Ryann Ford, a California native turned Texan photographer, has always been interested in documenting the forgotten artifacts of the abandoned American desert, but it was not until her recent move to Austin, Texas, that she became interested in the many abandoned rest stops found throughout the country.
Having grown up in a small Southern California mountain town, Ford grew up with a fondness for freedom and exploration. After traveling along the famous roadway Route 66 during her move to Texas, she began to notice the abundance of mid-century rest stops that were built during the golden age of traveling. Racing against the clock, Ford decided to create a record of these relics of the past, releasing her series in a book titled The Last Stop: Vanishing Rest Stops of the American Roadside.
Many of the rest stops featured in Ford’s book were off the beaten path or scheduled for demolition due to commercial options close to a highway exit , so she had to work quickly to document these deserted locales before they were forever erased. Doing whatever was necessary, Ford climbed over fences or hiked through snow or brush to capture the images that would forever preserve a moment in the American travel experience. Ford was able to reach over 75 different locations throughout the United States, including stops in Texas, New Mexico, California, Illinois, Kansas, Montana, and Oklahoma to name a few.
Check out more of her work here.