Hello my friends! I hope the start of your week has been smooth and easy-going! We’ve made it to the final installment of my Mojave Desert series. Part 3 consists of many ‘trips’ to the desert, a pot-luck if you will, as I pulled some of my favorites from over the years and a couple I unintentionally left out from parts 1 and 2. Many of these were taken with a point and shoot Nikon when my Canon DSLR still felt like a sliver of a dream way off yonder. I have since tried to recreate some of the below images but to no avail. As I mentioned in A Letter To The iPhone Photographer moments can’t be duplicated and the ones I’ve been fortunate to capture have much meaning attached to them regardless of the equipment I was using.
The very first time Alex and I ventured into the unknown of the Mojave Desert we were detoured pretty quickly by the ways of the universe. As we drove down a two lane desert highway (cool wind in our hair) far away from civilization and immersed in natures bounty everything was beautiful, vibrant, quiet, even better than we had imagined. We had the windows down, dry air gracing our chapped mountain skin, no music just the harmonies of the land and turning wheels. As we approached the entrance of the state park we slowed our speed to chat with the park ranger and pay the fee to travel through. In the midst of our conversation the car started to lull forward. I asked Alex “what are you doing? we need our ticket!” and he responded “we have no brakes”.
We were able to stop with the help of a parking stone. We looked underneath the vehicle and realized the brake lines had split completely open. The transition from Colorado’s freezing cold to the dry heat of Arizona and Nevada’s desert caused the lines to thaw and crack open leaving us broke down and stranded in the desert. We were at the mercy of the universe. No cell service and no way to search the internet for a tow company. It was a series vulnerable moments. Thankfully the park rangers knew where we might be able to find a bar of faulty cell service in which we were able to communicate our location to AAA.
An hour and a half tow ride with Roland (who we didn’t know at all at the start but felt like an old friend by the end) and a $900.00 mechanic bill later we were all set to be on our way. It was well after sunset, we were drained in more ways than one and had to be in Vegas for a trade show the next day. Our adventurous plans for a desert exploration had been completely derailed and I’d be lying if I said I was happy about it at the time. Now I look back on it as more of an adventure than I had planned for but one
I guess I’m glad to have had. I’ll forever be grateful to all the people along the (desolate) way who so generously helped us in a time when it would have been easy to take advantage of us. It was also a strong reminder that we are not in control as much as we’d like to think so. (Clears throat* hear that self?) But that’s a lesson I continue cross paths with time and time again.
A couple of months after our desert breakdown I was able to recount the situation in an entirely different perspective than I had that day. Heres the reckoning I came to:
“You see most of my life I have followed pulls. Pulls on my energy, undeniable tugs on my spirit. It’s as if the Divine breathes on my intuitive compass and I must go or I must do what it is suggesting. Even though at times I can’t see the whole picture just the next step. The force is so strong my best option is to surrender and trust the power of this presence. Months before this capture was taken I became aware of this strong call for me to go experience the desert. When I became conscious of it, all of these signs started to appear. As this vision manifested into reality I started planning how I wanted this experience to go, what I wanted to see, and what I thought I would take away from it. We pull onto a two lane highway, taking us away from civilization and immersing us into a desert environment. Alex pressed the brake pedal, it drops to the floor. He pumps the brakes but nothing happens. He pulls the e-brake and it begins to smoke. We were at the universes mercy. It was a vulnerable series of moments all seeming to be in slow motion. This must have been the plan all along. Although I thought I could impose my own ideas and plans onto this adventure I was put into place rather quickly by a force much larger than I. And I experienced far more than I could have imagined.”
**Because I love the wide open spaces of our country, the sacred sites of Native people, and the preservation of our planet and because I mainly highlight the beauty of nature through my photography I believe it’s equally important to bring attention to the threats this land faces. Our president issued a presidential proclamation in attempts to dismantle national monuments for the interests of oil. 1.1 million acres would lose their national monument status! If you feel compelled to do something you can get in touch with your local representatives and express your concerns, stay up to date on current facts through Access Fund or Sierra Club, and donate or volunteer through either organization. **
Whew I never intend on writing as much as I do so if you made it through all of this I appreciate you and if you skipped through my ranting and just enjoyed the photos I appreciate you too! P.s. bonus points if you know what song I’m referencing above (cool wind in my hair) ?!
Thank you for joining me here♥