San Rafael Swell: Part One - The Desert

February 25, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

 

I wrote this multi-post story a year ago, and I have since rediscovered it. The ideas I had while writing this story still hold true to my life. Enjoy! 

 

 

The Desert

 

People are drawn to the desert. Something in us is drawn to these sparse yet ever shifting landscapes. Maybe it’s through the desolation and the wide open spaces that we derive some comfort or even learn something new about ourselves. We see this personal reflection throughout history. There must be a reason why the old prophets retreated to the desert and not to the cities or forests. Jesus himself went to the desert alone to be tempted by the devil for forty days. Could it be some kind of proving grounds for our innermost thoughts? Ephedra plant out in the Swell

It seems like the desert is a place where you can rest your mind and let the important things shine through. Of course, where else can you find a more perfect picture of resilience and endurance? There are trees growing out of rocks, lizards basking in the sun while you are dying to hide from it, or fresh springs bubble up from out of nowhere. For myself, I wanted to go to the desert to absorb the beauty and breathe in the dry, alkaline air, to be cut off from society so that my thoughts were the only chatter I could hear. There was no man in black fleeing across the desert with a gunslinger in hot pursuit, but I found the San Rafael Swell in Utah to be romantic enough without the help of Western poets and novelists.

Thankfully, I had my roommate, Seth, for company. His reasons for trudging through the Swell were not entirely clear to me, but I do know that he wanted his new Xterra to drive on something other than pavement, as well as to hike some of the trails in the area. I hadn't planned on going out to the desert in the first place, but his arguments were both logically sound, and they played well to my passion for photography.

 

Next week's post: The Swell

Cross-bedded sandstones of the Swell

 

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