Over the last few days I’ve spent hour after hour sitting at my desk staring at the computer while processing images for my redesigned website. My new gallery structure consists of four portfolios: New Images, Adventure, Desert and Mountains. As I worked through hundreds of images one thing became abundantly clear: I am a desert rat.
I was born in Los Angeles, where I lived for the first six years of my life. After that we moved to Phoenix for a year, then Atlanta for six years, then back to Phoenix. The day after high school graduation my Mom and brother moved back to Georgia. I stayed in the desert. I spent eighteen years in Phoenix, and I still consider it home. In 2002 I decided it was time for a change and I moved to Denver. Rocky Mountains, here I come! No more oppressive heat, thorns in my mountain bike tires or rattlesnakes at my feet. That lasted three years.
What happened next was kind of a whirlwind. I got laid off from a job I’d held for 13 years, got married, took a 4 month road trip throughout the West and finally settled in Moab. Another desert. A high desert, but a desert just the same. We’ve been here four years this month.
Clearly, I’m drawn to the desert. Wide open spaces, hundred mile views, deep blue skies, cactus and canyons and coyotes – they’re all here. Not to mention monumental sunsets, wildflowers eking out a brief but glorious existence from the scorched earth, sand in my ears, sun on my back and those moments of pure serendipity when I stumble upon a ruin left behind by the ODR’s - Original Desert Rats.
I suspect I’ll always run to the mountains when I can no longer bear the summer heat. Chances are I’ll even move away from the desert, most likely back into the Rockies. There I’ll dream of the desert while napping next to an alpine lake. Mid-winter, when the snow is flying and the temperatures are diving, I’ll escape to warmer climes. Back to the cactus. Back to the sunsets. Back to the desert.