A Walk in the Desert

1 Dec, 2016; Quartzite, AZ

Desert ‘Pavement’ separated by green washes

Wide swathes of desert pavement – rock and gravel blowout areas, the rock burned almost black as minerals leach out in the sun – are separated by threads of lower, sandy washes.  And the washes are lined by ironwood, mesquite, palo verde, saguaro, barrel cactus, creosote bush and anything else that need a bit of moisture to live.  I’ve heard that this area of the desert gets about 2” of rain per year.  A big difference from my rainy home in the Pacific Northwest.

My tiny trailer in the vast desert

Infrequent rain carves the washes

Competing for water - who will survive?

It's been awhile since a good rain, the sand is cracked and curling.

The creosote is barely leafed out this year – must have been a particularly dry year.  When it rained a couple of days ago, the distinctive desert perfume smell was faint – almost a memory of a smell.

Ancient Indian Geoglyph or an ATV doing donuts?

Scars made in the desert floor here will last for decades – or in the case of ancient native geoglyphs, it could be hundreds or even a thousand years. 

I love the quiet!

One of the most notable qualities of the desert is the quiet.  No traffic, no neighbors, no lawn mowers, no trains, no planes – occasionally, a truck passes on the highway, but too far away to really hear.  An occasional generator, but I try to park far away from RV’s with generators.  At this time of year, one rarely even hears birds.  I’ve heard coyote, and lately, there has been the sound of wind. 

Great place for sunrises and sunsets

The sun rises over the Plomosa Mountains, and sets behind a series of mountains – Closest and to the southwest are the Dome Rock Mountains, with the Riverside and Big Maria Ranges behind and west to Northwest.


  1. Looks like a great winter home.
    Ready, at least mentally, to head out that way.

    1. It will be great to catch up - sorry I missed you in Colorado this summer!


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