The Badlands, by Jessica Zamora-Turner.
The Badlands appears like a sunken ruined city from the road into the national park. Buttes, pinnacles and gullies form walls of striped rocks in every shade of nude, while florescent grasses spill over from the prairies above. We arrived early on a Monday morning, and thankfully a little out of season. This meant we were alone for the most part, clambering into the impressive backdrops, while keeping an eye to the ground of course for any stray rattlesnakes!
Some miles south of the main road through the Badlands lies Stronghold Table and more poignantly Wounded Knee. Both sites are in the Oglala Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation. Needless to say, this land has a complex and un-reconciled history. Most of my research is done en-route or post-mortem on any trip, so I read about this and other site specific history, namely the buffalo (or absence thereof), on my return.
The Bonneville Salt Flats at dawn was our ultimate destination, and it didn’t disappoint. If you face the sunrise and turn your back on the small car park it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to feel like you’re on a different planet. It was impossible not to look at the sun, there was a light mist that morning and the glow was mesmerizing. Although these salt flats are dubbed the fastest place on earth – due to the speed records set in the nearby speedway, I felt like we were moving in slow motion until the sun was fully risen.
America’s Loneliest Road, route 50 in Nevada, was a sobering stretch of the journey. It was exactly as advertised – hot and lifeless. Desert valleys and a handful of (very) small towns. Sand Mountain appears like a joke, visible from the road, a single solitary sand dune. We drove up to the base, avoiding the toll as the payment booth had been abandoned, and quickly climbed this misplaced attraction in 100 degrees.
A big thanks to the lovely Jessica for her stunning images, and for sharing her experience, in her own words, from such a beautifully raw landscape. x
See more of Jessica’s work here: Jessica Zamora-Turner
Follow Jessica on Instagram: @jesszt
Model: Marina Contro
Fashion credits: Velvet Jacket, Shirt and Silk Pants – No.6 Store (Resort 2015 Collection), Pink Sweatshirt and Custom Dyed Multi-Colored Jacket – Audrey Louise Reynolds.