September 30, 2016

Cairn, Route 66

Cairn off the side of Route 66 in the middle of the Mojave Desert. 

I found this stack of rocks beautiful. They caught me off guard. For no reason in particular, I pulled my car over near this spot and set off walking away from the road towards the open desert. I meandered for a while, I don't know for how long. There was lots of life and spirit to see in a place that many people dismiss as "barren." It's always that way in the Mojave Desert. People reject it as a wasteland but no matter how dead a spot looks from a distance, once you get up close the word "barren" is meant for some other place, far away. When I turned to go back, the stack was suddenly there as if out of nowhere in a place that already felt haunted. The atmosphere at dusk was palpable, aglow, the landscape hummed as it threw off the heat it absorbed earlier from the hot desert sun.

Romantic experiences with the land aside, I do acknowledge that the the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics discourages moving anything in the natural landscape, including rocks. Stacking is generally frowned upon. They're addressing national and state parks etc. but the principals apply to any place that's wilder than our towns and cities. We humans already move so much. We destroy so much on purpose and by accident.  When we go away from our manmade places... I understand that we should just let the places be. We don't deserve to leave our mark on every single place. 

September 23, 2016

Heart Of The Mojave, Amboy Road California

Hexagon formation on the floor of Bristol Dry Lake. The playa consists of different areas made of salt, mud, gypsum and sand.