One Day

“One day, in the Time When Animals Were People, Coyote came to the valley. The people were small then, so Coyote kept them in a large basket he carried on his back. After a long journey, Coyote grew tired. When he came to a place at the north end of the valley, he set his burden down on the earth. The moment he fell asleep, the people climbed up out of the basket and ran away in all directions. The place where they emerged is called Ubehebe Crater today, and it’s hollow like the shape of a wosa, or basket. After Coyote woke up, he walked up and down the valley naming the places where the people could live. That’s how the Timbisha knew where to find everything they needed.”
~ ‘Indian Country, God’s Country: Native Americans And The National Parks’ by Philip Burnham


Little Hebe Crater, Death Valley National Park, CA.
Little Hebe Crater, Death Valley National Park, CA.


The Desert

“I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence, something throbs and gleams…”

― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

Mesquite Dunes, Death Valley National Park, California

The Vibrant Desert

Cloudy sunrise, Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park.

Nothing stood between us and the vibrant desert. Staring at the unlimited space fanned out before me, I felt magnified and ethereal, yet grounded….

I’d forgotten how enlivening it could feel, seeing clearly and far. Aridity frees light. It also unleashes grandeur….

Desert beauty was “sublime” in the way that the romantic poets had used the word —

not peaceful dales but rugged mountain faces, not reassuring but daunting nature,

the earth’s skin and haunches, its spines and angles arching prehistorically in sunlight.

Julene Bair, The Ogallala Road: ‘A Memoir of Love and Reckoning’, 2014