The states that make up the American Southwest may vary depending on whom you ask, but for your “Set of Drifters,” they’ll include picturesque Arizona and New Mexico and portions of Nevada and Texas.  It is here where wide-eyed visitors will find rugged, yet colorful, terrain, majestic Saguaro cacti, and any number of unusual “lost” roadside attractions.

We love much of the Southwest thanks to its under-the-radar, yet completely out in the open extra-terrestrial realness!  Sure, there’s Nevada’s “Area 51,” multiple star-gazing observatories and those rampant little green men celebrated throughout Roswell, New Mexico.  But a closer look at the region reveals lesser known interplanetary alliances such as Sedona’s scenic vortices and architecture that appears more Logan’s Run than Robber’s Roost.

And yet, it’s hard to ignore the rich “Old West” traditions that permeate so many of pop culture’s preconceptions of this “Frontier” corner of America.  Old Town Phoenix was once a cattle rancher and cowboy haven.  These days however, thanks to s steady influx of ex-pats from California and the Midwest, it’s a bustling Metropolitan area, complete with world-class eateries, museums and shopping!  And let’s not forget the Navajo, Apache, Havasupai, Maricopa, Pima, Taos, and Yavapai.  Even though these Native American tribes have been relegated to out-of-sight reservations, their cultural contribution to the pulse of their communities is still as strong as it ever was, despite the existence of more than a few money-grubbing casinos!

And then there are the ghosts...  Road-trippers to the Sonoran Desert and beyond are bound to find more dusty rundown “High Noon” thoroughfares than days in the week!  For adventure-hunters we ultimately recommend a casual itinerary that allows for ample roaming.  You just never know what you’ll come across next during a trek through the unparalleled beauty of the American Southwest!  Who knows, you may even find “The Thing?” - or end up in “Sin City” itself, the love-it or loathe-it mecca of all things glitter, flash and hoochie.

(For an extended collection of photos from just a smattering of our trips to the American Southwest, be sure to check out our Facebook page.)