Tuesday, November 6, 2012

On The Road: Santa Fe to Grand Canyon

 2 November 2012

The landscape of the desert areas was different to anything I'd ever seen before. It is vast, arid, pitched. It is a retinue of words that I can't even think of. It's majestic. I think it's the most magnificent out of all the landscapes we've driven through.

It was breathtaking. The sky such a crisp, clear blue, wisps of white clouds dancing across it.

The amount of times I've searched for synonyms for two words in particular - delicious and beautiful, because that's the thing; this trip has been deliciously beautiful. Remarkably so.
And somehow there are people living in these regions. Eking out a subsistence. An existence.

We drive through towns, so small and so forgotten, they seem to have started to rot. These are places where motor homes come to die - piled haphazardly on uneven ground, as if by tornado. Rusting away into the earth.

These are not the kind of places you want to stop.The gas stations seem to be the main port of industry - people stopping to refuel, and leaving soon after.There was one town we drove through, on our last leg of the journey, en route to Santa Fe, that appeared to be completely deserted. There the land was truly starting to reclaim the buildings - the trees and creepers growing up to pull the houses under. Not a soul to be seen. Locked doors, shut curtains. Nothing stirs. It was beyond eerie.

Our journey to the Grand Canyon takes us past the Four Corners Monument - and we stop for a moment to snap some pictures. I often find it trivial, the marking of boundaries. Like kids drawing lines in the sand. And the monument is much like that. Just the lines are made from concrete and steel.

As we drive into Bluff - our stopover for the night - we do some reading about it. It's a small town, formed by Mormons in 1880. It currently has about 300 residents. We truly are going to the middle of nowhere.

After checking in, we visit the only tow local tourist spots in town - The Twins, and the Bluff Fort. Both are enthralling.
And then, sunset, back at the hotel. It's quiet here, very very quiet.
3 November 2012

We eat Buffalo chicken wraps from Whole Foods in bed for breakfast - thank gosh we bought them along, as the hotel doesn't serve breakfast, and we're not too keen on returning to the restaurant from last night. It was the Twin Rocks Cafe, and isn't even worth mentioning.


Driving out of the Desert Rose, I feel like we've been transported to Mars. The earth is gained a rust red, saturated a burnt hue. Great rocks rise out of the ground, mountains looming closer and closer.

This area used to be under an ocean, and looking around it's plain to see evidence of this. The rocks look like they've been caressed by water - flattened, moulded, eroded. High up, on the top of the mountains, they're smoothed, gently sloped. I can imagine the waves lapping up against the shore, millennia ago, our car just a speck on the bottom of this vast sea.

And now? Now the earth is starved, dehydrated, drenched is rocky, rifted sand.

We cross out of Utah, and into Arizona. The landscape changes again, the sand now a dark dirty brown. There is nothing here.

We finally rise into those far-off mountains. We're moving up and up and up. The vegetation thickens. We drive through the gate into the Grand Canyon National Park. I'm chatting away, while Husband drives. The trees are now tall enough and thick enough, but suddenly there's a gap -

Oh.My.Gosh.

I manage to interrupt myself with my own exclamation. I've just caught my first glimpse of it. This is one very grand canyon.
[Map from Google Maps]

2 comments:

Nicola Kritzinger said...

This landscape is incredible, I would LOVE to see all of this! Thank you for all the amazing photo updates! X

lucille said...

What arid beauty, Robyn!