The Great Salt Lake and the Grand Prehistoric Dominion - Gabriel Blackhelm
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La Terra Dei Morti

I walk through what I call the Deathly Place, a kind of Mordor in the landscape, on my way to the Great Salt Lake thinking about the summit I just watched between Vladimir Putin and the president of the United States. It stands out to me that when asked if Russia had any incriminating evidence on him, the president who has proclaimed himself such interjects, "if they did it would have already come out, believe me." Vladimir Putin looks down at his lectern. When it comes to honor among thieves, the one who holds his silence is controlling the game.

On my return from the Great Salt Lake, the earth is cast in a magenta hue that reminds me of a cold, windy night at Promontory Peninsula. I woke to a heavy wind in the early morning hours, and sensing a storm coming I arise and pack up my stuff and begin my exodus. A narrow path seems to make possible a passage through the middle of a cliff. I step carefully along the cleft with only a small flashlight loaded with fading batteries and a dim circle of light at my feet. Moonlight sparkles on the Great Salt Lake, though I can see the wind is being driven by a sky darker than night on the horizon. I search at the end of the path for the best direction to take along the slope with my little amount of light as a bottle of propane explodes with startling force in my backpack. I whirl around about to throw the pack to the ground as it stops and I realize I have no propane in my pack. There is a moment as it occurs to me I have no pressurized liquid in my pack. I peer into the dark and shine my bleak light onto the clefts of the path illuminating the rocks and grass behind me. I click the light off and stand there in the blackness in the sweeping wind waiting for another sound, a taunt, a warning... nothing.