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Bisti Badlands & Shiprock || Dances With Dragons Series

Updated: Sep 1

A shy wave before realizing we were on the path of getting lost

**Please note, I am finishing this post in June 2023 so the story may jump timelines a lot! This story takes place in October 2021 :)**

This is a continuation from the last blog post in this series, the first part was in Mesa Verde.

We woke up in the desert watching the sunrise over the vast & towering rocks of Mesa Verde in the distance. Today was going to be a good day, because we were going to visit a place I wanted to visit for years. A place so interesting and intriguing, so bizarre yet so enchanted I couldn’t help but to be drawn here. I’m talking of course of the Bisti Badlands.

On our drive down we wanted to at least stop by Shiprock and to feel out the energy of this bizarre place. As we drove down dusty highways we saw it come closer and closer to us, like an eerie ancient ship at sail, slowly, in the never ending sea of time. The sides of the highways were littered in glitter glass, broken bottles thrown out the window, a pretty site to see with a darker meaning behind it. Eventually we reached the rock from a desert road and stared from afar. It felt familiar to me, like a milestone on an eternal journey of the soul.

ship rock from afar

Ship rock can only be visited from afar, as outsiders are not welcome up close to the rock. It is sacred to the natives of the area which is why it is gated off from visitors. Out of respect we parked at the gate and gazed from afar, contemplating the mystery of such a rock from the perspectives of here and of the ancients.

An hour and a half later we ended up in the middle of nowhere New Mexico, at the Bisti Badlands. A kid from Colorado followed us in about five minutes behind and pulled up as we grasped our things in the gusting dust of a wind. He was clearly car camping, and handsome as can be with that Colorado high class vibe to him, yet, enough wild in him that he’d car camp in his crossover SUV. We shared a little small talk about the park before he left to see if there was a better entrance, only to return to tell us we could ride the truck thru the wash to get closer. We declined and took the barbed wire fence route as it was what was on our hiking app and I sure as hell wasn't going to get lost here.

Across the half mile expanse we walked into a world that felt straight out of Star Wars. The base rock was a chalky, sandy, gray stone, and on top formed these little tips that looked like mushroom tops. It felt like walking through another planet where time was so slow it was almost non-existent, yet the rocks were alive and growing, each “mushroom” or hoodoos as they call them moving out of the earth and becoming beings. We walked through the small washes of petrified wood and space coins and entered into a badland canyon where the hoodoos towered on either side of us, so thrilled to see people visit them. Because of the isolated nature of this park, and no guidance whatsoever of the park boundaries, hiking trails, and information signs, I can assume people don't visit here often because it is not for the faint of heart. You can and will get lost here if you're not careful! I do believe that is why it was so easy to connect with the nature spirits here, they are undisturbed mostly by outsiders and can grow and play as they wish without any threat of being destroyed.

It’s funny, these places, the spirits know you’re always there, watching with their energy as your's mingles with theirs. Something shifted in me where I could now see these nature spirits and their personalities, being able to feel their energy and whether or not they’re happy with us there. These guys with tops of metallic spray paint, chocolate in color, made time fly by yet stay stagnant as we felt their slow energy in “our time” being so present with them. Surely they were thrilled to have us take selfie’s with them, and to talk with them about their beauty.

The feeling was indeed bizarre. I once watched a sci-fi movie about this (of course, now I can't remember the title) where a group of people found themselves lost in time in a cave. The outside world would flash sunrise & sunset as they remained in "present time" inside the cave. Over the course of the movie they moved through centuries of time and ran into cave people, space people, and modern day people. Of course, I wasn't experiencing this movie plot but the feelings of time passing so fast around me but still remaining in my own present time were strong. And, each rock hoodoo was indeed alive and aware of itself. I truly believe that intelligent consciousness runs through every form of matter, technology & rocks included, each having a unique essence & consciousness we can interact with. These rocks were telling me they were alive and grow at the slow pace of eternity. How else can you explain feeling like time is passing so fast yet remains stagnant at the same time?

We arrived on top of the canyon to see winged beings, popcorn feeling bases with smooth white saddles floating on top. You know rocks weigh hundreds of pounds, so it’s quite strange to witness flat rocks on pinnacles of crumbling clay soaring through the racing dust devil winds. All I could think about and feel here was the joy from the spirits that we finally answered their call, for whatever reason they needed us there to perhaps “clear the air.” That’s been the theme on this journey. And I was indeed oddly called here, just a burning passion to visit without any real reason to.

Up on the top of the short canyon we roamed, finding perhaps a dinosaur who lay to rest next to the winged beings. Several photos were captured as I talked to the rocks, and they gifted me with beautiful shots sharing their ethereal essence. Be sure to look at the photo gallery below to see them! Sparky roamed around with squinty eyes and preened his arms for getting sand-blasted in the rushing winds. Our visit wasn't long, perhaps for fear of getting sucked into a different dimension and of course the wind was eroding us dry, so after a few more shots we turned around and went back to Blue.

As we walked back, I perused the side of the hairline trail for treasures to bring home with me. I mentioned space coins... I found a full one and put it in my pocket. I call them space coins because they are in the shape of a silver dollar, the one I found was flat on one side and concave like a shallow plate on the other. The noise they made too when clinking them together was reminiscent of shillings rattling in a pocket. If I were to guess what the rocks were made of, I'd guess basalt, but alas I'm no geologist and can much better identify plants in the wild rather than rocks! Later I noticed some clumps of what I thought was petrified wood with quartz clusters growing on the edges. I read somewhere that they formed like this from the sand blasting the dead trees. I may or may not have picked one of these up.... and lastly, what was actually kind of surprising and totally a gift from the Universe, we literally found a rock in the shape of Ship Rock, the place we visited before Bisti Badlands. It was an interesting excursion, these few days. We started at Mesa Verde and saw Ship Rock up by the Sun Temple, dozens of miles out in the distance. It was like seeing our path clear and the Universe was guiding us on our way. Then we visited Ship Rock and admired the almost invisible desert plants lining the side of the road. Although we couldn't see Bisti Badlands from Ship Rock, the Rock and its intelligence knew we'd be going there and somehow left a token of our visit at Bisti. It was all too synchronistic and mystical, so I took the mini Ship Rock and headed for the truck.

When we finished with our hike after an hour & a half, we went back to the truck on the flat dust-pan and decided we needed to cook something quick for lunch as we were starving and had been flighty from eating mostly junk food. We unburied our pan, our small propane stove and set up in the backseat of the truck to cook some box mac & cheese. I know, it sounds so thrilling, so healthy but in times like these something quick to eat is better than nothing to eat. And lest I remind you, there's no restaurants for hours around.

Perhaps it was all in divine alignment, or perhaps it was just a big lesson for me to learn but we clicked the route to Chaco Canyon and innocently pushed the go button without looking into what kind of roads we were taking. There were two ways, the south way which was three minutes faster and the north way which looked like much more distance to cover... so I picked the quicker way, not really thinking about it and was cheerful and happy as I looked on All Trails at the hikes we could do. I didn’t realize was this place was in the middle of nowhere, not very close to any amenities, and the way that we took was actually sort of dangerous for a couple of innocent squishy snails.

on the road to nowhere

The first few miles we were on a normal road, it was paved and everything. As we left Bisti Badlands the rocks looked like somebody 50 times bigger than me went up to the little hills and spray-painted them with colors of hibiscus pink and grape purple. There were even some spots that were bright red like the color of crimson clover. I was just so at awe in all of this that I didn’t bat an eye when we turned onto a dirt road and drove 45 minutes on it before getting worried. Before I got freaked out I noticed that the desert was happy, it was not in pain for being scorched in the sun and deprived of water. It just was, there’s no polarity, there’s no good or bad to it. And that’s what I was feeling, the purity of the desert. Even though it’s brutal and harsh it was still pure because it was a master of being in the circumstances it was in.

We saw a few wild horses and then Austin decided to ask the question, “So does this road lead out anywhere or do we have to go back the way we came?” I looked at the map and saw I had no service, the map turned into the gray-grid, and when I could look at the map, there was blank space for miles and miles around us. I realized that we might be totally fucked in the middle of the desert with no houses, no amenities, no nothing, just out here alone. Thankfully we got gas and some food before we made this venture, so I felt OK for survival reasons, but I knew that if anything happened I would not last very long out there and no one would know where I was. Instantly I felt guilty and stupid for being so naive in the situation here, not looking up much before trying to go to Chaco Canyon. I mean, there's a reason people have guides and even make guides for going to such isolated places. If I had other people with me, I would feel horrible of the terror I caused. Austin was fine, not happy with the situation but determined to get out though equally as scared. He is always the more grounded one out of the two of us.

Eventually we passed some other trucks on the bumpiest roads in America and waved, only to be replied by nothing but blank stares. Shack houses began appearing on the edges of cliffs and cows roamed in a barren land where fences aren’t needed. I surrendered to shock and began panicking as I eventually found a gas station on the map, a sign of paved roads and towns, yet another hour away on more dirt roads. I cried, I clenched Sparky and contemplated dying out in the desert, my mom not even knowing where I was at this moment and she sure wouldn't be able to find me on "Find My Friends" with my location turned off. This one moment in my life was the scariest I've ever had, actual primal fear, that I royally fucked up and could potentially be forgotten in the New Mexico desert.

All in all, we got out of it with 2 hours of driving on 70 miles of dirt roads, traumatized by the fear of the desert.

We decided to go to Albuquerque to rent a hotel for the night because we needed somewhere to regroup and to process this fucked up day. Once we got back to the main highway, I reflected on the experience and how scary it was for me, and I remembered saying everything happens for a reason. What could this reason be? Surely there was a divine reason why we had to go down these paths and then it dawned upon me, perhaps we were just on a grid working mission clearing energies across America with the Blue Dragon with the apophyllite crystals on the dash? Oh? Silly! Perhaps I’ll never know!

The process of the rest of the night was agonizingly slow, all I wanted was rest and everything required much patience. Eventually we got into our room after going to Whole Foods and getting salad bar for dinner and saying that we were going to be better on this trip, that we were going to plan better and eat better so we’re not so flighty. We spent the night relaxing and planning the next day, touring around Albuquerque and maybe later arriving to Sedona.

(Afternotes, it is important when looking at the pictures to focus on the colors and how they make you feel… this is what I’m trying to emphasize here. The colors of the rocks are what bring it alive, how the shades blend into other shades make it feel like it is moving, which gives the effect that it is indeed alive and moving. You must quicken the time perspective here to see it happening.)

**Back to 2023...*

Reflecting on this trip makes me laugh. No, I still don't think I'll go to Chaco Canyon anytime soon, and probably not the Bisti Badlands! They say New Mexico is the land of enchantment, and perhaps it is on a surface level to just a passerby, but if you're able to go deep you will experience some pretty "out-there" things. The first time we went to New Mexico, we were scared of the lore of skinwalkers and swear we were being stalked by one the one week we lived there in our tent. I will say, I am curious about New Mexico and all the charm and portals there, but I think I'll travel in a group and perhaps someone who's gone to these places before! Bisti Badlands does hold a special place in my heart still, I will never forget the feeling of fast & no-time all in the present moment, with rocks thrilled to see me and shining their elemental spirits in my photos.

Thanks so much for reading this post! Have you ever experienced this bend in time before out in nature? If so, let me know, maybe we'll end up going there too!

Much love!


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