Sometimes a road trip is just the ticket for a fun filled adventure. That’s exactly what my assignment was when I got the call from National Geographic Traveler Magazine. The magazine needed coverage of central California, specifically the missions, but also other things that tie into a road trip like wine tasting, food and a sense of the landscape. I set off on the opposite direction that the writer mapped out. My trip started just outside of LA and his started in San Francisco. In this case, it was possible to follow the footsteps of the narrative in reverse. Over the course of this assignment, I visited four missions: San Juan Bautista, San Miguel, San Antonio and La Purisima. It was wonderful to roam the missions, attend services and learn about the history of this area. I also had the privilege to stay at the Hacienda Lodge located on an Army Base at Fort Hunter Liggett. I remember being exhausted when I arrived late at night, but because I had to enter an army facility, I was chosen for the “special” search of my vehicle on my way into the base. This historic property was once owned by the Hearst Family and is just on the other side of the fence from Mission San Antonio.
To round out the story, I visited some amazing restaurants from the funky steakhouse, Jockos, to the really delicious Artisan in Paso Robles. I also toured and photographed an amazing olive farm called Kiler Ridge and did a little bit of wine tasting at Foxen vineyards. My personal highlight was visiting the Work Guest Ranch located in the hills just outside of San Miguel. I love horses and take every opportunity I have to ride. Although shooting while riding presents its own set of challenges, it’s supremely fun to ride around with the subject on the rolling hills of Central California at sunset. There is so much beauty in the world and I feel extremely privileged to have these adventures.
The story is not online, so I’m posting it here. If you would like to see more pictures from this story, you can find them online here. Thank you for visiting!