My most recent cover image turned into one of my favorite OK Living covers in recent years. I got this assignment to photograph off-road parks across Oklahoma. Heck yea, that is right down my wheelhouse!! Right after I got the assignment I happened to be in Disney on a dual sport motorcycle ride, but a rode closer and 25-mile re-route meant I didn’t have time to get the images that day. So I made a special trip to Disney to get the cover photo.
Disney ORV area
I drove my Chevy Silverado and loaded my newly refurbished – by me – KTM 250sx 2-stroke dirt bike to use as a platform to ride around the rugged Disney trails. I needed to do some testing on the KTM anyway, so sounded like a fun opportunity. Little did I know that the rocks were so rugged on the trail, it felt like I was on an observed trails ride the entire time. I was thankful to be on such a light weight dirt bike, but it was some rough riding to follow these rock crawlers around and take photos. Usually on a dirt bike and most trails, the motorcycles are WAY faster than 4-wheeled vehicles. But when every boulder becomes the size of a suitcase, these $100,000 rock crawlers can drive right over them like they weren’t there, and my much smaller motorcycle has to bounce from rock to rock to rock trying to keep up. It was much more difficult than I expected.
I had ridden at Crossbar Ranch before and knew it was much more suitable to motorcycles than the ultra-rugged Disney trails I had been on. I ended up riding my Suzuki DRZ-400 dual-sport enduro motorcycle to Crossbar and had a much easier time following the side-by-sides around and capturing photos there. For the most part my DRZ was much faster through the trails. These were not the giant boulder fields of Disney ORV area!
I had already photographed Little Sahara several years ago, and the images were still pertinent to the story, so my editor agreed to use images from my existing stock for that part of the story. Saved me a trip there and them the cost of me driving to Little Sahara.
Susan Dragoo – Writer
My good friend Susan Dragoo was the writer for this story. We have worked together several times in the past. She and I discussed the parks that she was writing about and the content of the story, and then it was my job to capture that story with pictures. I was really happy with the story/photo combination we came up with. You can read the story here —> Off-Road Oklahoma