A desert can be stark, arid and inhospitable, but it’s also a place of elemental beauty and compelling vitality that reveals its richness to the dedicated, patient observer. To say that inveterate climber and social dropout Alf Randell has a “desert life” is a perfect metaphor: Outwardly, living in a remote beaten-up camper and earning a subsistence living might well seem a little barren. But measured by the actual texture of that life — the splendor of his dawns and dusks, the depth of his relationship with his natural surroundings, especially the red rock walls and people who share in his enjoyment of them — it’s anything but inhospitable.
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