This project began while I was an artist-in-residence at the Joshua Tree Highlands AIR program in Joshua Tree, CA in 2016. The desert landscape I discovered there has long been a place where artists go to find inspiration, and where many others go to escape the pressures imposed by society today. Paradoxically, it is also a place where the lines between military and civilian zones are blurry at best. The sounds of ordinance and military aircraft are common occurrence due to the close proximity of military bases where soldiers train for warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dichotomies of this sort are not unusual in the desert, where even the landscapes itself is a contradiction, at once seductive and inhospitable. Exploring this unfamiliar region through photography allowed me to experience first hand its odd mix of beauty and danger, and in doing so, to grapple with my own desire for an escape from modern life.