The Painted Desert

Landscape on a 120 miles (190 km) long by 60 miles (97 km) wide canvas.

The Painted Desert stretches from the Grand Canyon National Park eastward to the Petrified Forest National Park (where these images were taken), with a large portion lying within the Navajo Nation.

Petrified Forest National Park, 1 Park Rd, AZ 86028

April 30th, 2019

85.5 metres below sea level

The lowest point in North America is here.

Where the water that flows from the mountains of central Nevada, hundreds of miles away, into the porous limestone bed-rock and trough an aquifer, emerges at Badwater along the faultline at the mountain’s base and forms a pool. Salts dissolve from old deposits and flow to the surface, making the spring water ”bad” – a word which here means ”salty”.

We found the pool almost dry, the saltwater flats all the more spectacular.

Badwater Basin, Death Valley, CA

April 21st, 2019

Zabriskie Point

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that one day I would see this stunning landscape in real life. But here I was, with scenes from Antonioni’s 1970 film passing before my eyes, breathing the dry desert air, feeling humbled by its enormity. And slightly disappointed to learn that it was named after Christian Brevoort Zabriskie, vice-president and general manager of the Pacific Coast Borax Company, and not Zabriskie Point, the film.

Death Valley, CA

April 21st, 2019