We walked all the way across the dry lake bed


Last Saturday a small group of people walked across Coyote Dry Lake Bed. I was joined by Margot Ittelson(of the Pink Post Office) and her brother Chris. We set out at around 10 am with a destination of the dark grey faraway mountain. Margot was curious about what it was made of; was it sand or was it hard rocks? Miles appear as mere meters across the dry lake bed, we have no idea the distance to said intriguing mountains. 


 As we begin our trek into the fractal patterns of past water, we discuss how it might have felt to walk across nothingness for days; we found ourselves depressed by the lack of any living thing. The thing about Coyote Dry Lake is that it is an off-roaders makeshift course, ATVs and rugged motorbikes charge across the vasness, creating rogue trails up the sides of the hills. We see and hear these vehicles during our walk across the yellow dryness. 


Bureau of Land Management "manages" the land of the dry lake bed, which means anyone can set up camp for 14 days, for free. BLM allows off roading, and is not highly regulated, like National Parks and National Monuments, causing controversy amongst environmentalists.


This land used to be open for homesteading until the US government passed the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976. RVs with bright green and pink lawnchairs are scattered across the lakebed- seems like a few of them have been here longer than 2 weeks. We spot traces of life as we walk; a pair of shoes, some tires and cans.


We begin to really feel the lack of life and then to notice it with relief when it returns. A void is filled when we see a bright purple flower growing out of the dusty cracks!


A contrast; a moment to consider the power of life, even in the harshest of conditions, there is a will to survive, with brightness!


We make it to the other side, which ends up being about two and a half miles from where we parked. The rock here is hard, maybe once volcanic and there are lots of boys on small motorcycles popping wheelies in the dust. It was amazing to hike with Margot and Chris; they want to be Scouts too! We all have small "scout assignments"- Margot will research gold mines and Chris will research native edible plants! To have a chunk of time to walk in space with people of the land; to learn about eachother and the land as we walk- so inspiring!