This trip was turning into one of so many other trips we have taken in our travels over the past few years.
We had a general destination in mind, but other than that just planned on taking the day as it came.
Bows were sitting in cases in the bed of the truck - mine left handed and LC's right handed.
We had already spent a couple of hours wandering and picture taking and enjoying the views of the basin and wild flowers and rock formations and antelope.
The hills to the right in the picture (above) were the back side of the hills we can see from our house.
As the crow flew we were only five minutes from the house.
But we were now so far into the basin that we were an hours' drive to the house going back the way we had come, or an hours' walk if we were to hike it up and over the hills before picking up a long downhill BLM trail to home.
We were close to home, but on this day and at this moment it felt like we were a million miles from home.
A magical and beautiful place.
My Mountain Boy - the wonderful and special man who has traveled a million miles with me over these past years - picked a large rock under a tree and turned silently to me, smiled and without asking, asked me "is this OK?"
Without answering him, I answered.
Yes. It was OK.................
We sat on the rock and under the tree and looked out over the entire basin.
The breeze cooled us off, and as we ate our picnic we quietly talked with each other and looked around us, both of us mesmerized by this unexpectedly beautiful place.
We had never actually been to this very spot before.
I had been in this general area before, but had only explored close to the hills before turning back, hiking back up the trail and then down the trail to pick up my bike again, that I had dropped when I hit the box canyon two years ago.
Together we had both explored all over the top of the hills.
Together we had also explored Wind Rock - which was about 10 minutes from this spot.
So this was all new territory for both of us.
After finishing our lunch, both LC and I wanted to explore the huge rock that was beside us.
There was a pathway naturally built among the rocks and pine trees.
Leaving our small cooler under the tree we eagerly headed for the trail, eager to see what we would find..................
The trail was steep. Immediately beautiful and hugely interesting.
I was loving this adventure.................
"Our hills" - the ones we see from the house - in the background.
The monumental rock that we were climbing, in the foreground.
Pine trees growing in the smallest breaks in the rock.
As I looked at these trees I was impressed (as I always am when I see them), at their ability to thrive and survive in the harshest wind and sun, and the smallest amounts of dirt and water.
They are wonderful testaments to the determination of nature.
The determination to exist no matter the barriers...............
I had wandered up ahead of LC, and when I turned back to look for him realized that he had stopped and was looking out over the world we had left behind us.
I stood balancing between two rocks, watching him.
Loving the sight of him................
As we continued to climb I looked out over the basin and could see the large pond that was located close to the oil refinery.
It is the only water that I have ever seen in the basin and it is a nasty, alkali filled, nothing-lives-in-it-and-nothing-grows-in-it, foul smelling body of water.
From a distance though, and while standing near the top of a very large rock wall, it looked very lovely.............
When LC and I finally pulled back together at the top of the rocks, it was my turn to point and say "look at those".
The shape of the two cones was so unusual, and immediately my sci-fi, Twighlight Zone, Stephen King brain kicked in and concocted outrageous and unearthly explanations for their shape and existence.
LC inspected them closely and then waved me over.
They were made of dirt. Not rock as I had expected, and I watched LC break off a couple of pieces at the top of the largest stack with only a small of amount of effort .
Surprised, I watched him easily grind the pieces into dust.
THAT I had not expected at all................
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter............Rachel Carson