Discover the beauty and serenity of the Laughlin desert by exploring nearby labyrinths, nine stone mazes that are both intriguing and energizing.
The hills around Laughlin are filled with wildlife, waterfalls, and other hidden treasures. Amidst these Wes Dufek has created something special, for those who can find it.
John: Hi Wes, how are you?
Wes: Good to meet you, John. How you doin'? Welcome to the Laughlin Labyrinths.
John: Thank you, it's a pleasure to be here. Tell me about where we're standing because there are some labyrinths here that you were inspired to create. Tell me about how this happened.
Wes: I moved to Laughlin seven years ago and I was taking my dog for a walk and I came up the hill and I saw a flat area and I had a spontaneous inspiration. This is a good place to build a labyrinth... and I did.
John: So you had never done it before?
Wes: I'd never done it before.
John: And you got inspired and decided to take action, and now how many are here?
Wes: There are a total of nine on three different sites. We have five here, three across the ridge, and one on the top.
John: What do they do?
Wes: They have done a multitude of studies on the effects of labyrinths on the human body and the brain. Every time you take a left and a right turn, it will shift your brain. It will calm you, and it just helps you center.
The benefits of walking a labyrinth are well-documented. Aside from a meditative mental state, they provide reduced blood pressure and breathing rates and can help with chronic pain and insomnia.
John: So Wes, nuts and bolts, how did you do it? Did you start collecting rocks?
Wes: We started collecting rocks. For the very first one, I took a milk crate, filled it with rock, carried it to the site, and dumped it. And that is literally how I built the first one. Just buckets of rock, and then when we had all the rock, we started arranging them.
John: Were you at this point thinking, "What am I doing?"
Wes: No I was really driven. Even though my elbows hurt from carrying these rocks every day for three and a half months, you know, I just got focused on it. It wasn't until after I was done with that, you go, wow that's really cool, but my arms hurt from carrying all the rock.
John: Let's talk about the different types of labyrinths, 'cause there are patterns that you can find on the internet, but you've also put intentions into some of these and created your own?
Wes: Correct. I wanted to create an area where we had different sizes and shapes so they could always do something different. As an example, this one is an eleven-circuit Chartres, and it has an echo to it, so you hear your own voice if you're inside of it. My take on it is listen to your own inner voice when you're walking it. We have a triangle, and we call that the Prosperity because I took the triangle off the dollar bill. We have one we call Destiny, so you find your Destiny through walking it.
There's something fascinating about the concept of a labyrinth. They've appeared in many different cultures around the world for thousands of years, as if it were something instinctual. As a traveler treks through its loops and turns, a feeling of calmness, of centering, takes hold.
John: Ok, Wes, I just took a walk, and I will promise you this, and this will come as to no surprise to you, but I feel more peaceful and far more focused than I did just a few minutes ago. I think it served its purpose. How much are you charging for this stuff?
Wes: For you, John, it's free.
John: Come on, for everybody it's free, isn't it?
Wes: It's free.
John: Wes, thank you so much.
Wes: You're welcome, John.
John: On behalf of everybody that's coming out here to check these out, everybody that wants to, and everybody that's going to, thanks.
Wes: I appreciate it. Thank you.
There really is something special about Laughlin. It's not just the great scenery or all the activities on the ground or on the river, but the residents, and the pride they take in sharing this land with people from all walks of life.
John: Right now my inner voice is telling me that life is full of twists and turns. Some you don't always see coming, and sometimes you get some open space and you can pick up some speed or some momentum. But the path you're on is the path you're on, and if you'll just slow down and breathe, it will take you to where you need to go. I invite you to come out here to Laughlin and try this out for yourself. I'm sure Wes would tell you to come with a sense of openness, a sense of respect, and a sense of listening, and when you do, listen to what it tells you.