It was an unusually hot, dry day, even for the desert; 120 and still climbing. I had been hiking for half a day already and still my rendezvous point was nowhere in sight. Worse, I had already drank my last drop of water two hours ago — a lot sooner than I had planned. I was beginning to hallucinate…

Then I saw a narrow canyon and climbed in, full of anticipation. At least now I had some shade, and yes, even a slight breeze; oh so welcome. I followed the canyon for a quarter mile or so, then came around a blind curve. And right there, blocking my path… (!?)

No, it couldn’t be… Was it a mirage perhaps? But no oasis…?