A motorcycle ride took us to a distant mountain peak that is covered with antennas and microwave towers. Black Mountain is so named because from a distance it looks very black. As we rode up the gradual slope we noticed that the color is derived from the surface rocks that are covered with desert varnish, a dark, glossy thin layer composed of minerals oxidized, over the course of thousands of years, by bacteria living on the rock surface.
From the peak we looked east towards the Colorado River. We saw it as a ribbon of blue with margins of green vegetation in the distance as it emerges from the Picacho Peak Wilderness. The landscape is so large it just doesn’t translate well to a tiny website picture!