I recently took a cross-country road trip to California to visit my best friend who lives in Huntington Beach.
Driving out West is an experience that everyone should try and do at least once. Living in a densely populated, multicultural, and fairly progressive city makes it easy to sometimes forget that there are huge portions of this country that are literally desert for hundreds upon hundreds of miles where people live via television and the internet.
The billboards advertise clean rooms and internet. What more could a road warrior want? I just drove through these towns but what is it actually like to live there and how do the people cope with their harsh surroundings? The dozens of ghost towns are reminders of American expansionism and Capitalist dreams that have since dried up and blown away. Of course people have lived out in the desert for thousands of years, but in the last hundred years as more and more people have abandoned small town life, I can imagine it is hard to hold on to a dying lifestyle.
Being from New Mexico, I am no stranger to the enchanted desert landscape but STILL it's quiet extraordinary driving through the painted desert and petrified forests of millions of years ago and see ancient forests where once there were massive rivers and dinosaurs roaming freely.