Passage into the Earth

My photo of the month for January 2016 is from a desert hike (in fact, the only desert hike I did so far during this cold season) in the Coyote Mountains Wilderness (archive link – 12 more posts are available from that area now!). Two of my friends and I did the loop hike that includes the “Domelands“, the rough Slot Canyon down into a fossil-rich part of the Carrizo Badlands, and back through Anvil Canyon.

Slot Canyon in the Coyote Mountains Wilderness, Ocotillo, California, United States
Passage into the Earth — Slot canyon in the Coyote Mountains Wilderness, Ocotillo, California. January 2016.
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I picked this particular photo because it’s such an odd combination to me – the slot canyon feels inviting and sheltering, calm and serene in this image, yet at the same time the dramatic and rough walls tell the true story of this narrow gash in the earth: ravaged by flash floods and the debris they wash through the slot, the elements slowly cut deeper and deeper into the layered rock. It can be a very dangerous place.

[it’s actually the second time that a photo from this slot canyon is a photo of the month: “Vortex” from April 2015 was made in this slot canyon, too.]

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