The American West is a heartbreaking landscape. Whether you’re intrigued in the east, never having been under those—as DeLillo put it—great western skies or you’re from the west and you know the mystery dies out in slices with each passing year of construction and saturation, there’s an rapturously tragic quality to the west, from prairie to coast, blooming in your heart with daydreams or nostalgia. What was once our beloved American West, the promised land of adventurers and sleepyheads at the end of the motorized Oregon Trail that was Route 66, where an explorer’s spirit was put to good use by way of burning rubber and gasoline whiffs, is now a less magical place that somehow glows more fascinating because you only catch it in cracks of structure and moments of conversation, so it’s never been more important; a rare, practically exotic essence drenched in seemingly endless sunshine. That’s why Hayley Eichenbaum snaps one gorgeous photo after another that captures the colorful, curiously shaped soul that can’t be killed in the American West.
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