Storytelling, Travel & Nature

Photo of Petroglyph Trail

Petroglyph Trail

Recently I hiked to one of my favorite places in Arizona: Petroglyph Trail in Gold Canyon, outside of Phoenix. It’s a fairly easy hike and it gets you into the desert quickly—always a plus when you only have so much time. I tend to prefer hikes that are scenic the whole way and provide a good payoff at the end, and Petroglyph delivers.

Pools

Pools

The payoff I’m referring to is a pair of cascading pools surrounded by massive granite boulders covered in the art of the ancient world: petroglyphs. As soon as you crest the small ridge you notice the clear water beckoning you to take a dip, but what really makes the hike worthwhile are the figures carved and painted into the rock by long-ago hands. It’s easy to imagine storytellers as they entertained a rapt audience by reenacting legends handed down through generations. Dangerous hunts and thrilling encounters with spirit animals or other tribes were all fodder for these ancient bards.

As a writer, I’m honored to be one of many to carry on the storytelling tradition. Human beings have done this since the beginning of our time here, whether for education or entertainment, and will continue to do so long after you and I are gone. For me, this thought places life and all of its detours and false starts into proper perspective, giving me a longer view of things, and is one of the main reasons I travel. Life looks different when you experience it from another angle. Fresh ideas become more abundant and my dreams are often more vivid when I’m away from business as usual.

Picture of petroglyph

Petroglyph

All of this replenishes the well, so to speak, and helps me bring a different perspective to the craft of writing. For me, being close to nature does more for my mood than a week at a luxury spa (although I certainly wouldn’t turn it down). I envy the ancient storytellers their connection to the wild, and enjoy imagining the evenings they performed, campfires blazing, children watching in awe, the convivial banter between attendees…

With a scene so evocative, I may just have to sit down and write…

More petroglyphs

About dvberkom

Bestselling author of the Kate Jones and Leine Basso thrillers. View all posts by dvberkom

5 responses to “Storytelling, Travel & Nature

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