Book Review: Ryann Ford's "The Last Stop"
Road trips are a symbol of spontaneity, excitement, and an expansion of the travel palette. Rest stops were sprinkled along highways and within national parks to serve as places to refuel and recollect before hitting the road again. Ryann Ford took note of the historical importance of these rest stops within their minimalistic scene and captured them in a way that highlights how raw, although man-made, these rest stops are.
“The Last Stop” takes its viewers on a journey to the rest stops throughout the mid-West and the West Coast of the United States. Each image is paired with its location pinpointed on a map, the city or park it is in, and its coordinates, allowing us to place ourselves in the photograph even more.
Ford shows us the Teepee rest stops in Lajitas, Texas, the beach hut in Walker Lake, Nevada, the pet stop in Amarillo, Texas, and the since-demolished, Texas flag-painted rest stop in Flower Mound, Texas that helped inspire the trip that created this project. Although void of life, these stops serve to remind us of the travelers that have been there before and the importance of preserving them for travelers to come.
The rest stops being displayed against the expansive backdrop of the mid-West and the West Coast remind us both of how vast a nation we live in and yet how connected we all are. Both literally and figuratively, these highways, roadways, and national parks connect us all, and our footprints and stories can be found at each of these locations, down to the very last stop.
© Images curtesy of Ryann Ford and powerHouse Books.
© Article by Liana DeMasi.