alien nation

i grew up watching x files. at a young impressionable age, i had already decided that clearly aliens were among us, the governments was covering it up because the general public couldn't handle the truth, and most importantly, there was a lot of classified shit going down in the california deserts. though i largely still believe most of that, age has tempered the mystery and wonder conspiracy theories used to hold for me. perhaps it's the glut of alien movies i have consumed in the intervening years. or the steady diet of trek. but it all feels pretty blase. aliens, cigarette man, fbi. next.

yet, when i do have occastion to drive through some of the real places that have inspired the fiction, i find they still hold a powerful sense of the unknown. windmills en route to palm springs are particularly iconic. they have a foreboding, sentient quality, as they remain perched en masse, just watching the towns and passers by below. they may be a blight on the landscape, but after all this time, to me, they have come to embody it and exemplify the isolation of the desert.

i want to believe.

jurupa, home on the range

taking a road trip- even a short one from los angeles to scottsdale, arizona, is just about one of the most quintessential american experiences. and though one can take road trips in many countries, there is something about doing it in the states that really brings the feeling of being home back to life for me.

en route, i enjoy the mundane and the extraordinary. driving along long stretches of freeways holds both. there is the banality of strip malls, gas stations and billboards advertising everything from gaming casinos to luxury outlet shopping. treasures, such as driving into the sunset and watching the landscape suddenly transform into a beautiful photographic tableau. and just about everything in-between, including giant statues of prehistoric animals stuck to hillsides like beacons of suburban civilization. even jurupa california can hold some wonder for the road weary traveller.