After Burning Man, the mystique and mystery of the desert rises. There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the desert (n.b. this will refer to the one in the American Southwest). Some include that it's all sand, nearly uninhabitable, not much lives there, etc. After roadtripping across America for the second time, traveling 11,000+ miles and 42 states this time around, I can safely conclude that none of those misconceptions are true. Although there is a lot of dry land and some sand dunes, the desert is full of life and has been for thousands of years. This what the desert is really like from a traveler's perspective after hundreds of miles exploring.
1. The desert is definitely not all sand.
(Grand Canyon, AZ)
(Carlsbad Caverns, NM)
2. This is what it looks like when it rains. And yes, it does rain.
(Aztec Ruins National Monument)
5. The 4 Corners Monument isn't as exciting as you'd think it would be.
(Although it was worth the photo op.)
6. The Red Rocks really are that red.
(Tierra Amarilla, NM)
(Tierra Amarilla, NM - Painted Desert National Park)
7. Cacti are HUGE.
(That's me next to the cactus - I'm 5' 5"...)
8. It's like none other.
(Brantley Lake State Park)