So here we are, back in South Florida, sitting at my desk with my puppies at my feet. I am kind of stunned that we actually pulled this off! By the numbers, here is how our project turned out -
Photos taken - 26,529
Miles Driven - 22,264
Miles Flown - 8,436
Gallons of gasoline used - 1,590
Dancers photographed - 166
Days traveled - 90
Miles Hiked for our locations - 87
Locations used - 56
Times we were actually asked to show our permits - 17
Times stopped by police wondering what is up with the dancing girls on the van - 7
Pieces of gear destroyed during the project - 3 (All on the 53rd location! So close!)
Injuries sustained by photographer - 2
Times The Mighty Buford needed to be rescued - 0. He is mighty, after all!
This was a herculean effort by all involved to make this project actually happen! We had so much kindness shown to us along the way, by rangers, tourists, truckers, police officers, and random people along the way. I cannot tell you how important simple kindnesses can be!
I want to be sure to thank the employees of the National Park Service for all of their assistance in completing this project, as well representatives of the Bureau of Land Management, the City of Colorado Springs, the City of Houston, the City of New Orleans, Grand Central Terminal, the State of West Virginia, the City of Boston, the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, the State of Kentucky and Cumberland Falls State Park and Lodge, Gillette Castle, and Weston Nissan.
I also want to thank each and every dancer, their families, and the friends and companies that supported them in this project. They have been recognized by the press, their local communities, their state legislatures, and even their governors, for their efforts in making this project a reality.
Most importantly I want to thank my wife and partner, Leigh-Ann Givens, for being an ever-present source of strength and support. I very honestly could not have done this without her support and encouragement, and it is her calm disposition and level-headedness that keeps me in check. She is, without a doubt, the single greatest person I have ever met in my life, and has shown me the true meaning of family and acceptance. Thank you, Leigh-Ann, for everything you do.
So, now we move on to the part of the project where we get to create the final product - the book whose sales will allow us to donate to America's parks and the National Endowment for the Arts. The clock is ticking, and there is much to be done. So stay tuned for updates on that process, and for then the final launch date is announced. But in the meanwhile, keep on dancing!