At first glance, the more arid landscapes may seem desolate. People refer to them as lifeless, wastelands, desolate, infertile, even lonely. But if you spend time with them, you learn that they are places of beauty, resilience, intricate but hearty life. Some aspects are quite delicate, like cryptobiotic soils. Many of the more amazing formations like arches and hoodoos are also delicate in their own way, slowly succumbing to the constant influences of wind and water. I have had the pleasure to explore many wondrous desert locations in the western United States, including state, federal and tribal lands.