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Posted at 07:18 PM ET, 04/24/2012

Wolf Trap’s Terre Jones turns epic road trip into photography book

Terre Jones at Arches National Park in Utah in 2008. (Terre Jones)

Like so many college students, Terre Jones read John Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charley” in the 1960s and wanted to make a cross-country car trip just like that. But life, including a demanding job as president of Wolf Trap, always got in the way.

So it wasn’t until 2008 that Jones, then 60, embarked on a four-month, 19,000 mile solo journey, with three cameras and an iPod loaded with 200 travel songs. The result: “Road Trip: A Photographer’s Journey to America’s National Parks.”

“It’s a real challenge to be alone for that long and make a trip like that,” Jones told guests at a book party Monday hosted by Jim Kimsey. “There’s a certain introspection that comes with that, a certain peace that you find in being alone.”

His dream trip finally happened when the Wolf Trap board offered Jones a sabbatical after 12 years on the job. He combined his three loves — art, photography, and national parks — into the long-deferred road trip, and a book deal.

The cover of "Road Trip: A Photographer's Journey to America's National Parks.” (Ruder Finn Press)
“I needed the perfect shot at the golden hour,” he told us. “I really worked hard to get — timing-wise — where I needed to be at the right time.” Jones went to 88 parks from Maine to California (with a side trip to Alaska) taking 9,000 photographs — landscapes, wildlife, iconic landmarks — which were narrowed down to the 200 pictures in the book.

After a long editing process, the glossy tome is finally out — just in time for his last year at Wolf Trap. After the season ends this summer, Jones and wife Polly are moving to Santa Fe where they have a home and photography studio.

Jones said a “Road Trip” sequel is already in the works — but this time with his wife riding shotgun: “It will be a very different perspective with two people.” No word on who picks the music this time.

By  |  07:18 PM ET, 04/24/2012

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