I See You
Bandelier National Monument · White Rock · New Mexico · USA
...about two-thirds of the way back Ashley suddenly stopped dead in her tracks for the second time this hike (the first was on the way out when the largest garter snake either of us had ever seen zipped across the trail in front of her…): “Omigosh...A face! I saw a face!"
"There’s a face in that wall! Do you see it?? It looks like a Native American!"
Of course at this point I’m thinking maybe the sun’s gotten to her and she hadn’t been drinking enough water. But then she pointed across the creek to the opposite canyon wall, and my eye followed the line projected by her index finger. Sure enough, there within the ‘random’ cracks and fissures of the fractured basalt, the unmistakable half-shadowed face of a native chieftain seemed to glare out fiercely from the shadows at us as if to make sure weren’t remiss in respecting the land with each privileged foot strike upon the earth--lest we incur his wrath. It was like a Bev Doolittle image come to life, and suddenly the clear skies and truncated hike all made sense: a half hour earlier or a half hour later and the conviction of the illusion would’ve suffered under suboptimal lighting, and overcast skies would have surely snuffed it out altogether...
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Above excerpted from my full travelogue journaling my trip to New Mexico.