Nat and I are on a car trip that is taking a lot longer than I thought it would. By now, it is starting to feel like one of those dreams where you are trying to get away from the monster and you can only run in slow motion. Except that there is no monster, only the broiling sun and the beautiful, brutal, gloriously empty West. (The fact that our air conditioner is broken and can't be fixed on the road enhances this powerful aesthetic effect.)
To the left, you see an area called "Little Park," an island of sagebrush in the vast lava flow of the Craters of the Moon Nature Preserve in Idaho. (Click to enlarge.) I figured I had to go there just because the name was so cute. Actually, as it turned out, the Little Park is only parklike in comparison with the desolate chaos of the lava beds that surround it.