Alone on a 10-hour walk through western Colorado, David Jenkins finds community in the company of strangers, communicating by paper messages left inside hidden geocaches.

My message, cast adrift, simple and global, personal and ranging across the centuries, joined other messages, from Mary, who was pleased to find her fifth geocache; from Sebastian, visiting from Germany, who was joyous in the Erhabenheit of the desert; from Moonlight and Feather and Sunburned Rat, all “free-kin on the color”; from Joey and his boyfriend Joe, and a half dozen more. I wondered what future cache-seekers would find in this bottle. I silently wished them well and imagined their playful, rock-hopping, light-footed exuberance for a walk on their planet in their days of desert transcendence.