It is over 100 degrees today in the Mojave Desert of California. Not a car in sight as the surrounding sand and dust allures me into this vast expanse of nothingness. A road sign presents interesting options for survival. To the left might be Las Vegas but to the right might be death. On the car radio, I laugh as Peter Gabriel sings “Rain” to remind me of the contrasting aridity I now inhabit.
Climbing steeply from the salt valley floor, I obtain a bird’s eye view of the ancient sea of rippling sand here below. Subtle changes of terrain now take place. Sagebrush and sand now intermingle with an occasional Joshua tree. Suddenly, these prickly survivors appear everywhere to remind me that life can thrive here in this hostile environment.
High wind erosion in the high desert of Mojave provides a twisted array of rock formations in the distance now. A dry river bed produces a canyon of no return. A grotto of giant boulders becomes a teetering display of imbalanced roundness. I am simply in awe of this fascinating display of nature’s artwork, over the eons of time.
In contrast to those who travel by air to Sin City for hedonistic pleasures, I seem to have hit the jackpot in transit before arriving there today. Relaxed by the desert drive and certainly ready for a more active change of scenery, I await the neon allure of the Las Vegas Boulevard strip again. Don’t be surprised, however, if tomorrow morning, I choose rock sighting over slot machines as my preference for personal investment.