As we were headed back from the Petrified Forest National Park this week, we passed a truck stop off the side of Hwy 40 near Holbrook, Arizona. It was late, the sun was setting, the kids were tired, and we were all looking forward to dinner.

I saw the golden light flash behind these two statues for a brief second as we sped past, transforming them from cheesy roadside tourist lures to silhouettes of real, live, flesh-eating dinosaurs.

But the second passed and we were nearly to the next exit when I said, almost to myself “Dang… that would have been an incredible shot… I mean… if the light was right.”

“Well let’s go back,” Scott said.

“Oh… it’s fine. I honestly don’t even know… like, with the angle? And we’d have to go up there and turn around… and it’s fine, It might be too late. The sun’s probably going to be too low.” I replied.

“No. We’re going. Let’s go. It will be, what? 5 extra minutes? We can go, We’ll make it.” he insisted, and he sped up toward the next exit.

I fully expected to get there and realize I misjudged the light, or that the silhouettes wouldn’t convey in a photo the way they did as we drove past. But you miss 100% of the pictures you don’t take, right?

He dropped me off about 50 yards away from them, on the far end of a large and mostly empty parking lot. I ran through the dirt and weeds, watching my steps because that’s totally my luck- that I’d step on a snake while running to take a picture of a couple fake dinosaurs at sunset.

I got about 10 shots, moving around to position the billboard and the truck and the tails and the sun just so, and when I looked at the last one on my screen, I knew I nailed it.

Just a couple dinosaurs in the wild after grabbing a bite to eat at the local truck stop on their way home.

I love this picture beyond it’s technical composition. I love it because it’s a gift to me from Scott. It’s him recognizing that for me, on this trip, photography is one of the few things I have for myself. It’s him knowing that I’d think about that picture I didn’t take. It’s him insisting on turning around, taking the extra time, slowing life down to do the things we don’t want to miss.

We had to speed through so much and miss so much when we were just trying to keep up with everything the last few years.

Anyway, that’s enough of my sentimental rambling. The picture, I think, is beautiful, and I would love to share it with you. So you can download it here for free, and print it up to an 8×10 for personal use only, please. I’m not really sure how many people will want a picture of fake dinosaurs at sunset next to a truck stop, but I feel like there may be at least one or two dino-obsessed little kids or maybe someone who used to drive past these and also saw them transform from cheesy to foreboding as they sped by. Either way, if that’s you or your kid, enjoy!


dinosaurs at sunset free photo download