Driving to the Desert – Arriving Home


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1500 miles in the past, 300 miles yet to come.

Driving towards Alamogordo, New Mexico. Clouds hug the mountain ranges.

The snow from the last hundreds of miles has melted and, except for a few puddles, the desert looks like the desert.

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Ready to be home.

The Organ Mountains, one of the newest National Monuments (2014), rise above the clouds.

Warmer air blew in from the west and trapped the cooler air below it. This caused a cloud inversion which pushed clouds low in the canyons of the mountain ranges and exposes the high peaks.

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It was a late and very dark arrival — and included a bonus! A meteor shower through the front windshield as we drove the final 30 miles. Even a green shooting star! What a welcome!

The morning after the late arrival…the sun had yet risen over the Santa Rita mountain range and the clouds were bright with desert glitter sunlight!

And I am home. Home in the desert.


This is the last of the “every 100 miles” series.

All photos taken using my iPhone and Hipstamatic app with filter set on random. Since time and distance were the priorities, all photos were taken “on the fly” = zipping past at 65-75 miles per hour.

Essence of travel.

Choosing a Path

Ajo Mountain Trail

Ajo Mountain Trail ©2013 Bo Mackison

“One’s options in this world are as vast as the horizon, which is technically a circle and thus infinitely broad.
Yet we must choose each step we take with utmost caution,
for the footprints we leave behind are as important as the path we will follow.
They’re part of the same journey — our story.” ~ Lori R Lopez

Sherpa and I hiked several of the trails in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. When we trekked up the Bull Pasture Trail, we encountered lots of switchbacks, lots of rocky trail. Occasionally we walked along a packed dirt path, but more often we were picking our way through rocky rubble. Every foot placement was a decision.

I noticed that Sherpa and I chose very different paths. He would choose to veer to the side and balance on wobbly stones. I would choose to climb up larger, more solid rocks, balancing with my hiking stick and my hands when necessary. He sidestepped down the side of an arroyo, slip sliding as he descended. I did my sidesteps in smaller increments, testing the stability of the rocks so I had a firm footing. We each choose different paths, but we chose our individual paths with intention.

So different — hiking on a rocky trail versus strolling on a smooth sidewalk. For the majority of us, a sidewalk poses little problem. We barely notice where we place our feet. We walk, usually heading to a destination, and often pay little attention to our surroundings. Walking on a rocky path requires concentration and deliberation, the path is seldom designed for speed, and often rewards us with magnificent views.

The kinds of paths we choose can apply to living a full life, also. We can choose to walk the easier path, walk it in such a way as to never call attention to ourselves. Follow the same path as everyone else. Or we can maneuver over a rockier trail, choosing our own way. We can walk with intention. We can be observant. We can take in the view.

I can’t do all of my walking climbing a mountain path, but I don’t want to do all of my walking on a sidewalk either.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She continues to make discoveries when she connects with the natural world.

Travelin’ Road

Arizona Highway

Traveling Arizona © 2013 Bo Mackison

People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness.
Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.
~ H. Jackson Brown

There are days I choose a destination and plot a route that avoids the interstate system or the major highways. I pull off to the side of the road, just so I can look at what I am seeing. Or maybe it is so I can see what I am looking at. There are many times when I don’t exactly know where I am, but I’m not lost.

When it’s time to return home, I head west until my way is blocked by one of Arizona’s many mountain ranges. Finding a way around or through or over is part of the adventure.

Similar to life. When we run into an obstacle, we find a way over or around or through.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC.  There are many roads to explore, and many obstacles to overcome.



Windswept ©2013 Bo Mackison

It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,

And that when we no longer know the way which way to go
we have come to our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.

~ Wendell Berry

My old ways, my tried and tested ways, no longer seem to fit. What happens when the stories I’ve lived these many years feel too small and restrict my breathing, my feelings, my actions? There is a spark on the edge of the shadow, and it shimmers.

The wind sweeps in, brushing away the old, allowing space for the new to take seed, grow and thrive.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is exploring creative photography and emotion in a  series called Desert Lines – a combination of visual lines and written lines.

Garden View – December’s Photo-Heart Connection

Tumacacori Garden Wall

Tumacacori Garden Wall © 2012 Bo Mackison

Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love. ~ Rumi

As I looked through the photographs I took in December in preparation for posting for the monthly photo practice, the  Photo-Heart Connection, I found a huge variety of photos. Part of the month I lived in southern Arizona and part of the month I lived in Wisconsin.

Throughout the month there were Holiday preparations and celebrations, opportunities for photos focusing on family and friends. The week before Christmas a blizzard slammed Madison, prompting a two-day snow holiday while we waited for the plows to clear a path through almost two feet of snow, and turning the city into a white wonderland. I had a lot of snow photos.

It was a telling selection when I passed by the winter scenes and gravitated to the photographs from the desert and arid regions of Arizona. I loved visiting with my family and celebrating Christmas in Wisconsin.

But I realized — I left my heart in Arizona.


This photo is my choice for this month’s Photo Heart Connection. I join other photographers at Kat Eye Studio and post a photo taken during the prior month that “connects with my heart” as a monthly photography practice.

I also wrote a guest blog on Kat’s site, A Year of Photo-Heart Connections, which summarizes the lessons I’ve learned while doing this photography practice.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC.