Program 275a: The Pilgrimage of Annie Leibovitz; Open Phones: Extraordinary Travels

Release Date: 05-25-2013

On Air Description

For a fresh assignment, photographer Annie Leibovitz took a road trip across the United States.  She went on a pilgrimage to the homes of famous people from the nation's history.  She joins us on this week's Travel with Rick Steves to describe what it meant to zoom in on places and objects from the icons of American culture, from Walden Pond to Niagara Falls, Ghost Ranch to Graceland. 

And we check in with listeners with ideas for planning extraordinary travels.

Explore an intimate landscape, across America and beyond, on the next Travel with Rick Steves. 

Notes to Stations

This is a re-edit of Pgm #275, which first aired Feb 4, 2012.


Photographer Annie Leibovitz, whose latest photo book is "Pilgrimage" (Random House)

Related Links


  • Visited her ancestral homes in Scotland on a first-time visit. "I felt like I had at last gone home. I took photos of myself in front of both homes and I miss them, even though I was only there for a day. Has any place made you feel that way?"  (Elaine in Wanatah, Indiana)
  • "My son has severe food allergies. Last summer, we traveled to France, Italy and Switzerland, and carried translations of the important food prep and menu questions, requiring only 'yes or no' answers.  It worked, and we had no 'allergy events,' but we often felt anxious.  Any tips to make it easier next time?"  (Ryan in La Cañada, California)
  • "The Chateau Fontainebleau southeast of Paris looks very interesting. I find no mention of it in your France guide book and wonder why. Is there some reason it's not a priority site? Or reason to avoid it?"  (Joe in Centerburg, Ohio)
  • "I recently found out that although I'm ethnic German, my ancestors actually were from Alsace, in France. Do you have any suggestions for what I can see while I'm there searching for my roots? Also interested in visiting First World War sites."  (Paul in Oxnard, California)

Incidental Music

  • Paul Simon, "Graceland," Graceland / Warner Bros.
  • Niagara and Horseshoe Falls (natural sound), Famous Places (Nature Sounds) / Hot Ideas
  • Mark Isham, "Men Before the Mirror," Vapor Drawings / Windham Hill
  • Enid Kathan, "'Indian Idyl' from 'New England Idyls' (composed in 1902 by Edward MacDowell)," Music for the Appalachian Trail (collection) / Gasparo Records
  • The Greene String Quartet, "The String Machine: I. 'Cruise Control,'" The String Machine / Virgin Classics
  • * Caroline Goulding, violin (with Christopher O'Riley, piano), "'Summertime,' from 'Selections from Porgy and Bess' (transcribed by Jascha Heifetz)," Caroline Goulding / Telarc
  • Nina Simone, "Central Park Blues," The Very Best of Nina Simone / Disconforme
  • Pianist Lara Downes, "The Alcotts (Charles Ives)," American Ballads / Postcards-Arkadia Records
  • Johnny Mercer, "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah," Small Fry: Capitol Sings Kids' Songs for Grown-Ups (collection) / Capitol
  • Orchestre Philharmonique du Strausbourg, François-René Duchable, piano, "Piano Concerto in A minor - I: Allegro molto moderato (Grieg)," The Nordic Experience, disc 2 (collection) / Warner Classics
  • Lawrence Laughing, "Ska Ka Luk Sa," Many Blessings: A Native American Celebration (collection) / Silver Wave Records
  • Pete Seeger, "Well May the World Go," If I Had a Hammer: Songs of Hope and Struggle / Smithsonian Folkways
  • * Miles Davis, "Freddie Freeloader," Kind of Blue / Columbia-Legacy
  • Spirit of Eden, "Compassion," The Celtic Heartbeat Collection, vol. 2 / Celtic Heartbeat
  • Kieran O'Hare, "Steps from the Highlands," A Celtic Spectacular (collection) / Telarc
  • Nancy Allen, "'Passepied' from 'Suite Bergamasque' (Debussy)," Ravel and Debussy / Angel
  • Christopher Parkening, "'Sheep May Safely Graze' from Cantata 208 (J. S. Bach, transcribed by Foster)," The Great Recordings / EMI Classics

Dated References

  • In his segment A interview intro, Rick says Annie Leibovitz's photos have been on 142 covers of Rolling Stone magazine.
  • At 13:27, Annie Leibovitz refers to Pete Seeger as "sort of like our modern day Abe Lincoln."
  • Annie notes at 27:57 that Charles Darwin's office at the museum at his country home near London has been turned into a gift shop. Rick adds that Monet's "water lilies" studio is also now the gift store for his museum.
  • At 34:15, Leibovitz mentions that she plans to take her children on a road trip in the Midwest "this summer." She then tells us her childrens' ages: "the twins are 6, and Sarah has just turned 10."
  • Rick tells caller Joe from Ohio that he "was just there" at Chateau Fountainbleau in France "this past season" at 49:25, and that he will discuss the site for the first time in the next edition (2013) of his guidebook to France.
  • At 51:15, Rick compares the financiers of the lavish French chateaux to today's banking industry "fat cats."
  • Rick notes to caller Paul at 58:07 that the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One is approaching (July 28, 1914).