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The Art of Ride #3 – Fluteman

024.jpg” alt=”” width=”354″ height=”421″ />I meet my guide Herb. He tells me, “I know just where to take you. Some really cool places. And there”s a rope climb.” Herb”s genuinely disarming and turns out to be a really cool guy. He grew up and is raising a family here. This landscape is an integral part of his life and, after recently losing his job as a local laborer, it”s become his livelihood. Everywhere he takes me holds special meaning for him.

The first place we go is called “Submarine Rock” for its periscope-like view. Looking through I see the buttes I saw from the road earlier in the day. This set of images will be chosen for use on the record. After several other stops, we arrive at a rock wall covered with petroglyph images (these will be used later on as well). I stand there transfixed. These things always capture my imagination. As I”m looking at them, I get a little lost in a dream world, trying to imagine the ancients carving these things and out of nowhere, I start hearing a flute. It kind of freaked me out so I turn around to ask Herb if he hears it and there he is, the Fluteman.

As we get in the truck, he turns to me and says, “See that casino online holland over there? We”ll drive over there and walk the rest of the way. I”m taking you to Hunt”s Mesa. There”s a rope climb.”

The drive is captivating. No matter how many times I see them, the formations strike me as alien and I wonder how the plant life survives such a hostile environment. We park the truck and walk about a half mile through the sand and brush before we get to the base of Hunt”s Mesa. Climbing about halfway up we find the rope climb and after a brief struggle with camera gear, continue working our way to the top. We stay about an hour when Herb suggests we get going, mainly because we”re

running out of light. By the time we get to the rope, it”s almost completely dark except for the full moon that”s starting to rise. – Mike Ricciardi

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