Flower Mound, Texas
"This was the rest stop that inspired the project," says Ryann Ford of Austin, Texas, whose new book, "The Last Stop: Vanishing Relics of the American Roadside," captures a fading moment in time. The photographer recalls being shocked to learn that the Flower Mound rest stop was about to be destroyed. "The next weekend, I drove four hours north to shoot it, and sure enough, it was demolished a few weeks later."
All photos by Ryann Ford, from "The Last Stop: Vanishing Rest Stops of the American Roadside," published by powerHouse Books
White Sands National Monument, New Mexico
"This is by far my favorite location," says Ford. "The picnic tables there are iconic, straight out of the '60s, and the landscape is like no place else on Earth."
Monument Valley, Arizona
One of the last picnic tables in this spectacular location. "There were many more, but the rest were demolished so that a hotel overlooking the valley could be built.," Ford notes. "This table is located in a pull-off, offering a great view of 'The Mittens' rock formations in the background."
"This is one of the most remote rest areas in the country. These tepees are hidden just outside Big Bend National Park, right on the Rio Grande. As we were shooting, a pack of javelinas ran by."
Walker Lake, Nevada
Around this rest stop off US 95, the photographer saw countless large spiders. "It was so strange and creepy that we Googled it, and sure enough, news articles detailed the freakish spider infestation."
A stop along Highway 50, aka "The Loneliest Road in America."
Another stop on US 84. "I was driving to Colorado from Texas and stopped at sunrise to get this photo. It was the middle of winter and below freezing. There wasn't a soul around."
Abiquiu, New Mexico
On US 84, near Abiquiu. "I was driving back to Texas, after being in Colorado for Christmas, when I passed this stop," says Ford. "We were the first ones to stop there since snow had fallen overnight."
Clines Corners, New Mexico
This spot was named for Roy E. Cline, who built a gas station and café at the intersection of US 6 and US 2 in 1934. He had to do it again three years later, when the intersection moved slightly north and the highways became Route 66 and US 285.
This stop on I-95 was closed and fenced off, Ford recalls. "But we found a farm road just past the rest area that took us around back. It looked like it had been closed for years; some of the giant oaks had fallen on a few of the tepees, and it was winter, so the trees were bare."
Bonneville Salt Flats, Wendover, Utah
"Since beginning the project years ago, this had been at the top of my list. Once I found out that the book was a go, I made a special trip to Utah just to shoot this stop. The salt flats were magical. This has got to be one of the most incredible places in the country."
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