I drove east on Interstae 15 out of Las Vegas until the Valley of Fire turnoff. I started toward Valley of Fire as intended, but where the paved road turned I went straight onto a dirt road I had never been on before.

After a few miles of dust and ups and downs and twists, I parked by several other cars facing a small canyon with a little concrete dam. I followed what appeared to be a trail over the little dam, dry on both sides. I hiked through several successive narrow canyons, one with copious prehistoric Native American petroglyphs, and up onto a little plateau overlooking a broad expanse of eroded red and yellow sandstones.

I saw no one, but given the many possibilities I had had for turns up canyon-sides, or up or down side canyons, that was really no surprise.

Looking down into the expanse of eroded landscape, of a sudden I saw a strange canyon that, on one side, looked as if a line of huge elephant-like creatures was standing side by side, as if feeding in a trough.

I felt a strange excitement within and the urge to go down and see these beasts up close. As I came closer, the air lightened and colors brightened all around me. Even close-in, the appearance remained that of large elephantine creatures standing in a line.

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