Eliza Earle | Adventure Photography and Film


Desert Dwelling

Originally posted on April 19th, 2016

Words really can’t describe the feeling I had when I saw red desert sandstone after months of snow. The sight of the dry desert landscape sparked something inside of me that I hadn’t felt in a while: real happiness. That might sound incredibly depressing, but to me it was inspiring. Happiness is a wonderful feeling.


Moab has always been a really special place to me. It has been a place to escape to for endless adventures, beautiful landscapes, and above all, a space that provides a time and place to connect with like-minded people.  I first came to the desert in the fall of 2011 to spend Thanksgiving with my brother and sister. Mason had already been climbing in Moab for years and introduced us to a completely new world – a world with no rules.  A place where you can jump off cliffs tethered to climbing ropes, walk highlines over canyons, climb for hours on remote un-established walls, and best of all, go basically anywhere you want… just for the sake of exploration. Since that first trip, I’ve returned to the desert 20+ times over the past five years. This place never gets old and will continue to be my favorite place on earth.

I didn’t plan to spend the majority of March and April in Moab, but I was having a hard time reconnecting to life in Boulder. I was running a 30k at the end of March in Moab, so I planned to go out a week early because… why not? One week turned in to two and before I knew it I was commuting back and forth between Moab and Boulder like they were neighboring towns. Mason has been posted in Moab for the past month as well, so Woo and I have always found reason to return.

One of the things that Ethan and I both connected over was our love for the desert and how there was always something new to explore.  In the past 30 days, I’ve spent 20 of them in the desert and each of those days was a mix of familiar and new experiences.  I returned to Castle Valley where Ethan first asked if I wanted to be his girlfriend. I finally got to spend some quality time in Indian Creek and watched Mason put up a first ascent. We traveled deep into the canyons off of Kane Creek and found huge boulders, crystal clear pools, and exquisite un-touched splitters. We explored caves above Potash and waterfalls up Mill Creek.

Maybe it’s all the memories that I have from the desert, or maybe it’s a good distraction. Either way, there’s a magic hidden there that will always lift your spirit.

I’m back in Boulder for a few days so I figured I’d take this time to post a few shots from the past month before I head back to Moab on Thursday.

Eliza Earle