This odd-looking tree in the middle of the vast Utah salt desert is called Metaphor: Tree of Utah. Seeming out of place in a wide stretch of the Bonneville Salt Flats, it’s actually a 90-foot-tall concrete sculpture built in 1986 by Swedish artist Karl Momen. He wanted to bring a little bit of greenery to a rather treeless stretch of land.
The chain-link fence encircling the sculpture is to keep visitors from being hit by falling tiles.
A roadside memorial in New Mexico is known as a descanso. These are not graves, nor do they necessarily mark the place where someone died; it is, instead, a monument to the place where the course of their life was interrupted by an accident or a tragedy. They are placed in public places as a reminder that the soul of the deceased requires the prayers of the living to advance beyond Purgatory.
This descanso is notable because it’s not close to the road; it’s actually only a short distance from the enormous iron wall that separated the border of Mexico and the United States, miles away from the nearest town. It’s plausible to think this is a memorial to a 45-year-old woman who died in the desert, trying to cross into the States. Even in February, the temperature can be quite hot; and without food or water, it can quickly become deadly.
“Señora Polita Romero born August 13, 1954 died February 12, 2000 Remembered by her Husband, Children, and Grandchildren”
midcentury motels. it’s amazing the little pockets of america where signs like this still survive. very few of the motel restaurants or coffee shops still function, but in little desert towns like Lone Pine and Bishop and the dodgy outskirts of Lancaster, California you can still find successions of sketchy motor inns all in a row with rusty signs that look a lot like these.
Photos from the road. November 20th-21st. Nevada and California: Las Vegas, Jean, Nipton, Amboy.
1. Viva Las Vegas 2. Whiskey Pete’s: the place where I gambled for the first and probably last time in my life. 3. desert crow 4. I wish I was big. 5. people passing through 6. Mojave National Preserve 7. Roy’s Motel Cafe
I wanted to flesh out the ideas I jotted down before about desert nymphai, and some local cultus ideas/feels I’ve been exploring. I wrote it out in more of a prose approach than a research-records type format. It allowed me to be a bit more artistic in my description and the way I talk about it. So keep in mind when reading, that I’m not putting this out there as definitive, even though it may read that way because of how I wrote it. This is all personal gnosis, with no canon to back it up. It’s based on my experiences, observations, and divination.