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    Desert Magic

            I had the privilege of being in Death Valley during August, when the temperatures routinely hit 90 before sunrise and hover around 115 all day. This kind of climate is not for everybody, but if you can hack it, the rewards are spectacular.
            The deserts of the southwestern United States are incredibly beautiful. The unique geological history of the region creates some of the most breath taking vistas on the planet. And there’s something mystical and spiritual about being there. The Native Americans knew this, and that’s why so many of those cultures required rites of passages and vision quests take place in the desert. I love the ocean, but I find the desert just as comforting and magical.
            Before I turned twenty-two, I had never set foot near a desert. I got my first taste when I traveled cross country with a few buddies the summer after I graduated college. But I was a different person then, and I didn’t really connect to it. But every time I went back to California, I inevitably found myself in the desert at some point, and it’s pull gradually made it’s way into my psyche.
            If you’ve never been, I encourage you to experience it. Death Valley and The Mojave National Preserve are amongst my favorites, but any desert will do. The next time you find yourself on one of those long, straight, single lane roads outside of Las Vegas, stop the car, pull over, and get out. Walk a few hundred feet into the desert and just stay still. See if you can appreciate the stark beauty. See if you can connect to the spirituality that’s inherent there. See if you can feel something that wasn’t there before.
            Besides the sweat, of course.

    Zabriskie Point - Death Valley, California

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