Anza Trail Blog

Photo Essay Shares a View Along the Anza Trail

by Naomi Torres, Anza Trail Superintendent

Tagged as:   Art , California , Culture , Imperial County

Sammie Lopshire of Jacumba, CA, shares her story

An off road vehicle user has been riding the Ocotillo Wells area since he was a toddler. A sheepherder from Peru spends many hours alone grazing his sheep. A postmaster in Jacumba serves as a resource for community information, like where to find a plumber.

These individuals and others come alive in “Modern Stories Along the Anza Trail” a new photo essay by photographer Tony Gleaton. The piece features the stories of twelve people and their experience of the desert. As you listen to their interviews a series of images provides a glimpse of Ocotillo, California, and the surrounding area.

On the surface, much of the landscape hasn’t changed since the Anza Expedition passed through the area in December 1775. If you’ve ever traveled this area along the Anza Trail, you may not have stopped for long to experience the place. But a closer look reveals a vibrant community, a dramatic desert, large tracts of agricultural fields, and renewable energy projects across the landscape. 

We invite you to visit the area, while seated at your desk, and perhaps it will make you to slow down and take a closer look. You may even find Imperial County as cozy as one of the interviewees, Dilda McFadden. “I’ve raised my children here. I have grandchildren here. So I guess it depends upon the pace of a person and what they are looking for...but Imperial Valley has been very comfortable for me.” 


The photo essay shares the voices of 12 Imperial County residents
Photos by Tony Gleaton

Sammie Lopshire of Jacumba, CA, shares her story
photo by Tony Gleaton

Imperial County Landscape
photo by Tony Gleaton

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