I’m not some armchair outdoorsman or researcher. I’ve been out in the elements my entire life and have seen things and experienced the unknown. I’ve travelled solo, thousands of miles, into some of the most isolated and rural areas where cellular service is nonexistent for days on end. The darkness of the desert has never spooked me and neither does the shadows that perk and stare at midday. I’m at peace in this world and I have walked a walk of experience that has given me the confidence to speak out…
Despite Texas almost possessing no public lands, the entire region felt like a secure warm blanket. Most of the locals around Terlingua, and Alpine, Texas, were very down home and caring. I had the opposite experience upon entering Big Bend National Park after getting harassed by the park rangers for taking photographs inside of the park. If that day ever comes back to haunt me, I will write about it in grueling detail. I felt my Freedom of Speech was trampled on simply because I was covering border issues while working on a Kickstarter project which involved my photography.
So my hat’s off to West Texans. Their desire for freedom and liberty was refreshing in light of the post-9/11 world we are starting to sober up to. I don’t know where our country is headed? Back home in Utah, I grew up and was raised around BLM Public lands. There are pros and cons to the Federal Government managing lands out West in Utah. For the preservation of sacred Indigenous Sites they have done a relatively good job but some citizens in Utah feel like their rights and livelihoods have been trampled on by Federal Government Overreach. It seems we are reliving another Sage Brush Rebellion. Water and land in the West are becoming heated issues right now.
As an artist, I have never believed in wilderness but I do believe in the preservation and protection of sacred sites. In so many ways I have to maintain neutrality on some of these political issues because they are sort of like a catch 22.
The above photos was shot from Terlingua, overlooking the valley during sunset.