from Granny D by Doris Haddock (p.1)
To begin a day's walk in California’s Mohave Desert is like stepping
into a child’s drawing: Odd, Dr. Seuss-style cacti interrupt a dot pattern
of endlessly repeating gray bushes; the sky is crayoned a solid, royal blue
with a brilliant sun; layers of purple hills extend in endless vistas to the
next valley and next again. There are no sounds but the mesquite-scented breezes
whishing lightly across the brittlebush and the occasional flinch of some tiny,
prehistoric creature under dry sticks a few paces ahead.
After I had walked a hundred miles of the Mojave through pleasant days and bitter cold nights, the winds began to rise. Dust blew across the highway and whipped around, more than once sending me staggering. It grabbed my straw hat repeatedly and sent it wheeling across the highway. It was my late friend Elizabeth’s poor old garden hat, and it was not to last much longer—nor were my old bones I thought.
See also her description of the dust devil on p. 87