I’d characterize my typical solo experience of wilderness as a brush with indifference. However, yesterday’s encounter was far less warm or reassuring. There was something about the great expanse of open earth, the hard, unweathered granite and the city-size amphitheaters of wind and cold that pushed the character of the natural world beyond indifference to a point where my presence warranted no place in the calculations of such grandeur. I must go back to that place again, to plumb deeper, to once more diminish to the point of insignificance, where the apprehension of great scale and deep time become immediate and present facts, evident to every sense and sensibility. I’ve only ever known this experience in deserts, and only alone, and only where life holds on with the most frail and tentative grasp.