Byron Neslen Southwest Fine Art Photography


Fall and Snow

It was the fall of 2000 and I was shooting images in the Sierra Anchas Wilderness area. I had just rebuilt the motor to my 65 Dodge Polara that summer. I have owned the car since I was 16 years old and it is my first car. I had taken about six weeks to pull the 383 big block engine out my self. Then the motor was machined then I put the motor back together with some high performance parts to make it run better including redoing the exhaust of the car with Hooker super compertion headers and flow masters dual chamber mufflers. Then reinstalling the motor myself that summer. I spent a lot of time and money that year on the car. The car had about 500 miles on it when I went to photograph in the Sierra Anchas that fall.

I packed all my camping equipment beside my photo gear in the car. I also decide to take my dog Angel with me on this trip. Angel is a chow that was thrown into my yard a few years early and shortly after being thrown in my yard gave birth to seven puppies the day after Thanksgiving. I have taken Angel photographing before and she always stayed by my side even if I am in a spot several hours without a leash. I named here Angel because she is the best dog I have ever had.

On the way up to photograph I drove the car between 50 and 60 mph because I was still breaking in the engine and I didn’t want to undo all my hard work and money that I had spent on the engine so I was very carefully watching how fast I was going. I spent a couple of days up there and it snow and rain a bit. I camped by Roosevelt Lake because it was close but much lower in elevation and warmer at night. The next day and my last I went up and shot some really nice images of the creek and fall colors with a about two to three inches of snow all though the woods. I got two nice images from that day. I started back to Phoenix with my dog Angel in the front seat with me.

I was about seven miles from Globe on state route 188 when I noticed a Highway Portal Car ahead of me. Since I was being careful on how fast I was going I was not to concern about my driving. I noticed the car went to the side of the road then as soon as I passed came in behind me. After about mile he turns on his lights and pulled me over. He stated he pulled me over because one of my headlights was aim toward the ground more then he thought it should be. He then stated that I needed new mufflers, because the car was too loud. I told him that I just put in new mufflers and he said I got the wrong ones. He then had me do my turn signal then brake lights. They were working but he said that one side was brighter then the other. He mentions my mufflers several times. I found my registration for the car but he also wanted the insurance on the car. I put in the insurance card in the car but didn’t put in the glove box like I should. I found all the old ones first but didn’t find the current one at first. My dog Angel was sitting on it on the front seat so I had to move her to find it. He was a little concern about her but I told him that she wouldn’t hurt him. He stated as I was looking for my insurance car that the car needed new mufflers again and that the back license plate and whole back end of the car was dirty. I informed him that I had driven the car over 20 miles of dirt road and that it had rained and snowed on the roads I was on and that was the reason for the dirt on the back of the car. I was tried wet and wanted to get back to Phoenix. I wanted to say to the officer didn’t you have doughnut shop to go to since he was a little over weight but I knew he was looking for anything to give me a ticket and knew that saying something like that would only get me in trouble but he was getting on my nerves. He gave me a repair order to have my headlight aimed littler higher then what it was. I was glad to leave him after spending over 30 minutes with him.