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Desert Dreams in Winter

By Linda Tancs

Ah, winter.  In the midst of Arctic 50-mph winds, I’m trying hard to embrace its virtues.  Or at least think of warmer, drier climes.  How about the Alvord Desert in Oregon?  Cracked and dry in summer, like winter hands–or lips.  So at least it has something in common with the here and now although you’d freeze your tail off there, too, at the moment–except for the hot springs.  Lying in the shadows of Steens Mountain, it only gets six inches of precipitation per year.  Reminds me of Dickens’ “Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit”: “Look round and round upon this bare bleak plain, and see even here, upon a winter’s day, how beautiful the shadows are!”

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