New Mexico & Arizona: The Mountain States / by Lawrence Eagling

Following on from our adventures in snowy Boston early this year, I was lucky enough to be able to visit my fiancée in New Mexico where she was working for a few months on her PhD research. Just a fourteen hour hop to Albuquerque and I arrived to a very different landscape and whole new American experience. At a time when it was supposed to remain very cold (the week before I arrived Tash and her colleagues discovered it had been cold enough for showered wet hair to freeze when walking to work!), the whole region became unseasonably warm and dry. Fast-forward to early summer temperatures where the dessert heat-haze shimmers over fascinating rock formations from old volcanoes. We swam in natural hot springs and tried to avoid eating too many of the ever-present New Mexico fiery green chilies that taste so much hotter when grown in dry conditions. Phew!

For my birthday weekend we planned a trip to Arizona so I could (finally) see the Grand Canyon. Long-distance road trips in America are always an experience, just the sheer scale of the country is breath-taking, where the open landscapes and ever-changing dramatic scenery feels like passing through film sets. We passed roadside stores that could have come from Westerns, raced alongside giant caterpillar-like freight trains and ate awesome junk food at every opportunity. We stayed in Flagstaff, famous for its fantastic observatory, where Pluto was discovered and the expansion of the universe was first recorded. From Flagstaff we drove to the Grand Canyon National Park where the view was just indescribable. Photos cannot do it justice so nothing can prepare you for the stunning landscapes to be found there.

Over the following 24 hours we walked along as much of the south rim as possible, finished with the best sunset I have ever seen from the Desert View Watchtower. To complete our trip we took an off-road jeep tour into the desert to find the red rocks of Sedona which was a fantastic experience, although a dusty one for the camera (a note for any Fujifilm users, the camera (X-Pro2) survived this and the -20°C temperatures in Boston with no issue)! On route back to Albuquerque we took a slight diversion to The Painted Desert, one of the world’s largest meteor craters and parts of the historic Route 66 (it’s a big landscape!). All in all, this was another great trip to a new part of the USA for me and as always, I now want to plan a better trip, to take in more of the stunning scenery and wonderful people.

I hope you enjoy the photographs below and as always I really appreciate any comments or thoughts so please get in touch by email at lawrence@eaglingphotography.co.uk, Instagram @lawrence_eagling or twitter @LawrenceEagling.