The Road to Nowhere

"Stupid is as stupid does."  Many of you will remember this line, as well as many other particularly memorable quotes, uttered by Tom Hanks' character in Forrest Gump.  Believe it our not, that movie, based on the 1986 novel by Winston Groom, turned 20 years old this year.  Winner of several Academy Awards, as well as many other accolades, and also making a few bucks at the box office, I guess you could say that the movie was well-received.  Who could forget the memorable cast of characters, including Lieutenant Dan, Jenny, 'Bubba', and of course Forrest Gump.  

As you may recall, Forrest decided to go for a run one day.  And he ran a lot.  In fact, he ran for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours.  That's a lot of running.  When he finally decided to stop, claiming, "I'm pretty tired...I think I'll go home now", he was on Route 163 just north of Monument Valley.  Courtesy of a Google image search, this familiar scene is shown in the image below.  

Route 163, more affectionately known as The Road to Nowhere, runs from Kayenta, Arizona, through Monument Valley, to Bluff, Utah.  After spending a couple days exploring the desert backcountry, we headed down this road toward Mexican Hat and our final destination in Bluff.  This epic scene is a popular stop along the way, so we decided to make a few images while we were passing through.  

The Road to Nowhere

I hadn't planned on going for a run that day, or any day of the trip for that matter, but thought why not recreate this scene from the movie.  Starting at the maroon Explorer on the right in the image below, I made a slow jog up the hill to where Phil and Bob were parked.  Phil was shooting the images for me as I trudged along.  Thanks Phil!  (Check out some of Phil's amazing photography at this link.)    

I didn't have a group of followers like Forrest did in the movie, but there were a few other photographers with the same idea.  The vehicles and other distractions were removed in Photoshop to make the final image below.

It was another fun day on our whirlwind tour of the Desert Southwest.  Check back for more as we travel to Mexican Hat and visit some ancient ruins around Bluff!