man, i am just running down to that creek! i drove in overnight from abilene, stopped at some indian space station to phone post 43 and let em know i was walking the rest of the way. turned out that was a terrible idea, i was out in the land of scrub tree thickets and mesas just big enough to piss ya off, so i picked up my car at the last pine tree this side of the sierras. la sal, or some god damn place. i don't know. it was night time.
so i am running down to this creek. we've all got our adrenaline pumped after driving on that narrow ass road chopped into sandstone so slick you could roll a half dollar down it. crushing rocks with our tires and sending em down to the gulch where they belong. where did i pick them up? hell... they must have flown in on the dawn. anyhow, the creek is at the bottom of this huge wash that we're descending toward. there's a bath down there that uranium prospectors used to use and we're going to hole up there until the whiskey gets to our heads. we're probably gonna have a hell of a time finding it. it's in some slot canyon in a valley that's got creekbeds coming out of cliffs like doors in a condo complex. but this one creek is wet and i want to be wet too, so to hell with beginnings, let's get started.
when we get down to the water we can see all the eddies and upwellings from the differences in depth. it's like a big thick piece of alive glass. after seeing texas and new mexico this place is like all's holy cibola. the jackrabbits can have the western plains.
the water is slipping around fast but not too fast, good fer swimmin. just before i hop in i'll be damned if i don't see that the entire bottom of this creek is just thick with jewels. minerals that people haven't even put down in a science book. like chunks of glass with bubbles in suspension, or like those fake glass dewdrop things that old people put in their gardens beneath their butterfly globes except the things we're pullin up out of this creek are so priceless that no one could ever afford to buy em from us. i could fit the mona lisa in my pockets.
but holy shit! i can fly! i take off and head for that big ol stack hanging off the side of a bentonite hill, and i don't even want to climb up to the top, i just want to see it up close. the indians say that the rocks'll throw you off if they don't like where yer tryin to get to. the molten eagle's already got a date with that fantastic lil outcrop anyhow.
each one of these here boulders is my friend. the gravel's their children. some of my friends in air traffic control are rerouting planes because those sons of bitches aren't allowed to see this place, even from the air. you have to come here and taste the sand to open your eyes. you gotta be thirsty. you gotta know what shade is.
we found the camp. slung up some tarp in this confluence of slot canyons with rocks just perfect enough to set up the bare essentials. someone brought a pair of mini blinds as a little joke. and you know the crazy thing? the sun is hardly even out. we've been here for five minutes. i am the scorpion; damn i love climbing around on these rocks! why the hell was i in abilene?
and this is the dream of the pioneers... this is the big sick wanderlust that made it ok to drink bitter water, made it the norm to eat thistle pie, whistle where there ain't no echo, and take off your hat on the top of that yonder hill and think 'god damned if i ain't about to wake up someplace else'