top of page


(east/west, day seven: New Mexico)

Stopped in Santa Rosa when the sun hit my windscreen

Quit nice and early after eight hours on the go

Now it’s nice and early in the morning and I’m loaded up on caffeine

Ready to go deep into New Mexico

It’s good to get going after knocking off so early

And get the motor running into this enchanted land

It’s the middle of the morning when I reach Albuquerque

Where I round the southern Rockies and cross the Rio Grande

This is the desert of the heart

Where we are purified before we restart

Where we’re strengthened so that we can face

Our new lives in a brand-new place.

The view spread out before me is nothing short of jaw-dropping

It’s a widescreen cinemascape—but the wind, oh, the wind!

On my right, 20 massive waves of painted-rock outcroppings

On my left, the scrubland plain … did I mention the wind?

Blowing hard from the south, threatening to bowl me over

Its stiffness and insistence more than a match for my weight

If I keep watching the scenery, I’ll veer into the shoulder

So I keep steering hard to left to keep the beast straight

This is the desert of the heart

Amidst all this divine fine art

Where we can’t help but be impressed

But remember our goals as we onward press.

And the road keeps on going and the beast keeps on rolling

Until I’m up and over the Great Divide

From here all rivers flow west, and so I must join them

From here I can already sense the end of the ride

Sign outside the travel stop says don’t stop for anybody

Prison nearby, gee, that makes me feel so reassured

This one time I wish I had a thirty-eight road buddy

One sure-fire way to keep myself secure

But I see no desperadoes as I push back into the desert

So I take these desperate thoughts and push them out of my mind

And head into the vista that seems to go on forever

And soon enough I’m barreling over the state line

This is the desert of the heart

Where our grand ambitions play no part

Where our biggest plans are made so small

And out egos are nowhere at all

This is the desert of the heart

Where we reckon together though we’re far apart

The shape of things the future will take

And decide upon the life we will make.

©2024 The Hesh Inc.

"The Desert of the Heart" - original AI art by The Hesh Inc.
From here all rivers flow west, and so I must join them / From here I can already sense the end of the ride.

Monday morning, June 23, 2003, I got up just as it was getting light outside, had my continental breakfast, and headed for the continental divide. But before I got there, I was witness to what I consider the most breathtaking vista of the entire trip ... an entire series of massive painted-rock outcroppings, spread out for many miles to the north of and parallel to the interstate. I should have stopped to take pictures because no photographs I have ever seen since could capture the landscape's sheer panoramic majesty. The other main feature of this leg of the journey was the stiff wind, blowing unobstructed across the plains all the way from Mexico. I knew that the word kansas means "people of the south wind," but the wind was just as defining of the climate in New Mexico, and I reflected upon this tidbit as I constantly steered to the left, into the wind, to keep from being blown off the road. Soon I was up over the Great Divide, and I thought, if I had any hesitation since I crossed the Mississippi several days before, now there was definitely no turning back.


  • Spotify
  • Bandcamp
  • Amazon
  • iTunes
  • Instagram
  • Flickr
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
bottom of page