One Of The Most Harrowing Desert Adventures I Ever Created One Of A Kind Art On
Bumping down the dirt road in our overloaded van (that happened to be our home and hold all of our belongings and 3 small children) had my nerves exploding. The joyous screeching coming from the back seat was the only thing holding me together. Well, not the only thing. I was too curious to see the hidden gem of mountainous Nevada desert that lay ahead to crumble and turn back now.
I turned to my husband, whos eyes were lit with wild adventure, and let out an anxious laugh. Subconsciously I reached for my anchor, my push forward when I start questioning myself or any hair-brained situation I find myself in. Gripping the familiar weight of my small yet powerful camera, I embraced the unknown and headed to a part of the world I could not yet fathom.
The red rock jutting from the earth came on suddenly. One moment we were traveling on a dirt road with land as far as we could see, and the next we were confronted with a landscape that looked more akin to something we would have found if we had just landed on mars.
Large formations of craggily cliffs lay across the earth like the backbone of a fallen giant. With our breath in our throats and eyes wide, we parked our home-on-wheels on the brink of this seemingly otherworld and took off to explore the tumultuous terrain.
I had found this hidden gem from a good amount of research and map hunting. But seeing Logandale Trails from satellite images in no way prepared me for what I was experiencing. The rocky escarpments towered high above my family as I walked with them under the precarious peaks.
The forms carved in the ancient rocks were unlike any I had seen yet. Their surfaces scarred and broken in such a way the sight left me thirsting for knowledge… How had they come to be this way?
Words from Hemingway rang in my ears when I saw the sun bursting through the crags.. “We are all broken. That’s how the light gets in.”
And it wasn’t just the windswept mountains that were so enthralling to behold. It was the reason most people even know of Logandale Trails in the first place. Ohv trails.
Watching the atvs, jeeps, dune buggies, and other off-highway vehicles zip through the trails and rock climb cliffsides was downright intense. At one point my entire family came perilously close with one extreme rider.
We were walking along the riskiest part of the trail when we heard him barrel around the corner 20 ft in front of us. Like standing on a bridge and hearing a train coming my breathe caught in my throat. Instinctively I grabbed my son who was closest to me and with wild eyes looked up to see my husband pinning the girls against the rock behind him. I looked at the trail at my feet and thought there was no way he could get through these chasms; the only level ground was where we stood. I turned and looked the driver in his eye and my stomach clenched as I saw his eyes turn to steel. He had made up his mind. He was not stopping.
Grasping my son and looking into my husbands eyes, both our backs pressed against the walls that closed us in, I succumbed to what would happen. The heat of the engine swept over me and my son as he passed, tires inches from our feet. I noticed his hands were white knuckling the steering wheel as he whipped it towards us then quickly back again. The 1000 lb rock crawler tipped heavily towards my husband and girls before it leveled out and found ground again. The driver gassed it hard, and just like that he was past us; with nothing to leave behind but my own white knuckles on my sons shoulders and the hoots and hollers of said son and husband.
“Nothing to worry about, babe. Just a little adventure..” I glared back at the man I loved but may or may not have had a slight curve of a smile playing on my lips.
Since I cared more for the scenery than the sport after our harrowing encounter, I wandered off the paths with my camera searching for ancient petroglyphs and left my husband and children to watch fascinated as the daredevils took to climbing the rock and dunes I was now certain was just short of killing them.
I took my time in nature and let myself soak it in. Looking through the lens on my Nikon Z7 I found deeper ways to appreciate my surroundings. New perspectives to see the world from.
It’s still baffling to me how much clearer I see when looking through my viewfinder. I imagine it is as close to Alices looking glass as I will ever find.
And though I did not find the petroglyphs I was after on this trip, the desert presented me with such unique clouds and sky I forgot all about them. I had what I really wanted. Desert Art there for the taking.
I captured dusty trails, lone plants, unique rock formations, and surreal desert landscapes I could hardly believe were real as I stood before them.
In those alien like lands I found the escape I had been longing for (one I unashamedly seem to need quite often); and as always when I wander alone long enough in nature, a new outlook on the world I live in.
Logandale trail filled in me a deep connection with nature and respect for adventure. Here the world showed me what a magical place it truly is. Reminded me that there is no end to the beauty that we can find.
When we push through our fears of untold possibilities, our anxieties that long to keep us still and unknown, we can finally open our eyes to the wonder that surrounds us; Should we choose to accept it.
And this is why no matter how anxious the road I find myself on makes me, I will swallow hard, possibly cuss up a storm, and keep moving forward. Thank you Nevada for filling the constant yearning in me to feel that… spark.
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