Route 66 and the American Southwest
Spanish film photographer Anne Roig and friends drive America's Mother Road
I never imagined that I would be moved so much by a simple landscape. When they say you just need to be there to know how it feels, well, I totally agree. In these lifeless but reassuring deserted landscapes, crossed by this long stretch of asphalt, you can flee the real world and enter into a magical state.
Even if you are tired after driving for hours and hours, every concern or fatigue or boredom would disappear as the sun slowly fades behind the horizon where all these colours appear in the sky. At every moment, they shift shades, from the dense violet blue of the daylight to the glowing pinks and reds where the sky meets the vast horizon.
We shared the ritual of rising early to enjoy, in silence, with our eyes still asleep, the beauty of dawn. We hold still for the sunrise, absorbing the chilly early-morning air and imprinting those colors in our minds.
On one of these mornings, when I crawled out of my motorhome the whole of Monument Valley was spread out before me, silent and majestic in the purple half-light. The raw rock giants were already there, waiting for the first shafts of golden sunlight to begin creeping down them.
Every time we wanted to leave Route 66, somehow the Mother Road called us back.
Vast and dry and hot, Death Valley stretches for acres and acres of desert. Far enough to make your mind forget time. Surreal rolling dunes and sandy expanses lay alongside mountains and volcanic craters. It’s a land of extremes and superlatives. Death Valley’s sand dunes, its craters, its rugged textures and its flood-carved canyons tell a story of amazingly complex geologic history. The harshness of the landscape and its difficult and undeniable beauty makes walking among these rocks a striking and inspiring inner experience. I actually can’t think of a better place for appreciating life anew. Life feels different in this desert.
We ate up miles and miles, we crossed nations. Now that we are back, our car is still at the center of the road. It doesn’t move. All around, as we peer out of the window, the huge emptiness fills with harsh sandy landscapes, astonishing canyons, flourishing green forests, red mountains, peaceful lakes.