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Annual Praise for Canyon/Badlands

I don't post much about the weather but there are exceptions.  Right now I am experiencing a miracle: no horizontal gravity (aka, no desert wind), lows in the 30s F, highs in the 60s F, and plenty of sun for charging the battery.  That means it is unnecessary to use heat.  Good sleeping weather.

And no bugs!

Many snowbirds are dissatisfied here because it is not warm enough for them.  They want it warm enough to sit around in chairs, in a conversational circle, while wearing shorts.  I try to remember where they are coming from.  Still, warm weather is not necessary to make me happy.

Every year I stop in at this canyon/badlands area in southeastern Nevada and praise it. (The land, not the snowbird neighbors.)  Many people are attracted to topographies with weird, eroded features.

Mere prettiness is a bit insipid for my tastes.  A landscape becomes more interesting to me if you add some fear and horribleness to it.  (Recall the old saying that a movie is no better than the villain.)  For instance, if the canyon becomes too narrow to walk, and it is caved-in with big sharp-cornered boulders in the way, it can cause some claustrophobia to kick in.

Worse yet is the sharpness of the rocks.  Somehow my little Q.t. Pi (dog) has adapted to this.  I don't know how.  (I am shopping around for doggie boots for her.)  To help, we spend most of our time in the canyon bottoms where the gravel is rounded.

An old hiking and RV buddy once told me that his Tucson hiking club buddies always hiked with gloves on.  I have started to follow his advice, lately.

But the greatest thing about eroded badlands/canyons is that you see changes from year to year.  The land is actually changing on a human time scale!  Geology has become a video instead of just a still-photograph.  We humans want to anthropomorphize everything to make it easier to related to!