Wildfires, visible at center, are currently burning in Ventura, California. Numerous blazes have already destroyed hundreds of homes and thousands of residents have fled the surrounding areas. The largest fire has expanded to cover an area roughly the size as the city of Orlando. To be very clear, the two white streaks seen here at left are cloud cover, not fires.
Hoover Dam is a 221-meter-high (726-foot), 379-meter (1,244-foot) concrete arch-gravity dam, located on the Colorado River at the border of Arizona and Nevada, USA. Constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression, a workforce of approximately 20,000 poured a total of 3.33 million cubic meters (4.36 million cubic yards) of concrete to complete the structure – enough to pave a two-lane highway from San Francisco to New York City.
Recently, while reading an XKCD comic about temperature preferences, the name “Turpan” caught my eye, which led me down an internet rabbit-hole that eventually led me to create this trip along the ancient Silk Road for you, using photographs, traveling from east to west. Starting in Xi’an, China, the route winds its way through parts of Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. I invite you to come along through the Gobi Desert, past the Flaming Mountains, the Singing Sands, the City of Screams, and other ancient and modern artifacts—and many spectacular vistas—along the main branches of this ancient trade route.