This is the view from the end of the Calico Tanks trail at Red Rock Canyon. If you enlarge the photo, you can see downtown Las Vegas in the distance. I don’t think of mountains when I think about the desert. I also don’t think of the amazing variety of vegetation that exists in the desert. Mostly, I think of a desolate and foreboding expanse. It is hard to understand and appreciate something until you experience it firsthand.