Kevin Boyles: Roadtrip from Glacier to Hellgate Valley

“Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.”

- Ernest Hemingway

It’s a tragedy that Hemingway never got his hands on a Leica Digilux 2. I set off on my last road trip with my D2 while very much in love. We left Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and journeyed to Glacier National Park by way of Montana’s famous Going-to-the-Sun Road. Notable stops on our trip included Glacier National Park, Main Street in Bozeman, Hellgate Valley and the equally hellish Thunderbird Motel, which one anonymous traveler described as being “hot as hell.”

Although I’ve traveled with various cameras over the years, my first serious digital camera was the Leica Digilux 2. It has delivered the most remarkable photographs. What I find so intriguing about the D2′s unorthodox electronic viewfinder is the pointillist way it represents the shot. Of course this lightweight and versatile camera delivers the balance of contrast, tone, color and detail that Leica has always been renowned for. The end results exceed all expectations and most definitely add detail and nuance unnoticed at the scene.

I’ve always found photographing landscapes to be nearly impossible, primarily due to my lack of a large format camera, commitment and patience. I’m also daunted by the limitless opportunities and the inability to capture the perfectly rendered grandeur that Ansel Adams, Edward Curtis, Edward Weston and a handful of pioneers provided us.

As I was reviewing my photographs from the Glacier to Hellgate drive, I recalled this song by Hank Williams, who sang it all so well, a long time ago.

Lost Highway

I’m a rolling stone, all alone and lost,
For a life of sin, I have paid the cost.
When I pass by, all the people say
“Just another guy on the lost highway.”

Just a deck of cards and a jug of wine
And a woman’s lies make a life like mine.
Oh, the day we met, I went astray,
I started rollin’ down that lost highway.

I was just a lad, nearly twenty-two,
Neither good nor bad, just a kid like you,
And now I’m lost, too late to pray,
Lord, I’ve paid the cost on the lost highway.

Now, boys, don’t start your ramblin’ round,
On this road of sin or you’re sorrow bound.
Take my advice or you’ll curse the day
You started rollin’ down that lost highway.

-Kevin Boyles

If you’d like to see more of Kevin’s work visit his website, kevinboylesphotography.com.