As a member of the newly unemployed, I decided the time was ripe to go on a seven-week journey. Sebastian and I camped our way across much of the South-Western US. We stayed at a beautiful, adobe Inn, Hacienda Antigua, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Built in 1759. The walls of our room had fantastic petroglyphs painted on them. Ask me sometime about my experience of petroglyphs. We went to Taos, which has an improbably majestic state forest,--a collection of tall, conifers, smelling sweetly. I never expected so much green in the Southwest. In Santa Fe we got the McPhee book, Basin and Range, which describes the geology of the Southwest in loving, detailed prose.
The sun set, bathing the nearby several thousand foot high rock faces in rich, red light. The puffy clouds were lit from behind giving them a golden halo, and filtering the sun into dappled spots on the canyon floor along the Green river. The wind rushes up across the canyon and caresses your arms and neck. Slowly the sky darkens and the contrast with the already-risen crescent moon is heightened. A faint star appears in the heavens hanging several inches down from the moon. Slowly a cricket starts to sing in the background and the only sounds for mile is the gentle rush of the wind. My shadow is crisp on the gravelly ground. Today I saw places so perfect in their beauty that I would have never believed they existed. So beautiful, that I could hardly breathe and when I did catch my breath, tears started to run down my cheeks. I can not bring that beauty back to share.
May the wind caress your cheeks and may you find perfect beauty somewhere in the world and a soft goodnight kiss before you dream.....
There is a story about hiding pennies in the book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. She talks about the riches of the earth being strewn about, waiting to be seen. Every site I saw during the trip reminded me of that story, every road cut, each bit of erosion, arches of rock, deeply cut canyons, layers of red and orange, walls of fiery reds. These riches/pennies are invisible to so many. I could drown in that beauty
A great many essays were written during the roadtrip. These essays (warning: the editing is upcoming) at sebbo.org/roadtrip