68 imagesFrom Phoenix to Santa Fe along the southwestern border, far from the tourist spots in in the heart of a West where you can find the secret pistes of Geronimo and the Tombstone of the OK Corral. In the heart of a sea of yellow grass interrupted only by rare clusters of houses and dusty service stations re-emerges the tex-mex heart of these deserts, more alive than ever on this side of the border that today divides two so different worlds irresistibly attracted to each other, the United States and Mexico. Here the Old Mexico still speaks with the harsh faces of the baroque saints among the stones of the mission of San Xavier del Bac, covered by the golden patina of the time. Not far, near Tucson the tourists just climb over a hill to enter the Wild West, between assaults to the diligence, duels between pistols with icy and saloon beauties lying on vintage sofas. Only the tutelary deity is missing, The Duke aka John Wayne, but undoubtedly his soul still wanders among the Old Tucson Studios, an ancient Hollywood set where the western collective imagination is staged at fixed time. Outside, like a play of mirrors, canyons carved by the capricious course of the rivers set up the Sonoran desert, one of the most inhospitable places on the planet where the dusty slopes of the Saguaro National Park are lost among spectacular candlestick cactus forests. In Tombstone, the city "too hard to die", restaurateurs and souvenir sellers disguised as pistoleros pass down the legend of OK Corral, while after few hills the prairie is closed by the rock towers of the Chiricahua National Monument, one of the most jealously hidden secrets of this South-West where Geronimo and his Chiricahua apaches led their desperate resistance against the US cavalry. In the end over 5,000 soldiers won fifty Chiricahuas, twenty warriors and thirty women and children, and the last apache of these mountains, Big Foot Massai, disappeared among the canyons riding a stolen horse. According to the legend his soul still gallops to Massai Point, thousands of spiers and pinnacles as thin as blades of knives in a silence broken only by the whistling of the wind. White Sands, New Mexico, is a sea of snow-white dunes against the skyline of Sierra Blanca black mountains but it is not sand, is White Sands Monument, the world's largest gypsum desert. The last stop before the magic of this lost West ends in Santa Fe.