When I read stories about people getting lost in the desert, I begin with two assumptions. The first is that the traveler did something wrong that resulted in him getting lost; the second is that he did something right if he lived to tell the tale. The second assumption is generous because lots of people who get lost in the desert are found only after arduous searches. Still, the adventurer gets credit for telling someone who would notice him missing, where he was going and when he intended to return. Leaving an itinerary with a responsible party is a preeminent rule of desert survival. Mine is often a scrawled note that I tuck under one of the windshield wipers of our neighbor’s Chevy pick-up right before we depart on a Nevada desert journey.
This photograph of a wild horse hangs in a prominent place in our living room, an image I took a few months ago in Nevada’s Kamma Mountains. It is odd, the story of how this horse came to hold a special place in our home and our hearts. I can almost laugh about it now.