Day One: Planet Arizona. Walking with the ancient.
I am an explorer of worlds. The expedition had hardly begun and I’ve found myself surrounded by the ancient. A sky, older than time watches me wander lands of a once lush and tropical environment but now is hardly anything more than a dry and hardened, windy and desolate wasteland. One of the more prominent areas of discovery is named Crystal Forest.
Once mighty trees that would reach hundreds of feet tall are now reduced to petrified and jagged scattered remnants never to return to glory. Forever frozen, forever broken. Remembered only by the heavens of what they used to be.
Day Two: Other Worlds.
Where some people see nothing, I see other worlds. The winds rush over the landscape as they have for hundreds of millions of years. I ask myself, does wind ever really die? Do the voices carried away by the winds of time persist? Could I hear the ancient tribes of people speak to me if I just listen?
I’ve left base camp Rainbow and walk a rough trail carved by my intrepid forefathers. It’s not far to the mounds of layered color where I take photographic samples of what can only be described as Mars.
Several of the dead I encountered on day one lay about on this trail. Much larger and more intact than at other sites. They feel almost complete, almost alive.
There’s a structure from a thousand year old tribe in the distance. The terrain changes as the hills I climb and descend pass behind me. I’ve only heard stories of that place. Feeling the golden brush in my hands while walking past, I am more convinced this is it. Elysium.
How can this be? On the same planet, on the same trek, two worlds collide. A harsh, jagged, and unforgiving martian land only steps from the idea of the fabled heaven at the ends of the earth.
When you’re alone in such a vast and incredible place, you can’t help but feel that all of the worlds are yours.
Gear: Nikon D5500, GoPro Hero 4 Silver, edited in Adobe Lightroom.