A Road Trip Through America’s Southwest

Sarah Eshpeter evokes the scale and surreality of America’s southwestern landscapes in her snapshots of Utah’s curving red rocks and New Mexico’s Persil-white sand dunes

days. That’s all it took to fall in love with the
Southwest. Having lived in the States for most of my life, it
amazes me to think that, until recently, I had failed to explore
this extension of my own backyard. Perhaps for the better, a lack
of hype surrounding this dry, arid area has made it one of
America’s best-kept secrets. Here’s to hoping it stays that

Upon arriving in Albuquerque, New Mexico, we hit the ground running, stopping
only for tacos and elote (corn on the cob). Riding shotgun in my
brother’s old Mazda, I had a front-row seat of the sunset that
night. Between the sleep deprivation and heat-induced trance, I was
half convinced we had landed on Mars. As the sun rose, we hiked the
rock formations of Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. After
sweating out our bodyweight in water, we departed, sat nav set for
Page, Arizona.

Here, we cautiously descended well over 100 feet into the depths
of Antelope Canyon, a sandstone slot canyon that has been carved
out by more than 1.5million years of flash flooding. And yet again
we travelled on. Our drive to Alamogordo, New Mexico, took us
through the expanse of Navajo Nation. Wild horses, herds of cattle,
prickly pears. Nearly 10-hours later, we arrived at White Sands
National Monument. Named for its stark white-sand dunes, we
clambered up the gypsum dunes, hoping to avoid rattlesnakes, in a
vicious dry heat.

Hundreds of freckles later, it was time to return home.


This article was updated 18 November 2022.

Paradero Todos Santos, Exterior

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