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Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area

A Mayan city of rock flat topped with squared edges mingles with the turrets of Arabia, the desert asphalt transitions into limestone and the horse’s steps move from a soft trod across dirt to a somewhat hollow echo.

These are foreign lands. The ants might be the only thing that thrives here with their mounds sitting tall above ground and deep underneath. An occasional bird or jackrabbit perhaps.

Skirting the crevices and cracks where the summer monsoons have done their work, we follow the rivulets of this land through black and gray shale deep into the bright white maze ahead and come upon a hidden patch of desert grass where I stop to let the horse graze.

But there is more, so we ride on past cantilevered tabletops, hoodoos and odd shaped boulders - past piles of old horse manure weathered and worn like the ground below, slowly becoming one with the earth.

After a while I rein the horse to the east and reach behind to tip my hat forward blocking the morning sun. We weave our way into openess and there adjust direction back to camp returning cross-country through this wasteland. Moving at two miles per hour from one fantasy world to the next.

There's a profoundness here that escapes words and can only be felt, unseen by the casual observer. There are no trails in the Bisti Badlands - nor would I want to follow one, but I lean in to the arms of this lover and sink.

I don't want to leave.


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