from billions of suns, shining eternally, leading me into and though the darkness, guiding my path...and my meaning is destined to be forever written in those stars of hers" ― bodhinku, written in her stars
"my father is time. my mother is space. and i'm their child, the juncture between serendipity and synchronicity" ― bodhinku, i'm the juncture
this next song i have selected for the most obvious of reasons....and with its lyrics, it's hands down the perfect accompaniment to connect music with the meaning of my impression here...song was written by bobby troup and turned into a national hit by nat king cole in 1946: "(get your kicks on) route 66" by nat king cole ... and if you like to hear a different version of the song, here is also a wonderful alt-rock cover of this tune made by depeche mode in 1987: "(get your kicks on) route 66" by depeche mode (nat king cole cover) ... and if you like to hear an even more funky version from the mid 1990's give this one a listen...it has its own flare and style, and evokes much different feeling than the other two versions above, although the video has glaring errors in it (the route never went through monument valley or las vegas): "(get your kicks on) route 66" by the cramps (nat king cole cover) ... (just click on any of the words in the blue links to listen to the musical selection)...
"if you ever plan to motor west, travel my way, take the highway that is best. get your kicks on route sixty-six. it winds from chicago to la, more than two thousand miles all the way. get your kicks on route sixty-six. now you go through saint looey, joplin, missouri, and oklahoma city is mighty pretty. you see amarillo, gallup, new mexico, flagstaff, arizona. don't forget winona, kingman, barstow, san bernardino. won't you get hip to this timely tip, when you make that california trip, get your kicks on route sixty-six. won't you get hip to this timely tip: when you make that california trip get your kicks on route sixty-six (get your kicks on route sixty-six)"  nat king cole, route 66
u.s. highway 66 was one of the original byways in the united states highway system. u.s.66 was established on november 11, 1926. the highway, which became one of the most famous roads in the united states, originally began in chicago, illinois, and ran through the states of illinois, missouri, kansas, oklahoma, texas, new mexico, arizona, and california before terminating at the pacific ocean in santa monica in los angeles county, california, covering a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km). it was recognized in popular culture by both the hit song "(get your kicks on) route 66" and the route 66 television series, which aired on the cbs network 1960-1964. and in john steinbeck's classic american novel, the grapes of wrath (1939), the road "highway 66" symbolized escape and loss...
over the years, u.s. 66 received numerous nicknames. right after u.s. 66 was commissioned, it was known as "the great diagonal way" because the chicago-to-oklahoma city stretch ran northeast to southwest. later, u.s. 66 was advertised by the u.s. highway 66 Association as "the main street of america". the title had also been claimed by supporters of u.s. 40, but the u.s. 66 group was more successful. in the john steinbeck novel, the grapes of wrath, the highway is called "the mother road", its prevailing title today....then, the u.s. 66 was unofficially named "the will rogers highway" by the u.s. highway 66 association in 1952. and a sign along the road with that name appeared in the john ford motion picture, the grapes of wrath, released in 1940, twelve years before the association gave the road that name. a plaque dedicating the highway to will rogers is still located in santa monica, california.
in its first 30 years of existence, u.s. 66 served as a primary route for those who migrated west, especially during the dust bowl of the 1930s, and the road supported the economies of the communities through which it passed. people doing business along the route became prosperous due to the growing popularity of the highway, and those same people later fought to keep the highway alive in the face of the growing threat of being bypassed by the new interstate highway system...
u.s. 66 underwent many improvements and realignments over its lifetime, but was officially removed from the united states highway system in 1985 after it had been replaced in its entirety by segments of the interstate highway system. portions of the road that passed through illinois, missouri, new mexico, and arizona have been communally designated a national scenic byway by the name "historic route 66", returning the name to some maps. several states have adopted significant bypassed sections of the former u.s. 66 into their state road networks as state route 66. the corridor is also being redeveloped into u.s. bicycle route 66, a part of the united states bicycle route system that was developed in the 2010's.
u.s. 66 was first signed into law in 1927 by congress as one of the original u.s. highways, although it was not completely paved until 1938. after the new federal highway system was officially created, the u.s. highway 66 association was also created to promote the complete paving of the highway from end to end and to promote travel down the highway. the association placed its first advertisement in the july 16, 1932, issue of the saturday evening post. the ad invited Americans to take u.s. 66 to the 1932 summer olympics in los angeles.  the association went on to serve as a voice for businesses along the highway until it disbanded in 1976.
traffic grew on the highway because of the geography through which it passed. much of the highway was essentially flat and this made the highway a popular truck route. the "dust bowl" of the 1930s saw many farming families, mainly from oklahoma, arkansas, kansas, and texas, heading west for agricultural jobs in california. u.s. 66 became the main road of travel for these people, often derogatorily called "okies" or "arkies." during the great depression, it gave some relief to communities located on the highway. the route passed through numerous small towns and, with the growing traffic on the highway, helped create the rise of mom-and-pop businesses, such as service stations, restaurants, and motor courts, all readily accessible to passing motorists.
much of the early highway, like all the other early highways, was gravel or graded dirt. due to the efforts of the u.s. highway 66 association, u.s. 66 became the first highway to be completely paved from terminus to terminus in 1938. several places were dangerous: more than one part of the highway was nicknamed "bloody 66" and gradually work was done to realign these segments to remove dangerous curves. however, one section through the black mountains outside oatman, arizona, was fraught with hairpin turns and was the steepest along the entire route, so much so that some early travelers, too frightened at the prospect of driving such a potentially dangerous road, hired locals to navigate the winding grade. 
despite such hazards in some areas, u.s. 66 continued to be a popular route. and the oatman section remained as u.s. 66 until 1953 (and is still open to traffic today as the oatman highway). when the oatman highway through the black mountains was completely bypassed by a new route between kingman, arizona, and needles, california; by the 1960s, oatman, arizona, was virtually abandoned as a ghost town.
notable buildings include the art deco–styled u-drop inn, constructed in 1936 in shamrock, just east of amarillo, texas, and it is now listed on the national register of historic places. a restored magnolia fuel station is also located in shamrock as well as vega, which is on the other side of amarillo to the west...
during world war II, more migration west occurred because of war-related industries in california. u.s. 66, already popular and fully paved, became one of the main routes and also served for moving military equipment. fort leonard wood in missouri was located near the highway, which was locally upgraded quickly to a divided highway to help with military traffic.
with the popularity and affordability of the automobile in the early 1950's, people were taking more driving trips and seeing the country. as a result, u.s. 66 became the main highway for vacationers heading to los angeles. the road passed through the painted desert, the petrified forest, just south of meteor crater, and very near the grand canyon. this sharp increase in tourism in turn gave rise to a burgeoning trade in all manner of roadside attractions, including teepee-shaped motels, rock collecting shops, frozen custard stands, native american trading posts and curio shops, statues of giant dinosaurs, and reptile farms. meramec caverns near st. louis, began advertising on barns, billing itself as the "jesse james hideout." the big texan steakhouse and saloon in amarillo advertised a free 72-ounce steak dinner to anyone who could consume the entire meal in one hour (the restaurant and offer both still exist to this day). 
the 1950's also marked the birth of the fast-food industry along route 66: red's giant hamburg in springfield, missouri, site of the first drive-through restaurant, and the first mcdonald's in san bernardino, california. changes like these to the landscape further cemented route 66's reputation as a near-perfect microcosm of the culture of america, now linked by the automobile
however, just after hitting its peak in popularity and traffic, the beginning of the end for route 66 was also happening in the late 1950s. the start of the decline for u.s. 66 came in 1956 with the signing of the interstate highway act by president dwight d. eisenhower who was influenced by his experiences in 1919 as a young army officer crossing the country in a truck convoy (following the route of the lincoln highway, u.s. 30) and how long it took having to travel through small town after small town, combined with eisenhower's appreciation of the fast paced and free flowing german autobahn network as a necessary component of a national defense system...
during its nearly 60-year existence, u.s. 66 was under constant change. as highway engineering became more sophisticated, engineers constantly sought more direct routes between cities and towns. increased traffic led to a number of major and minor realignments of u.s. 66 through the years, particularly in the years immediately following world war II when illinois began widening u.s. 66 to four lanes through virtually the entire state from chicago to the mississippi river just east of st. louis, and included bypasses around virtually all of the smaller towns. by the early to mid-1950s, missouri also upgraded its sections of u.s. 66 to four lanes complete with bypasses. most of the newer four-lane 66 paving in both states was upgraded to freeway status in later years.
one of the remnants of u.s. 66 is the highway now known as veterans parkway, east and south of normal and bloomington, illinois. the two sweeping curves on the southeast and southwest of the cities originally were intended to easily handle traffic at speeds up to 100 miles per hour, as part of an effort to make illinois 66 an autobahn equivalent for military transport.
in 1953, the first major bypassing of u.s. 66 occurred in oklahoma with the opening of the turner turnpike between tulsa and oklahoma city. the new 88-mile toll road paralleled u.s. 66 for its entire length and bypassed each of the towns along route 66. the turner turnpike was joined in 1957 by the new will rogers turnpike, which connected tulsa with the oklahoma-missouri border west of joplin, missouri, again paralleling u.s. 66 and bypassing all the towns in northeastern oklahoma in addition to its entire stretch through kansas. both oklahoma turnpikes were soon designated as i-44, along with the u.s. 66 bypass at tulsa that connected the city with both turnpikes.
in some cases, such as many areas in illinois, the new interstate highway not only paralleled the old u.s. 66, it actually used much of the same roadway. a typical approach was to build one new set of lanes, then move one direction of traffic to it, while retaining the original road for traffic flowing in the opposite direction. then a second set of lanes for traffic flowing in the other direction would be constructed, finally followed by abandoning the other old set of lanes or converting them into a frontage road.
the same scenario was used in western oklahoma when u.s. 66 was initially upgraded to a four-lane highway such as from sayre through erick to the texas border at texola in 1957 and 1958 where the old paving was retained for westbound traffic and a new parallel lane built for eastbound traffic (much of this section was entirely bypassed by i-40 in 1975), and on two other sections; from canute to elk city in 1959 and hydro to weatherford in 1960, both of which were upgraded with the construction of a new westbound lane in 1966 to bring the highway up to full interstate standards and demoting the old u.s. 66 paving to frontage road status. in the initial process of constructing i-40 across western oklahoma, the state also included projects to upgrade the through routes in el reno, weatherford, clinton, canute, elk city, sayre, erick, and texola to four-lane highways not only to provide seamless transitions from the rural sections of i-40 from both ends of town but also to provide easy access to those cities in later years after the i-40 bypasses were completed.

in new mexico, as in most other states, rural sections of i-40 were to be constructed first with bypasses around cities to come later. however, some business and civic leaders in cities along u.s. 66 were completely opposed to bypassing fearing loss of business and tax revenues. in 1963, the new mexico state legislature enacted laws that banned the construction of interstate bypasses around cities by local request.
this legislation was short-lived, however, due to pressures from washington and threat of loss of federal highway funds, so it was rescinded by 1965. in 1964, tucumcari and san jon became the first cities in new mexico to work out an agreement with state and federal officials in determining the locations of their i-40 bypasses as close to their business areas as possible in order to permit easy access for highway travelers to their localities. other cities soon fell in line including santa rosa, moriarty, grants and gallup although it wasn't until well into the 1970s that most of those cities would be bypassed by i-40.

by the late 1960s, most of the rural sections of u.s. 66 had been replaced by i-40 across new mexico with the most notable exception being the 40-mile (64 km) strip from the texas border at glenrio west through san jon to tucumcari, which was becoming increasingly treacherous due to heavier and heavier traffic on the narrow two-lane highway. during 1968 and 1969, this section of u.s. 66 was often referred to by locals and travelers as "slaughter lane" due to numerous injury and fatal accidents on this stretch. local and area business and civic leaders and news media called upon state and federal highway officials to get i-40 built through the area...
however, disputes over proposed highway routing in the vicinity of san jon held up construction plans for several years as federal officials proposed that i-40 run some five to six miles (8 to 10 km) north of that city while local and state officials insisted on following a proposed route that touched the northern city limits of san jon. in november 1969, a truce was reached when federal highway officials agreed to build the i-40 route just outside the city, therefore providing local businesses dependent on highway traffic easy access to and from the freeway via the north–south highway that crossed old u.s. 66 in san jon. i-40 was completed from glenrio to the east side of san jon in 1976 and extended west to tucumcari in 1981, including the bypasses around both cities.
originally, highway officials planned for the last section of u.s. 66 to be bypassed by interstates in texas, but as was the case in many places, lawsuits held up construction of the new interstates. the u.s. highway 66 association had become a voice for the people who feared the loss of their businesses. since the interstates only provided access via ramps at interchanges, travelers could not pull directly off a highway into a business. at first, plans were laid out to allow mainly national chains to be placed in interstate medians. such lawsuits effectively prevented this on all but toll roads. some towns in missouri threatened to sue the state if the u.s. 66 designation was removed from the road, though lawsuits never materialized. several businesses were well known to be on u.s. 66, and fear of losing the number resulted in the state of missouri officially requesting the designation "interstate 66" for the st. louis to oklahoma city section of the route, but it was denied. in 1984, arizona also saw its final stretch of highway decommissioned with the completion of i-40 just north of williams, arizona. finally, with decertification of the highway by the american association of state highway and transportation officials the following year, u.s. 66 officially ceased to exist.
after decertification, when the highway was decommissioned, sections of the road were disposed of in various ways. within many cities, the route became a "business loop" for the interstate. some sections became state roads, local roads, private drives, or were abandoned completely. although it is no longer possible to drive u.s. 66 uninterrupted all the way from chicago to los angeles like it once was in its heyday, much of the original route and alternate alignments are still drivable with careful planning. some stretches are quite well preserved, including one between springfield, missouri, and tulsa, oklahoma. some sections of u.s. 66 still retain their historic 9-foot-wide "sidewalk highway" form, never having been resurfaced to make them into full-width highways. these old sections have a single, paved lane, concrete curbs to mark the edge of the lane, and gravel shoulders for passing.

some states have kept the 66 designation for parts of the highway, albeit as state roads. in missouri, routes 366, 266, and 66 are all original sections of the highway. state highway 66 (sh-66) in oklahoma remains as the alternate "free" route near its turnpikes. "historic route 66" runs for a significant distance in and near flagstaff, arizona. farther west, a long segment of u.s. 66 in arizona runs significantly north of i-40, and much of it is designated as state route 66 (sr 66). this runs from seligman to kingman, arizona, via peach springs. a surface street stretch between san bernardino and la verne (known as Foothill Boulevard) to the east of los angeles retains its number as sr 66. several county roads and city streets at various places along the old route have also retained the "66" number.
with the decommissioning of u.s. 66, no single interstate route was designated to replace it...currently multiple freeways now cover the entire course of the old route 66...,old route 66 is now covered by interstate 55 from chicago to st. louis...interstate 44 from st. louis to oklahoma city...interstate 40 from oklahoma city to barstow, california...interstate 15 from barstow to san bernardino, and a combination of i-210 and state route 2 (sr-2) and i-10 from san bernardino across the los angeles metropolitan area to santa monica.  
"realize, the single most important juncture between heaven and earth is, you" ― bodhinku, juncture    
this next song i would like you to give a good ear and listen to is an exquisitely beautiful cover version of the the chart-topping hit "dust in the wind" by kansas (original version) from the early 1980s. this version (link is below) is sung by caroline jones, who i first heard singing a duet "breathe in, breathe out, move on" with jimmy buffett (easily one of my all-time favorite artists) her eloquent voice adds so much depth to the meaning of the song, to me this version is even more beautiful than the original by kansas....and although many people think this song is depressing, i see it as hopeful and magical, and a perfect fit for my impression and blog today... 
we began as dust in a celestial wind, and will return to that one day. and while we exist on this planet, we are really insignificant specks, beings who are who we are for only a tiny moment in the infinity of time, one that is quickly running out, "like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives"...and we all really are only dust in the wind when compared to the vast eternity of the universe and should never feel any more special than that. all we truly need to recognize and realize in our hearts is the magic of life, and the magic of love, and how important it is to live to the fullest during the short time we have in this universe before returning to be just dust in the wind once again..."dust in the wind" by caroline jones (kansas cover version) ... i sound old, but they just do not make songs like this anymore...(just click on any of words in the blue links to listen to the song)...  
"i close my eyes...only for a moment, and the moment's gone...all my dreams pass before my eyes, a curiosity. dust in the wind, all they are is dust in the wind...same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea. all we do crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see. dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind...now, don't hang on. nothin' lasts forever but the earth and sky. it slips away, and all your money won't another minute buy. dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind. dust in the wind. everything is dust in the wind, the wind" ― caroline jones, dust in the wind (kansas cover)  
"give your best to whatever opportunity you get; never underestimate the significance of even the smallest of junctures. your past action will one day become your future redemption" ― gautama siddhartha buddha, sayings of buddha
"no one saves us but ourselves. no one can and no one may. we ourselves must walk the middle path" ― gautama siddhartha buddha, sayings of buddha
"watch your thoughts; they become words. watch your words; they become actions. watch your actions; they become habit. watch your habits; they become character. watch your character; it becomes your destiny" ― lao tzu, tao te ching  
"only in the darkness can you see the stars" ― martin luther king, jr., strength to love 
"one of the most beautiful things to do is to paint darkness, paint the void which nevertheless has light in it, just like the starry night" ― vincent van gogh, dear theo        
"she was at once a mystical journey into the heart of the earth and the calm found in the fading light of sunset. she was like a moonless sky; dark, deep and eternal. upon her skin a blanket of stars was scattered to be traced by knowing fingers..." ― c. ara campbell
"travel down dusty roads without a destination in mind. get lost and lose yourself (they are two separate things). explore the wilderness (especially the one within). think less of destiny and more of the moment right here" ― beau taplin, remedy
"and i, infinitesima­l being,
drunk with the great starry
likeness, image of
i felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
i wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke loose on the wind" ― pablo neruda
"it was my destiny to love and say goodbye" ― pablo neruda
"she was that wild thing i loved. my dark between the stars" ― atticus, love her wild
"to realize one's destiny is a person's only real obligation and when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it" ― paulo coelho, the alchemist
"buddha is a buddha. christ is a christ. you are you. and you are not in any way less than anybody else. respect yourself, respect your own inner voice and follow it to where you need to be" ― osho, love, freedom, aloneness
"it is only when you are full of hope, radiant, vibrating; when there is meaning in your life, when you feel the hands of destiny in your life, when you are riding on waves, when you feel at the top of the world--those are the junctures to remember, to move towards the way" ― osho, zen: the path of paradox
"even when you think you have your life all mapped out, junctures happen that shape your destiny in ways you might never even have imagined. the coincidences or little miracles that happen every day of your life are hints that the universe has much bigger plans for you than you ever dreamed of for yourself" ― deepak chopra, buddha
"every cubic inch of space is a miracle" ― walt whitman, leaves of grass    
"i trembled to think of a world without stars. no guide for the sailor to trust at see, no jewels to dazzle our sense of beauty...but all around the globe, the air is so dirty and the lights from the cities are so bright that for some people few stars can be seen anymore. a generation of children may grow up seeing a blank sky and asking, "did there used to be stars there?"― michael jackson, dancing the dream
"there are those who think that life has nothing left to chance. a host of holy horrors to direct our aimless dance. a planet of playthings, we dance on the strings of powers we cannot perceive. the stars aren't aligned or the gods are malign, blame is better to give than receive. you can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice. if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice. you can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill, i will choose a path that's clear, i will choose freewill" ― rush, freewill
"words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup,
they slither wildly as they slip away across the universe
pools of sorrow, waves of joy are drifting through my open mind,
possessing and caressing me.
images of broken light which dance before me like a million eyes,
they call me on and on across the universe,
thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letter box
they tumble blindly as they make their way
across the universe
sounds of laughter shades of love are
ringing through my open ears inciting and inviting me
limitless undying love which shines around me like a 
million suns, and calls me on and on
across the universe" 
― john lennon (kurt cobain cover), across the universe
"there's nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be" john lennon, all you need is love
"perfection of divinity is everyone's duty. don't waste your time living for the vanities. we are creatures of love, victims of destiny which we create. start living on a higher vibration. now we take it to the heights of creation"  ziggy marley, higher vibration
"our most meaningful relationships are often those that continued beyond the juncture at which they came closest to ending" ― cheryl strayed, brave enough
“at those critical junctures, the question is not simply whether to live or die but what kind of life is worth living" ― paul kalanithi, when breath becomes air

"every time you confront something painful, you are at a potentially important juncture in your life...you have the opportunity to choose healthy and painful truth or unhealthy but comfortable delusion" ― ray dalio, principles: life and work
“said the phoenix: destiny is a myth. destiny is the only myth. the gods choose nothing. you chose. you chose your path...at every critical juncture you were given an option; you were given a way out. yet you picked precisely the roads that led you here. kneeling before me, only because you wanted to be" ― r.f. kuang, the poppy war
"if you’re not still learning, you’re already dying...learn from everyone and everything. at every step and every juncture in life, there is the opportunity to learn—and even if the lesson is purely remedial, we must not let ego block us from hearing it again" ― ryan holiday, ego Is the enemy
"at critical junctures, outer trouble, and the inner need to grow, conspire to set each of us on a path of awakening and initiation" ― michael meade, the tempering of the soul
"the path of destiny pulls you forward. it exhumes you from a state of being, and propels you towards the juncture you were created for. a new frontier that you are forced to tread with a cross on your back, heavy as a boulder...so, i press forward, move, rely on the hope of the future, create the possible out of the impossible as i weave into life’s grand tapestry...i believe in the things that wait for me--my enemies, my friends, and most of all, love. it is the finish line i hunger for, the promise of love in all of its glory. i can endure all things in the bold name of love. and i will" ― addison moore, vex
"in life, there are as many critical stages as there are stars. and just like stars, most of the time we cannot see them. they are hidden by storm clouds or bright light. however, there are certain crucial junctures in life; even the blind can easily witness with a little soulful reflection. these moments, lived and experienced properly, bring beauty and grace into the life of every human willing to see" ― r.j. blizzard
"imagine a great net spread across the universe. each juncture is a 'being', and if we imagine that consciousness as a drop of dew, we can see that in each shining drop resides the reflection of every other drop on the net" ― sandy boucher, opening the lotus
"only from the heart can you touch the stars in the sky" ― jalaluddin rumi 
"you know how it is. sometimes we plan a trip to one place, but something takes us to another" ― jalaluddin rumi, a year with rumi  
"every juncture i shape my destiny with a chisel, i am a carpenter of my own soul" ― jalaluddin rumi, the soul of rumi
"when you find yourself embracing for one breath, in that juncture you will find your true destiny...don’t spoil this precious moment. moments like this are very, very rare" ― jalaluddin rumi, the essential rumi
"so many things are coming together in this image...looking into the past and seeing the future at the same time, history along with this present reality here and now, seeing things both old and new, the earth and the sky at once, both glowing light and pitch blackness, natural and man-made creations side-by-side ...so many junctures in the continuum of space and time" ― bodhinku, multiple junctures
this impression was captured standing in the middle of an abandoned portion of the historic national highway, u.s. route 66, in the middle of the night and morning on march 21, 2021...this is an image comprising 24 separate exposures, all shot at 24mm (and each in a portrait orientation), all taken in succession of each other on a uniform horizontal plane, in two separate panoramic rows comprised of 12 photos each level (one row of 12 for the milky way arch and one row of 12 for the road)...each separate row of 12 images was combined and stitched together using the photomerge function in adobe photoshop cc...then the two separate rows were merged and stitched together into one cohesive composition using again the photomerge function in adobe photoshop cc, creating a composition of 24 separate exposures
the individual shots in each row of 12 images has the same exact camera settings...for the 12 of the stars/milky way arch taken at 4:44am: f/1.4 @ 24mm for 15 seconds, iso-1600...for the 12 of the road and foreground taken almost two hours later and just a few minutes before the sunrise over the road at 6:40am: f/8 @ 24mm for 33 seconds, iso-64...
the headlights coming at me in the middle of the road were created by parking my jeep grand cherokee pretty far down in the middle of the abandended road, and turning on my lights for a split second in the middle three of the 33 second exposures in the bottom row of 12...i used my remote start and stop feature on my jeep to turn the lights on and off from afar at my position behind my tripod and camera...
in my photography, i always use filters to create longer exposure effects, saturate colors naturally, and balance the light in my composition in-camera. and this composition is no exception...i often use as many as four filters at time, and i always use at least one filter...for this exposure, to get the effects and balance i was looking for, i used two progreyusa filters in the capture of this composition...  
the two filters i used in the capture of the lower row of 12 exposures in this composition: a 3.0 nd progrey antarctica filter to bring the pre-sunrise light in the image down 10 stops to permit for the 33sec exposure and naturally saturate all the blues in the image...combined with a 1.2 reverse gnd progrey aurora filter to help balance in-camera overall the image the way i envisioned it...in this case, to stop down the bright car headlights in the middle of the road, along with the brighter pre-sunrise sky an extra four stops and help permit details come out better in each of the 12 exposures in the shadows of the mountains and the details in the road in the foreground, especially the route 66 logo and painted lines, and thus help balance in-camera overall the image the way i envisioned it...
in the 12 exposures of the upper row of images of the stars and milky way arch, no filters were needed and thus none were used...
to hold the filters and secure them to my nikon d810 mounted with a nikon nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 i used the progrey g-120z magnetic holder...
with this being a series of 12x2 semi-long exposures put together, an excellent panhead and a stable and sturdy tripod are absolute necessities...i used my faithful induro phq1 series 5-way panhead mounted on my dolica tripod 70" carbon fiber tripod...these are necessary in order to keep the 12x2 separate exposed images of each of the two rows in perfect line on the same plane with each other, and in sharp focus in all the places i wanted sharpness...
i wish to openly thank my sponsors who have always supported me through both the good and bad times...for truly this long exposure impression would not be possible without the use of my faithful induro phq3 series 5-way panhead mounted on my dolica tripod 70" carbon fiber tripod, in combination with the progreyusa filters which i use with every photo i take...
"if nothing else...if i open my eyes, if i cry, if i think, if i sigh, if i giggle, if i dance, if i love, if i breathe, then i have lived a full days worth of life...nothing is wasted, nothing" ― bodhinku, if nothing else
"contemplate without thinking. be certain only in your uncertainty. stop the world. slow down everything. let it all be. shut off the noise. relax. seize this moment. reconnect. feel and sense what surrounds you. listen to all the colors of light whisper as they envelope you. see the melody and harmony that float about unnoticed. taste the solitude of all this wonderment. smell the beautiful silence. now discover your peaceful serenity. then, reach out and touch your faith with all your senses. this is my world. awaken!" ― bodhinku, my world
"my photography is my way of keeping a diary" ― bodhinku, my diary  
i leave you today wishing that bright joy and spiritual peace fill your life...
imploring you to make every moment count, no matter what, always and forever,
for that is the only thing that truly matters... 
and above all else,
i hope this message and impression find you well.
please visit me at:
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