Conversations With a Grasshopper

Want to really get away from it all? Try spending a week completely alone in the most remote corner of Big Bend Ranch State Park. I did, and other than facing rattlesnakes, confronting my most primitive fear, and speaking to the occasional long-legged insect, I’ve never felt more relaxed in my life.
Conversations with a Grasshopper
Photograph by S. Gwynne

THIS IS WHO I AM: a flyspeck of human vanity in a trillion miles of stone-dead interstellar space; a graceless lump of flesh and fear in a remote desert where nearly everything that I can see or touch is designed to hurt me.

At least that is how I feel just now. It is well past midnight on the chilly, windswept early morning of November 13, 2003. I am kneeling at the exact center of my REI hexagonal nylon tent, listening to the roar of the wind in the canyon and trying to decide

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