Somewhere it hides

Drew photographs the eerily beautiful Carcross Desert, Yukon, Canada, June 2000

Drew photographs the eerily beautiful Carcross Desert, Yukon, Canada, June 2000

“What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.”
— Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Tucked away in the chilly magnificence of the Yukon, there lies a true curiosity of nature: the Carcross Desert.  At about one square mile, it is called the “world’s smallest desert” although it is actually a series of sand dunes left behind by a glacial lake.  In this case, it could be said that it was the well that hid the desert!

It’s quite an experience to traverse the Alaska border where snow lies all around, into the Yukon where there is more of the same, only to come upon an expanse of warm, dry sand with scarcely any vegetation.  It’s one of nature’s little surprises; a reminder that even the most foreboding of landscapes conceal delightful secrets.  When you find yourself in the midst of a boring, unpleasent or difficult circumstance, remember that “somewhere it hides a well.”


  1. Beautiful scene! Never heard of such a tiny desert. Nature is so mysterious. Yes, I must not get distracted by the dismal looks of the place but must start searching for the well that it hides. Admire the way you connect the pictures and your words.

    • Thanks Bindu. That desert was one of the most remarkable things I’ve ever seen. Also, an opposite experience, once in mid June when we were driving through Oregon we stopped at Crater Lake where the snow was piled in drifts literally above our heads. It was bizarre. Yet just a few minutes’ drive would take us back to sunny mild weather. It was truly amazing, I’ll post photos from it here sometime. I appreciate your kind words about the blog and your visits here!

  2. singleseatfighterpilot

    I have loved “The Little Prince” ever since my 37-year-old son was born. I used to read it to him, before bed, along with “The Chronicles of Narnia” and other books. In spite of all the wonderment he felt while marooned in the Sarah Desert; once rescued, do you suppose Antoine de Saint-Exupery ever desired to return for an extended visit?

    • Eric; that’s a good question – I don’t know but perhaps a bit of research could find the answer. I think he wrote a book called Wind, Sand and Stars and maybe some others. I too have loved The Little Prince for years, and that whole passage about the desert hiding a well is one of my favorite passages in all literature. I also love the conversation he has with the fox, about friendship. “It has done me good because of the color of the wheat fields.” Thanks for being here!

  3. Sheila

    Good Thursday morning, Julia. I guess,in life, the “well” can hold hope and better days. Your description is perfect, as it does seem to be a best kept secret of nature. Sunbeams just popped through the clouds! Happy day to you! Sheila

    • Thanks, Sheila! Happy day to you too. We’re having more sunshine today, although rain was predicted for later. Yes, I think the well in my desert is definitely full of hope. Keeping you and Bill in my prayers!

      • Sheila

        Thank you,Julia. It really does help. Until tomorrow ……

  4. I learned something new today. Until I read this post, I never knew that Canada had a desert.

    • Sheryl, thanks for visiting and for your comment. I have never yet found anyone who knows about the Carcross Desert. I only learned of it by reading a travel guide before our trip, and it was barely mentioned. But it is really a remarkable sight. Even though it’s not technically a desert it surely looks like one, albeit a very small one!

  5. That is a beautiful wonder, I’ve never been to the Yukon but that is a surprise. Reminds me of this tiny heritage church out in the middle of no where not to far from the lake we used to live at. Apparently, around the turn of the 20th century, settlers, who are long gone, built it. Now it stands in quite isolation, just waiting for someone to stumble upon it and grace it’s steps once more. The county maintains the dwelling, but not the grounds, so in the late summer, you can barely see it with all the tall grass.

    • That’s the type of place that I just love to “stumble upon” and see in real life. When I visit such places, I get a very strong sense of the past and am drawn into imagination about things that took place there before; who were the people who used to come there, and what were their stories? I’m glad the building is being maintained. I hope we will always have traces of the past to help us remember.

  6. Susan

    Thanks so much for your blog. I look forward to reading it every morning during my devotional time. It contains wisdom and encouragement and often brings a smile. I pray for you and your family that all will be well and that all your prayers are answered. Thank you for being an example of joy during the storms. Take care and blessings. Susan

    • Susan, thank you so much! It always makes me happy to hear from people who are reading the blog. Your prayers are greatly appreciated; it gives us comfort and strength to know so many are praying for us, and we believe those prayers are being answered daily. I appreciate your taking the time to let hear from you! I hope you will continue to enjoy the blog.

  7. Good morning, Julia! A small desert – how cute! I’m kind of giggling because last night I was using Google Maps to look at the Republic of Chad, where I have a sponsored child. She lives in the southern, tropical region, but I also enjoyed exploring the north, and found an amazing place called Kouba Olanga:,+Chad/@15.7480216,18.2958602,16z/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x1147589af89ad5c9:0xb5d1504f02dec757?hl=en&source=lmns
    If you use “satellite view” you can see actual buildings among the sand drifts/dunes. The image resembles some photos of windy/snowy places in the north. It’s amazing how diversely we humans can adapt to and tolerate Earth’s climates!

    • Susan, it truly is amazing to think how many different lives are being lived all over in such diverse circumstances, but with the same essential human needs, joys and sorrows.


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