From dust to tribe . . .

Dust and Tribe (D&T) is the experience of growth through adventure.

Our quarterly excursions are opportunities for men and women to push through the boundaries of supposed mental and physical limits into a new awareness of what we can be when we support one another.

It is where we discover what we are (dust) and what we become together (tribe).

Fall 2018: D&T V

On October 20th, 2018, sixteen men will head into Death Valley with their Jeeps and a map. This is their story.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Glorious Desert

I love the desert.

There is a special clarity and desperation in the desert. The desert is holy. The world's great monotheistic traditions all tumbled out of the desert. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam were all born in that stark and beautiful place.

That's a picture of Racetrack Playa in Death Valley. It's a dry lake bed famous for it's sailing stones. The stones, some of which weigh hundreds of kilograms, move when nobody is looking. One day they're in one spot, the next day they're in another.

Science has an answer for this, but if you're anything like me there is no explanation for the profound sense of awe and mystery connected to this place. There are great "islands" far out in the middle of the lake bed that remind me of some Tolkienesque lair wherein great fortune or peril might be discovered. It's a fantastic place, in the fullest sense of the word.

That's Ubehebe Crater.

A few thousand years ago, molten rock under the earth bubbled up a little too close to some groundwater reserves. The groundwater instantly became steam and blew the holy hell out of the place. Something of that cataclysm will creep into your being as you stand against the wind at the crater's edge.

Those are the dunes at Mesquite Flat. I wonder if any of you has a sandboard? A snowboard, sled, or skate deck will all serve in a pinch. Gritty times ahead, insha Allah.

Staggering up and flying down the dunes isn't the only thing to do here. I've seen foxes come out of their burrows at the base of the dunes and just kind of hang around. They're adorable and curious, like you guys.

Named after adventurer Erasmus Darwin French, Darwin Falls is probably the biggest surprise in Death Valley. A bumpy drive followed by a short hike will take you to the lower falls. The upper falls require a bit of climbing.

This cool bit of greenery and flowing water is a remarkable contrast to anything else we'll find in the desert. And it's also a reminder that we never really know what's around the corner.

Forward these blog posts to your friends. Let them know what we're up to. Tell them to follow us on Instagram and be sure to leave your thoughts about the desert in the comments below!


  1. Thanks for the awesome pictures and information. Looking forward to this adventure

    1. Looking forward to learning why somebody would call themselves Zebra :)