Wild West


n hour’s drive southeast of Gallup, New Mexico, the high desert landscape comprises a largely flat savannah of prairie grass dotted with piñon and juniper trees. As you round one last bend and catch sight of the immense white sandstone bluff, you’ll understand why it has garnered attention over centuries of human history. While the rock’s jutting appearance is what first struck Spanish explorers, who named it El Morro (“The Headland”), it was the precious pool of water at its base that kept passersby coming back. The source is the very face of the cliff, down which natural erosion has carved a network of grooves that channel rain and snowmelt into a natural stone basin, or “tank,” as it is known out West. This life-giving oasis

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