The View from the Road

This past week, I was traveling through southern Utah for business. Luckily for me, there are lots of very gorgeous roadside and hotel-window landscapes all over southern Utah. Here are a few of my favorites from the past 1,300 miles.

If you’ve never visited Monument Valley, for the love of all things holy, GO! What are you waiting for? Stop looking at the internet, get in your car, and get thee hence. It’s on the border between Utah and Arizona, and much of it is part of the Navajo Nation Tribal Park. It’s stunningly, spectacularly, amazingly, like nothing else on this planet. Fun fact (or at least a fun urban legend) – Bill Watterson, the creator of Calvin & Hobbes comic strip, based Calvin’s “Spaceman Spiff” fantasy landscapes on southern Utah! I can totally see it.

DSC_0965

Driving into Monument Valley

DSC_0988

Sunset in Monument Valley

I stayed at The View hotel for…well…the view. This view, to be precise. I got there around 4:30 in the afternoon as the sun was starting to set, and the colors were so saturated and rich.  And when I realized that the moon was already out, I was pretty excited. I love the deep shadows that late afternoon brings to the desert. It highlights all the contours of the land.

DSC_0980

The moon over a monument. This place is absolutely breathtaking.

And sunrise is definitely worth waking up early. I am madly in love with that deep red.

DSC_0997

Beginnings of sunrise in Monument Valley

DSC_1027

Sun’s up! Monument Valley in November.

DSC_1000

Look at those shadowy mountains in the distance. Have you ever seen so many purples in your life?

Funny thing – while I was watching the stars the night before this picture was taken, I heard scuffling and some dog-sounding noises, but since it was so dark I couldn’t really tell. I thought I saw a little black animal running around the hill underneath my balcony, but I wasn’t sure. And then in the morning, this little dude was sitting in the same spot! I think it might have been him making all the racket.

DSC_1014

This adorable little dude was hanging out right under my hotel window in the morning.

DSC_1025

More mountain ranges in the distance.

DSC_1030

Sunrise casting beams of light in between monuments.

After I left Monument Valley, I headed to Kanab. On the side of the road, I stopped to take a few pictures. I must say, I love traveling through this area in the late fall. There are hardly any tourists, and it’s so peaceful. The color palette of late fall is so subtle but so striking, with a million different shades of gold and green and blue and red.

DSC_0028

Flowers gone to seed on the roadside in Arizona.

DSC_0034

No idea where I was when I took this picture, but look at those gorgeous striations in the rock!

After I left Kanab, I stopped at Bryce Canyon on my way home…because c’mon. How could you not stop? It’s one of those amazing geologic revelations. At first it seems like you’re just walking up a gently sloping hill thickly forested with evergreen trees, and then suddenly, POW. The earth opens up into this riot of color and shapes. As cliche as this is, photographs don’t do justice to the sheer scale of it. A camera can’t quite capture the feeling of standing on the edge of the cliffs listening to the wind howl in the hoodoos.

DSC_0058

Bryce Canyon. Dear sweet lord, it’s beautiful there.

DSC_0063

The clouds were moving so quickly, but for a minute they shifted and lit up the fins in the center. Amazing!

There was still snow on the ground in some places, and it was windy and chilly, but it was perfect weather for hiking. And down in the bottom of the canyon, it was still and warm and sheltered from the wind. November is definitely the best month for this kind of trip!

DSC_0068

This place always looks like it’s glowing from the inside.

Not too shabby for a 1,300 mile trip in 3 days.
Love, peace, and thanks to the gods and goddesses of road safety,
Sumiko

Advertisements
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 467 other followers

  • History

  • Books

    Currently Reading

    About Time: Cosmology and Culture at the Twilight of the Big Bang (Adam Frank)

    Reflections (Walter Benjamin)

    The Second Sex (Simone de Beauvoir)

    Recently Read

    Life of Pi

    The Memory Keeper's Daughter

    Joseph Anton (Salman Rushdie)

    Rape on Trial (Lisa Cuklanz)

    Atlas of Unknowns (Tania James)

    Dog Sense (John Bradshaw)

    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Seth Grahame-Smith)

    The Space Between Us (Thrity Umrigar)

    A Thousand Splendid Suns (Khaled Hosseini)

    The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay (Suzanne Collins)

    The Chosen (Chaim Potok)

    The Help (Kathryn Stockett)

    Devil in the White City (Erik Larson)

  • Bookshelf

%d bloggers like this: