Standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona. . .

Trip Start Jul 02, 2010
Trip End Jul 16, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The temperature was pushing 100 degrees and would be reaching 110 as we left Las Vegas mid-morning and drove towards Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam. The desert heat beat down on the car and there was a bright glare reflecting off the orange-brown sand and rocks. Lake Mead was like a bright blue oasis in the oppressive desert and the bright white concrete of the Hoover Dam stood out like an industrial gem in the empty land. We made our way into Arizona and headed south to the road that would take us to the Grand Canyon.

It was late afternoon when we reached the south rim of the canyon and the shadows and play of light on the sheer walls was spectacular. In the context of all we had seen so far the Grand Canyon was another inspiring landscape that makes up the texture of this great country and it has its own unique place in the natural treasures that fill America. Once we left the visitor’s center and went on a short hike to the rim we took the scenic Desert View Drive that skirted the canyon’s south rim for about 45 miles. It was a gently curving wilderness road that opened up occasionally with views of the Canyon’s eroded rock formations and vast open expanses.

As we left the Grand Canyon we entered the northern end of the Painted Desert right around sunset. The deep reddish-browns, dun-colored mesas, and striated hills with fingers of stone pointing to the sky transformed a deep purple and dark orange-gold as the sun sank lower into the horizon. I have never seen the world change so dramatically before my eyes with the depth of color and hue than the sun setting in the Painted Desert and its name was well deserved.

We drove a little more in the dark with a sliver of crescent moon playing hide and seek behind the dark shadowed peaks to the west of us. Our stop that night would take us to Winslow, Arizona and Hannah and I found ourselves involuntarily humming and singing “Take it easy” no matter how hard we tried not to. But the lyrics are appropriate for our trip the more I think about it…

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