South Coyote Buttes, Arizona.
The sun's been down 20 minutes and we are a long ways from nowhere. There's enough warnings of how hard it is to get here that we hired a guide, and he is antsy to move--the hike to the trailhead is rough in the dark, then we have 7 or 8 miles of sick jeep trails to make it to the 16 miles of merely bad road. I have made it back to our rendezvous here on the rainbow colored brain rock as the sun disappeared, and I'm now unwilling to leave a place I may never get back to. Every minute, land and sky changes, each taking turns becoming more intense than the other. Scientifically, it's layers of sediment from an inland sea, drained by tektonic force, petrified, and eroded by wind and water. But wander these buttes and teepees, and after a while the silence has you actually walking on tiptoes, getting lost in layers of time, layers of color, layers of rock, sky, and imagination until the appreciative "sorry...we really gotta go" intrudes to pull me out of this world. I can't remember the last time I was this lost in a landscape.