You can hike up to the top of this thing at 12,115 ft. In fact, there’s a trail up there that follows the ridgeline to high above the Taos Ski Valley. If you start in San Cristobal, you can hike in the wilderness for days. This is obviously something I need to do before I fall over dead. The reddish-brown color at bottom right is a big patch of scrub oak: actual oak trees, but tiny, maybe eight or ten feet high, in a thicket. The less saturated golden brown area nearby is—gasp!—grass… There’s nothing quite like these high-altitude meadows. I’ve been in some where you could lose an aircraft carrier. You’ll find they’re full of elk poop, too.
Unless you’ve actually been to places like this, you’ll never grasp that everywhere was like this once. That this, in fact, is what the living Earth is meant to be. That we have done a goddamn shitty job of stewardship. That cutting slits and digging holes and blowing things up is just a stupid thing to do. You might as well cut your own tattoos with a hunting knife, for all the sense it makes. I realize that Xian ideology pretends the planet is here for us to use up on our way to heaven, but that’s another reason why I never go to church, aside from the essential uselessness of it all. I get my soul battery charged from Source. That’s why the wilderness is so important. This IS the Source, not some abstraction in a metaphor your preacher thought up for his sermon. (You can experience “God” directly!) When the wilderness is gone, our species will have achieved peak ignorance of what it means to be a human being, and then we’ll know what hell is all about.