I have a burning passion for preservation. My heart to save and preserve history definitely found its roots as I grew up traveling my favorite winding back road, South Carolina Highway Number 9. I decided to use my gifts to capture some landmarks during my latest trip, since photography is one of the best forms of visual preservation next to memory. My soul resides approximately 76.8 miles east. Cheraw, SC is the place most of you stop to grab a fresh sweet tea and take a bathroom break as you travel between Rock Hill and Myrtle Beach. Ever since I was a baby this particular route has been the long or short trip, depending on if my mom (learn more about her by searching our loving hashtag #shitangelasays) is driving or not.

I've been thinking a lot lately about routes, particularly the route that I know better than the back of my hand. That old side road that stretches between SC HWY 521 and connects me back to SC HWY 9... I have had dreams about that road, about driving blindfolded and never missing a curve, a pothole, a hill, a house, a church, a graveyard, a barn.

Despite the 26 years that have been weathered, this route remains constant. The anticipation that fills my soul as I set out on any trip home grows with each passing mile. I'm always curious to see what buildings have changed, who's family has grown enough to build additions, who's still maintaining their family homestead, if the churches have new signs and flowers, and the like.

 

 

Old Tradesville Store, roadtrip SC HWY 9

 

Mt. Croghan, roadtrip SC HWY 9

 

Each landmark holds a story for my family. There was that time our lab got sick in the car, or the one time when I'd had way too much of Nana's sweet tea and learned the value of peeing in a ditch at 2 or 3 years old (too much info?! oops..), or that time I got my little Honda Civic stuck on what should have been hard ground--and my sister thought a Criminal Minds episode was about to go down with an ax murder as a sweet man pulled us from the mud in the middle of that fateful pitch-black night.

 

Ruby SC road sign, roadtrip SC HWY 9

Each landmark holds memory. My great grandmother was named Ruby, for the 'town' of Ruby, SC. There's the produce market where we get fresh boiled peanuts each time we ride down. That house of which only the chimney remains due to some sad fire...

 

Wagram NC, roadtrip Old Wire Road

 

"...time is the master of perspective. A dispassionate master, breathtakingly efficient." - Kate Morton

To me, photography is preservation. That must be why photography chose me; it knew I would do my best to preserve history in my own way.

 

Interested in seeing more landscape and landmark images? Like this post :)

All images are © sMm Photography 2013.

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