Bushwhacking near the Continental Divide Trail. Broken land: stone, mud, sand, concretions. Overall colors are dun, but sometimes, bright against the yellow, a deep red or black. Weathered, skeletal, not a land friendly to humans. No water but the distant Puerco River. Sagebrush and juniper—the piñon is dead from drought.
The particular crisp softness of walking on frost-heaved Cretaceous dirt.
A doe and her grown fawn floated away from us, bouncing light as…but nothing bounces light as a deer.
Bushwhacking in the dense piñon-juniper and oak brush that covered the mesa, on a windy day that obscured all sound. I was newly aware of how one tracks companions by constant, quick glances through the twiggage, near-subliminal glimpses every four to eight seconds: a scrap of color, a blink of movement out of place against the moving background. It’s an almost-unconscious art, and takes practice. First we lost Rob, then Gary, then John.
They all straggled in later at the car, remarking on how, in countryside like this, a group can get separated in less than a minute. Their shouts had been inaudible in the wind.