I walked in desert through a section called the badlands, twisting and turning in a ridge of eroded rocks so shaped by the forces of nature that mobility was slow at best; up and around pillars of stone, down crumbling banks of metamorphic turmoil. Found a cattle tank and drank vigorously from its murky depths, glad for hydration and ignoring the copious deposits of cow feces surrounding it. The New Mexico sunshine clouded over and a thunderstorm blew in, sending me running for cover under the sparse protection of a juniper tree. Ah! To flee for respite from the rain and then sit on a cactus! Irony knows no bounds in the unforgiving desert lands.The rain blew over and I continued on. There in the sand I found a half stick of chewing gum and picked it up. Holding it against a backdrop of turquoise sky I examined my treasure. Litter? Hmmm…. Disobeying every law of common sense I’d been taught as a child, I slowly unwrapped my find and placed the gum in my mouth. My jaws masticated this piece of trash and found it to be good, so I picked up the pace and went my jolly way. Rock cairns are difficult to follow in the dark, so I was forced to stop when I found a nice flat spot. Kicked the cow pies out of the way and set up my tarp. Lightning flashes in the distance and the rumbles of thunder follow long after. A brief spat of rain went by, but I’m warm and dry. Brother Coyote, I hear you calling; Mother Earth, I feel your dirt. They may say, those were the days, but for us – these ARE the days.
- Starting Location: hiking the desert
- Destination: the story of my picture…and more