One: two-tracks, the dusty, lonely roads that follow the contours of the West. The one above reminds me of a long-ago hike taken from the low road to Zuni.
Two: hiking high and wild, to beat the heat and get up where breathing is a pleasure. Lately that has meant the Jemez Mountains, raked over by wildfires but springing up green with the monsoon rains. We just missed the wild raspberries: the bears got there first.
The road turned to dirt, then to a two-track that petered out and became a trail. Two young buck deer moved away from us quietly, up the far side of the draw. Two-year-old males: Jan calls them “forkéd horns.”
On a pumice outcropping lay, face down, a Surfer Ken doll in board shorts that had once been blue and yellow. I turned him face up, to catch some rays and even out his tan.
Along a dusty red two-track we came upon a ring of burned stones, a campsite that probably dated to the Thirties. In the rusty upturned bowl of a Model T headlamp, tidily deposited, was a pile of coyote poop.
Perfect aim. No seat to leave up.
Betsy James on Writing, Art, and Walking in the Desert