East of the Sierras

A l'Est des Sierras

Gallery Notes

"The car's shadow with its high wobbling wheels seems cut out of a comic strip as I return to Timimoun at sunset through a sea of dunes.

"I would like to come back here always. I would like to spend the winters in the El Gourara hotel with my word processor and a small disc library of the classics of modern egoism from Hobbes to Huysmans. And soon all the other works 'on line' from all the national libraries and databases of Europe. Plus a discarded, bound and thumbed old desert novel by Pierre Loti.

"That is my desert romanticism.

"I would live here undisturbed by human complications, without love but also without pain.

"Live off bread and dates, watching the wheatear and the desert crow, listening to the palm doves as they grumble, tut-tutting in the date grove. Sitting in the sunrise looking out over the salt marshes and enjoying the monotony and silence of the desert."

Sven Lindqvist, Desert Divers, 1990

Ten years ago I decided to start camping again while the going is good and I can still walk with a cane. I rediscovered the pleasures of back country trips, naturism and hot springs.

I have visited natural springs throughout the southwestern and parts of the northwestern states. More often, at least twice a year, I go in my Jeep Cherokee into remote areas of the desert east of the Sierras where I find thermal springs rising out of the earth to keep me warm, the sun and the breeze to caress my skin and a deep sense of freedom.

Other welcoming people gather at these places as well.

Il y a dix ans, j’ai décidé de reprendre le camping pendant que la vie va bien et que je peux marcher encore avec une cane. J’ai redécouvert les plaisirs des expéditions dans l’arrière pays, du naturisme et des sources thermales.

J’ai visité des sources à travers les états du sud-ouest et d’une partie du nord-ouest. Plus souvent, au moins deux fois par an, je vais avec ma Jeep Cherokee dans les coins perdus du désert à l’est des Sierras où je trouve l’eau thermale sortie de la terre pour me tenir chaud, le soleil et le vent pour me caresser la peau et un sentiment profond de liberté.

D’autres gens accueillants se réunissent aussi autour de ces endroits.

Albert-Emile Elzas Photographer