There’s a national monument in the desert outside Santa Fe called Tent Rocks, a surreal badland-ish landscape of white and reddish-gold colored rock formations. We went there today for a hike on a glorious, sunny, 50 degree winter day. The path leads along the flat for a mile or so, winding between conical rock formations and slot canyons, before beginning a steep climb upward. The place wasn’t crowded, exactly, but there was a steady stream of hikers on the trail.
Here is the thing about this hike: About half an hour in, you start to realize what the rock formations look like.
“You know what?” my partner asked as we paused on a rock ledge for a brief rest. “We’re in the middle of a forest of giant penises.” I looked down. He was right.
“So that’s why they call it Tent Rocks,” I mused.
And then I remembered how much your voice echoes in a canyon.