Fountain Peak, Mojave National Preserve
I can't verify the thought, but I think that I have missed Fountain Peak. no wonder, since I climbed into the Providence Mountains with no map. All I have is a book and a compass for directional tools. The directions seemed straightforward -- climb the canyon past Crystal Springs to the saddle, take the saddle north to the summit. Potentially, I am on Fountain Peak. Who knows?
In any case, there is an exciting view both east and west over the preserve, no mountains for miles to limit my vision. The south view offers a distant horizon, but is partially blocked by mountains. The north is nothing but a mountain.
No human presence is audible from this location save for the infrequent drone of an airplane engine. Nothing else here but the sounds of natural origin. The wind with its low, slow breath through the pinyon pine and junipers. The occasional guest over the ridge making a more urgent and higher gasp before tapering back. Flies buzz occasionally, searching for a place to rest. A distant, intermittent chirp. There is nothing else.
From west to east, small patches of clouds push to the horizon with deliberately slow speed, floating downstream on the wind without hurry. A quiet day in Mojave.
The way down will not be simple. Good.
Thought to explore later -- why Abbey's return to civilization at the end of Desert Solitaire does not surprise me, but surprises Mike. Perhaps Abbery not a misanthrope. Laso, there are components of our life that desert can not fully provide for. The return to the city, and subsequently back to the wilderness is sweeter after having been away.