The smell of gasoline burns the inside of your nose, lips cracking and dry like the ground below, and loud banging fills the cannons and rolls over the mountains, all in sight in orange dirt for miles and miles. This is what waking up feels like in the desert and it is my favorite place to wake up in. In the desert, all my worries go away and it is the closest I will ever feel to complete freedom of my will.
The desert has an effect that you completely feel cut off from humanity. When you at camp with 5 or six people that you are with, that is the only people you can take to, tell jokes to, get help from, and really get to know. There isn’t the internet, phones, or any other technology that can allow you to talk to the rest of civilization. You are stranded out there with only yourself to get things done. The film “Scavengers” shows this exact idea of being cut off from humanity with only a small group of people to help. In the film, two explorers travel to a new planet to help expand humanity, but there hole goal is to see back to Earth, out in the desert I feel the same way. Away from the rest of my family, friends, and especially my dog I feel disconnected from them and want to talk to them, but I can’t. They always seem so close, but yet out of contact.
Many people lack to see or notice the great things the desert can offer someone. In reality, it is just flat dry land with hills and mountains on the outskirts. Not much life, few plants, just sand all around, but if you can see past all of this you start to notice what it can be. The flat sand makes for great trails to ride dirt bikes for miles and miles, listening to music and just worrying not to fall going 50mph. The little hill can make for the perfect campsite, where you share your best stories around a warm, comforting campfire with friends. The mountain can be ridden up on to have the best views anyone can get, the dry lake bed can be raced across going as fast as the bike can go, and you can speed away from all your worries. The desert is much more than meets the eye if you just notice what it can be.
Although the desert is wonderful since you can be disconnected from everyone else and not have to stress about the other worries you leave back home, that is slowly being lost. Slowly the desert is being transformed into a city as the industry slowly infects and plagues the desert. Buildings, gas stations, hotels, and different structures are being built deeper into the desert. More and more people start overcrowding different deserts and trash everything around them. They are littering, burning wooden planks with nails, and leaving glass throughout. In the 99% Invisible Podcast “The Mojave Phone Booth” they talk about the guy who was obsessed with a phone booth out in the middle of nowhere. It was special to him knowing that this one phone booth is out of contact with everyone except a couple of people, but throughout the story, many people discovered the phone booth and kept using it. In the end, it had to be shut down, people ruined the special effect the phone had by overcrowding it. This is the same way the desert is starting to turn into where many people are ruining the special effect by disrespecting it and littering it. If people had more respect, everyone could enjoy and appreciate the desert.
The desert has always had a special place in my heart since before I could even talk. My parents have been talking to me there for years, building unforgettable memories and learning skills that I would have never learned before. The desert has changed my life and I want to share my joy with everyone else, by telling them to find something to do that disconnects them from the rest of society. It is refreshing and helps out with stress that you have in your daily life such as school, work, or your home life. Find a place that truly makes you happy and just enjoy it.