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May 12th, 1999


arches, styles

Because of the shifting time zones, we were up and rolling relatively early to our first national park, Arches, in Utah. The place was amazing, Sheer cliffs and of course, arches throughout the park.

we started the morning on a hike through the 'courthouse' and drove to other sites in the Park. Brad is not much of an appreciator of geological beauty which has colored our Sightseeing to date. Not much for Stopping and gazing which I don't mind, we were pushed through several points because of this which seemed to spread to Dawn.

I don't really mind terribly, just that lingering and being a part of the landscape is more my style.

Anyway, I was very impressed with this National Park and it provided a first taste of the amazing beauty of the American Southwest. the landscape is so desolate and breathtaking - it would be wonderful to be completely immersed in is without a schedule.

going back, going forward

After Arches, we headed back to Colorado for another National Park - Mesa Verde. Situated deep within the Canyons of Colorado are the abandoned dwellings of the Ancient Puebloans (aka Anasazi) who farmed and lived in the Canyons throughout the Common Era until Something (drought -ink- prompted their abandonment in the 1300 'S.

These people lived in pithouses which developed into Adobe villages. Circular kivas are supposed to have been religious or healing centers. The most spectacular parts of the ruins are those that remain in the cliffs.

Even the winding path through the canyon to the sites was awesome. The evening light on the deep walls enclosing the vegetation was a magnificent setting.

Unfortunately (from my perspective), we were too life for any ranger-guided programs. So we went to the museum for a film and exhibits about the life of these mysterious people. Just a short hike from the museum was the Sprue Tree House ruins. this was the closest that we got to the ruins in the park. we Could walk up to the chains and look into the dwellings. the strange aspect was the number of foreigners who were there, asking questions about Indian life to the part-Navajo ranger.

By this time, Dawn had a headache, so hiking was out of the picture. Instead, we drove through the Mesa- top loop where different stages 6 architectural development were preserved in ruins.

Some of the Sites were really incredible views across canyons that buggies my mind. I kept thinking how great it would be to live in that kind of world. I could imagine waking in the sun-drenched canyon, farming corn and living in the cliffs. The dwellings were so inventive and made great use of space. To have lived then, or even to Stay for weeks in the park among the wins 'end the evergreens would be so wonderful for the soul.

I could have stayed much longer is the point that I'm trying to get at but that isn't the sort of trip that happens with Brad.

the end of the day

So, we left the park and headed to Arizona. Stepping in Corly for dinner at a Brewpub while Dawn Slept in the car, the rest of us tried to avoid the crippling hunger of the previous evening.

then, Brad drove us on a trip through the night filled with Bob Dylan music. Horrible. We ended-up camping on gravel at an RV park neighborly by hundreds of angry dogs. Sleeping was painful.