Argentina, Jujuy Prov, Jeff Pulling Cart Salinas Grande, 2010, IMG 5897
Argentina, Jujuy Prov, Jeff Pulling Cart Salinas Grande, 2010, IMG 5897

Argentina, Jujuy Province, 2010 – Jeff Shea walks across South American Altiplano – I decided in 2010 to begin doing yearly expeditions to push myself to my maximum potential, to see what I could do and what I could not do, even though I knew that there was serious risk, especially in solo walks across desolate territories. One of the impetuses I had was my deep conviction that humankind – although few are paying attention in this regard – desperately and quickly need to set aside vast, contiguous areas of the world, each with an epicenter far from its edges. I call these World Parks. (Two years later, I incorporated World Parks, Inc., a non-profit, public benefit corporation whose purpose is to further this idea.) I could accomplish many things at once: walk in candidate areas, to really know them, photograph unusual landscapes, test my metal, learn, discover, and possibly inspire people to consider my idea of World Parks, eight vast areas to be permanently preserved for our descendants. My first walk was across the South American Altiplano. It is a dry area bordering the world’s driest desert, the Atacama. (In 2012, I walked across the Atacama. Writer John H. Richardson accompanied me for the first nine days of that journey.) The first week of this journey, I almost ran out of water. Here, I am shown crossing the Salinas Grandes, a large, dry “salar” near Morros village in Jujuy Province in northwestern Argentina. I set the camera up on a tripod to take this self-portrait.

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