Southwest Road-trip

 

    I guess, like anything, to better understand where we’re going, you first have to know where we came from.  We were both raised in southern Louisiana, in the land of camouflage jackets and bible belts. Having the south as a backdrop to our youth taught us a lot about who we were, who we weren’t, and who we truly wanted to be.

    After (finally) finding out that each other existed and being like “You’re real?!  Let’s get married!”  We realized that we shared one major thing in common.  Neither of us were interested in the life that societal standards had been prepping us for.  So…where most people zigged, we zagged.  Instead of real-estate and insurance plans, we bought an Airstream and photography equipment.

When our 1 year anniversary was creeping up around the corner, we knew that we were going to have to get creative (financially) if we planned on taking any sort of trip.  With renovation on our Airstream only just beginning, we created a budget and marked out the key destinations of our road trip.  First stop: 

LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO

    Las Cruces is, to us, a place that will always be sacred.  It is where we got married and a place that we will continue to visit as often as possible.  Our time here is spent exploring the historical towns and villages that surround the city and spending time with our beloved aunt who lives at the base of the Organ Mountains.

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PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA

    Palm Springs is kind of like that amazing, perfectly plated meal that can only be appreciated fully by tasting it for yourself.  The architecture, the style, the isolated desert landscape…everything!!  It was a midcentury lovers dream and I consider it a personal victory that we never wrecked while there - when 99% of our time was spent slamming on the breaks to photograph the next mind blowing thing we saw.

    The house that we stayed at was the super sized, whipped cream covered cherry on top.  @Psgeodesic was designed to perfection and our stay here was freaking amazing.  We seriously can't rave on this place enough.

 

 

One night while we were staying here, we decided that a movie (and obnoxious amount of wine) night would be the perfect, relaxed evening that we needed after such a long day.  After researching movies that were filmed near us, we discovered the film “Into The Wild” that changed the entire course of the trip for us.  It’s a documentary styled film that takes the lead character through 2 particular spots in southern California that caught our attention; Salvation Mountain and Slab City.

 

SALVATION MOUNTAIN

    Salvation Mountain sits on an area of land in the Imperial Valley Desert that is now a manmade mountain/art piece.  Leonard Knight started the project in the 80's after a religious experience that changed his life.  The mountain is speckled with little rooms that look like small cave dwelling that house anything from scripture to folk art.  Leonard says that his philosophy on life is to "Love Jesus and keep it simple."

 

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SLAB CITY

    A community of drifters that have made their home in the middle of the desert.  The homes here are anything from RV’s to archaic structures made from scrap materials.  

    When we first arrived, we felt as though we were walking the dirt paths of a post apocalyptic town, led by wooden signs pointing you in the direction of key locations like “the healer”, “the library”, and “UFO wreck site”.

    They have no running water or electricity; no conveniences of the “modern world”.  The only laws they abide by are their own - and according to the residents, it’s “the last truly free place in America.”

With our trip's savings account drained and our thirst for adventure quenched, we packed up the pups and started the long treck back home.  Until next time!

 
Sammy Easterling