3 Desert Destinations That Fuel Really Good Ideas
When L.A. native Paige Cheyne head outs on a desert hike (her favorite off-duty activity), she always packs a few essentials—namely, her current collection of organic, amorphously-shaped metal necklaces and earrings. After all, their shapes are inspired by the rocks and landscapes she happens across while out there, so it makes sense for her to photograph them at their point of origin. “I love how they look out there, and it adds an extra sense of purpose,” she explains. Here, her three top spots for arid inspiration.
KELSO DUNES IN MOJAVE NATIONAL PRESERVE, CALIFORNIA
“I often prefer places like this to national parks because hardly anyone goes to visit them. They're utterly silent and desolate as far as the eye can see. I just happened to drive through this area on my way back from Zion, which was absolutely stunning but full of people and buses, so this was a nice departure from that. It's strange, though—it feels like a beach got plopped down in a valley surrounded by mountains. It was a little disorienting to be out among the dunes—there was a moment when I wasn’t quite sure how to get back to my car—but that’s part of the fun!”
JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA
“I particularly love the jumbo rock formations. They're obviously huge and hard (they're rocks after all), but they have this soft, bulbous quality to them from a distance. There’s a piece in my most recent collection that’s almost an exact replica of the boulder in this image. I read recently that each year Joshua Tree sets a new record for the number of visitors—it’s become really popular, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from going.”
HIERVE EL AGUA, MEXICO
“This is one of the most unique landscapes I've ever seen. It's a natural rock formation created by a heavily mineralized freshwater spring. The white calcium deposits look like gushing waterfalls, but really it's just a trickle of runoff fall over however many thousands of years of mineral build up. I guess I'm just attracted to landscapes that deceive initial appearances. Something that looks soft but is actually hard—here, what appears to be liquid is actually solid. The only other place this same phenomenon occurs is in Pamukkale, in Turkey, which I would love to see someday.”