I can be a knucklehead. I forget wander more.

Now, I’ve seen a lot of the Red Rocks. I’ve done a lot of scrambling to out-of-the-way places.

The best places to wander are along “benches”. Benches are long stretches of flat rock elevated above canyon floors that afford nice, and sometimes outstanding, views. Most of the time you have to get off a trail and scramble up some crevasse strewn with prickly pears and agaves that require you place your feet in precise places.

You don’t have to be India Jones to scramble up. Most people can do it. You do, however, get dirty and get scraped and slip and sometimes fall on your behind. Sometimes it’s aggravating to slither through tight spots just to gain five feet. Sometimes it’s worse. Yet, it’s worth it.

When sweat drips, and your clothes are wet and muddy, and you come across some view of swirling, red rocks unfolding across some canyon with cypress climbing up walls on the other side which lead to expansive views that invite staring and maybe even photography, well, I like it.

I lose track of time.

After church hoy, I started down the wash that drains Mormon Canyon. The Brins Mesa trail, more or less, parallels this wash, but then leads to the top of the Mesa. Thus, the trail doesn’t lead into Mormon Canyon. No trail does. That’s why I was going to walk the bolder-strewn wash, and see what’s there.

That didn’t last long. A crevasse caught my attention. Surely the views would be better after scrambling up. Surely new things would be up there. They were… along a nice bench.

I’ll not give an account of my steps, or what I saw. Above and below are photos of what I saw.

My point is that losing track of time is such a wonderful thing. It means your imagination is stimulated. It means joy pervades your body. And the possibility to scramble and come across unique views and lose track of time abounds here in the Red Rocks. So why don’t I do it more often?

Because I’m a knucklehead. I get caught in anxieties and routines. I think the only reason to hike is to capture epic photos under perfect lighting conditions

But that’s nonsense. The best part of wandering is letting curiosity take hold of you. It’s wondering what the views are like up there. It’s wondering what the view’s like just around the corner. It’s finding some crazy contortion of a spire that only Sedona produces, and sitting there, for as long as you dang well please, to take it in. It’s lots of moments of little sweat-induced pleasures that come together to make forgetting of time possible.

There is always something new in the Red Rocks. Even in Dallas, along its many creeks, there is always something new. Thanksgiving reminded me of this. Why do I forget this? Why be a knuck…

Regardless, it was wonderful to lose track of time today. Four hours of wandering. I could have done more hours but darkness was coming.

I aim lose track more and more. If I weren’t such a wuss I’d become a full-blown Romantic.