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August 15, 2001: The Badlands

Imported from an old blog.

These are the badlands. Giant piles of desolate mud. Eroded sedimentary goo. Knife edges. Wrinkles. Desolation.

I'm in the notch, leads to the wall. The land drops away from here to the prairie below. The prairie goes on forever. Nothing out there but green grass and bad land edges in colors that I don't know.

I can see last night's campsite from here. Arriving at night provides a morning surprise. I drove in a hurry to beat a lightning storm that never broke to rain. A clear sky was revealed, more stars than any view but Joshua Tree. No wind. Cows lowing on a ranch nearby.

Woke to stiff winds trying to move the tent. Woke prior to the sun, eventually rising with it. The sun burnt off a mist and now we have a breezy day with a hot sun. In the sun, out of the wind, it is hot. When the wind blows I want my long sleeve shirt.

A few hundred feet down the hill there's another trail, of the boardwalk variety. Stairs climb to a platform where people stop to rest, see me and wonder how I got here. That is the Cedar Shelf trail. I am above the shelf, in the notch, looking out from the wall.

A man with two children has passed through. They made it to the end of the trail, where I am, expressed disappointment that it wasn't a loop and went back the way they came. I wonder if they noticed the view. I have. I am here for the duration.

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