The National Monuments of the Southwest Project

Richard Charpentier Airstream Blogs, Notes from Rich, Travel Leave a Comment

Since I landed in Prescott Arizona in 2007 I have absolutely been in love with the scenery of the desert southwest.  I’ve photographed as much as I could over the years, and it just hasn’t been enough.  I want more!

Starting the gallery, print business, and studio took a lot of time.  When you’re punching the clock for yourself you find quickly that you’re stuck, and unable to get out and capture the next image you want.  If you’re not at the business, business isn’t being done.  But if you’re not producing new images…..?  Well, you can only sell so many copies of the same image.  You’re stuck in a Catch 22.  Can’t leave, and yet you need to head out.  In the end, I opted to stay at the gallery too much, and sacrificed the ability to find those amazing images.

After my first visit to the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument I became addicted to remote locations that aren’t familiar to the average person.  And I wanted more.  So happy that photography doesn’t involve needles, otherwise I’d be covered in track marks!

Exploring those remote locations where few dare to tread fueled my desire to see more.  And years ago I had a project idea.  “Why not photograph all of the National Monuments in the Southwest?  Nobody has ever done a complete compilation of them…….”  Of course, there was never enough time.  In the gallery 5 days a week, not enough funds for trips all over the Southwest……the idea got tabled.

Today we take that idea off of the table.  Today we say, “Why not?”

Last night I finalized a Kickstarter project.  The name is simple.  “The National Monuments of the Southwest.”  In total, there are currently 44 National Monuments in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah.  And the project is straightforward.  Tour 2 monuments per week.  Photograph them, create videos about each, publish a 140 page photo book on them, and compile a 2 hour documentary on all of them.  Oh, and once the project is wrapped up, create a book on visiting them for RV’ers and Campers alike.  Of course, the blog will play a large role in this as well.

The National Monuments in the Southwest contain some of the most stunning scenes imaginable.  They’re part of our history, and I want to bring that history alive through this project.  They’re also often overlooked by folks as they travel the country.  National Parks, that’s what people are thinking as they travel.  And they drive right on by some of the most spectacular scenery in the race to see the parks.  The Monuments might as well be parks, but since they aren’t they get overlooked.  With this project we’ll bring them right to you!

The blog will change a bit to accommodate this project.  New categories will be created.  A National Monuments Project category will be created, and then sections for each state.  We’ll track mileage between parks, cost of overnight stays, & travel costs.  Many of the Monuments are located in BLM areas, so free camping is a possibility.  Pay for campgrounds are also available.  And we’ll relay our choices and alternatives each day.  We’ll be blogging the whole thing to be sure.  And in the end, we’ll compile a great online guide for anyone interested in the National Monuments of the Southwest.

Of course, there’s a catch.  We can only launch this if the project gets backed.  And that’s where our readers come in.  I know how many people read this site each day, week, and month.  And I know how many keep coming back.  With your support, and your willingness to share this project with your friends I know we can fund this project……..

So for all of you who were so happy the Airstream Chronicles got new life into the site last year, now is the time to help out.  Back this project and I promise you some amazing reads, images, videos, and finally some amazing publications coming out of this idea!

Check out the project, back it if you can, and help us get the word out.  The Airstream Chronicles Continued is about to go somewhere amazing…..with your help!!!


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