Yesterday the hiking/writing workshop went out to the back country, this time in a jostling truck with seats installed into the pickup bed. It nearly shook my teeth out, so I can imagine how the instructor felt, since she had a broken rib from a fall at her house.
Though I haven't written anything usable as of this time, I found the landscape this time out extremely impressive. It was rather like being out in the desert with the ancients--I expected to see a burning bush at any second. However, I did see a glistening, seemingly endless trail of harvester ants, a behive swarming with bees inside a hollow trunk, a patch of opuntia cactus scattered with bright yellow sticky monkey flowers, a brace of quail hurrying out of the road in front of us, and some of the tiniest hummingbirds I've ever seen. We spent so much time traveling this session that we didn't have as much time as usual, and though the place had rich history (bandits, buried treasure, a stagecoach and trade route), I was more interested in the flora, fauna, and geological features this time out, despite the fact that we were asked to write a story. Although we saw evidence of human beings who had lived there once (grinding holes in a rock, for example), I didn't feel I knew enough about their lives to write a story, and to tell the truth, it is hard for me to make up a plot from scratch. It doesn't come naturally to me. With practice, I would probably learn to do it though.