Desert Roadside

Fading sun on a still desert night

Another day spent on the road. This time a long drive from the central Idaho town of Ketchum back home to the LA basin. Thirteen hours at 10 miles over the limit speeding past the vast desert landscape of southern Idaho, Nevada, and California. The barren desert roadside occasionally dotted with homes, ranches and wayside business standing in varying degrees of disrepair. Abandoned structures sitting quietly far away from civilization. Each one an unrealized dream or business decision gone bad. Perhaps an evolving culture that no longer finds travelers plying the back roads along Route 66.

At sunset, one such deserted wayside, Amboy, CA comes into view just as the sun approaches the clean edge of the mountains at the edge of town. A row of whitewashed stucco hotel rooms sit abandoned near the road awaiting travelers that will never arrive. The doors and window glass long gone. Sand and dust covering the walls and floors as the fading sun catches every particle suspended in the still evening air.

The whole scene feels pulled from a 40’s movie complete with the sound of a distant train rumbling along just out of sight. I could spend an hour here, but only have a few minutes until the sun is gone and my journey needs to continue. A frenzied effort with more to shoot than I have time to spend. I feel like a thirsty traveler arriving at a spring. Taking more than I need and still wanting for more.

I’ll come back to this place someday when I have more freedom. The visual well is deep here and I want to linger with a camera and a fading sun again.