Sante Fe, New Mexico.

Welcome to the Mother Road. We’re not far from where we started and apparently we’ve already made it. Route 66, the Main Street of America, the resplendent path that will chaperone our voyage to Santa Fe. For the sake of all things kitschy and cliche, we want Route 66 to be what our imaginative impressions expect it to be. One gas station, cracked roads, roadside attractions, a vast vehicular abyss of nothingness, a hopeful mirage. Sure, Route 66 can be that if you look for it… but it can also be a so much more.

We’d be doing you a disservice if we painted the road through Navajo Nation as an Instagramers dream. The tragic irony of decaying, cement-painted teepees towering over a wonky dinosaur park, or a monumental dream catcher gives a blind eye to the real monsters that dance in the indigenous communities of our nation. But the Southwest is undeniably enchanting. The quality of light is truly magical. Peering out to the massive panorama we transcend into a Salvador Dali painting— the rock formations literally appear to be melting— and you become intimately aware why so many artists have been attracted to this "land of entrapment". With our subjects in pleasant tow, we descend upon the mesmerizing scenery that once evoked the marvels of Mother, Georgia O’Keeffe. 

Zoë Castro, 19

“They call it ‘the land of entrapment,’ and like most people, when I was growing up, I couldn’t wait to get out. Santa Fe doesn’t really have a lot to cater to youth; it’s mainly older people who come here to retire. When I graduated from high school, I went as far away as I could. But I missed it so much. I missed green chile, stepping out the front door to the sight of a coyote or a deer, the smell of the rain on the desert land, and the purple mountains contrasting with the red-orange sunsets. New Mexico has the most special energy. It’s a healing land, if you allow it to be.”