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America the Beautiful: On the road for the making of SI Swimsuit 2015

"We're on the road again. Just can't wait to get on the road again." 

As we continue to celebrate the unveiling of the 2015 SI Swimsuit issue, we're taking a look back at the partners who made the experience one of a kind. Crucial to the planning process was Southwest Adventure Tours, a destination management company that specializes in tours throughout the American Southwest. The company caters unique experiences for small and large groups, private excursions, and customized itineraries—ideal for the crew and models who would gather to capture the idyllic images for SI Swimsuit 2015. 

Popular tours with SWAT include: the Mighty 5 Tour, a 6-day, 5-night small group experience in the 5 national parks in Utah; the Grand Circle Experience, a 9-day, 8-night tour of 7 national parks, 2 national monuments, 2 Indian reservations and more; and the Grand Teton & Yellowstone Explorer, a 6-day, 5-night visit to Jackson Hole, Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. 

Behind the scenes with SI Swimsuit

Behind the scenes with SI Swimsuit

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From driving thousands of miles in 12 days along Route 66, surviving three days of wind and dust storms in Monument Valley, and dealing with the bees in the lavender farms in Oregon, there wasn't anything the crew and models of SI wouldn't do to get the best shots for the 2015 issue. In combination with SWAT, SI Swimsuit was able to continue to push the travel envelope to bring readers the best possible combination of beautiful women set in breathtaking backdrops. 

"It was a thrill and a pleasure to look back over eight painstaking months of effort that it took to make our portion of the film and photo shoot happen, and finally get to see the results of our efforts," said Jason Murray of Southwest Adventure Tours. "Logistically, I have to say this was probably the most challenging project we have ever worked on.  Putting together a film and photography shoot that involved over 40 separate locations and involved just under 20,000 miles of driving was a lot of be done with it all and see the final results, it is just fantastic!"

Behind the scenes with SI Swimsuit

Behind the scenes with SI Swimsuit

But doesn't every good road trip need sustenance? That's where Citrus Catering came in! With over 19 years experience, Citrus Catering prides itself on maintaing a full fleet of culinary trailers available for any size production to travel anywhere in the world. Favorite dishes among crew and models included coconut kale served under sesame crusted salmon, grilled mahi with a cilantro lime mango chutney, and decadent double fudge brownies with raspberry white chocolate drizzle (yes, models eat dessert, too!). 

"In over 19 years in the industry, Sports Illustrated was the most professional group of individuals, both crew and talent, that we have encountered," said Heather Griesinger-Hauptman, executive chef for Citrus Catering. "Working long hours, the crew had a great attitude."

See some behind-the-scenes shots from the SI Swimsuit road trip:

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