Postcards from the Road

During the period from 1986 to 2005, I did a lot of traveling out West and elsewhere. These were the years when Sue and I took many trips to the western national parks, California, and Oregon, and when I drove across the country several times with my father.

Dad Trips 2000_17I spent some time not long ago browsing through the postcards I had collected during those 20 years. I discovered that I had amassed quite a collection, about 250 postcards and notecards. As a winter project, I decided to scan them all and (of course) organize the images.

I began collecting postcards as a way of creating a record of those trips. I’ve never managed to keep a travel journal for very long. I did so on several of my trips with Dad and on my month-long bicycle trip down the Pacific Coast. I didn’t have a portable computer back then to make journaling easier, and at the end of a day about the last thing I felt like doing was writing. Sometimes even scribbling just a few notes seemed like too much of an effort.

Oregon 1998_04aHowever, I knew that if I didn’t record those trips somehow, my memory of them would fade and the details would be lost. I figured I could at least manage to fill out a single postcard each evening. So I got into the habit of buying one for each day of a trip. On it I noted what we did that day, where we stayed, what we ate, and any other details I wanted to remember.

At first, I began sending the postcards home from the road. But to ensure that the cards wouldn’t get lost or damaged in the mail, I stopped doing that. Not addressing and stamping them also left more space to write my notes.

Oregon 1998_07I bought many of the postcards to supplement the photographs I took. I didn’t have a digital camera back then, so every photo had a cost in terms of film and processing. And until the film was developed, I couldn’t see how well or poorly the shots had turned out. So postcards served as backup images, and they often provided better views of places or lodgings than I could take myself.

I ended up filling a three-ring binder with archival pages containing postcards from our trips. The plastic pages are transparent, so we can read the notes I’d written on the cards as we flip the pages. Organized by trip, these postcards provide a nice way to help us remember and relive a vacation. We sometimes browse through them before revisiting a place to look up the number of a room we especially liked in a historic lodge or the name of an eatery we enjoyed.

Below is a representative sampling of this collection. It was hard to select just a few out of 250, but I think these cover the full range of the kinds of cards I collected over two decades worth of travels.

 On the Road

Historical Images

Historic Lodges

Paintings and Drawings

Artistic Photographs

That’s all, folks!

David Romanowski, 2020

2 thoughts on “Postcards from the Road

    • Roswell is capitalizing on this mythical incident as best it can. I’m sure it brings in tourists to spend money, but I also suspect there must be a lot of locals who hate that their home town is now mostly known for this silly alien stuff.


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