Traveling is what it is cracked up to be; fun, for the most part and often astonishing. We left Atlanta April 8th and we’re back May 16th. In that time we went through Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee and a couple of days in Florida. That meant Marfa, for fun in Texas, followed by the reason for the trip, a wedding in Temecula, California then on to Bryce Canyon in Utah, The Navaho Trail, Kanab Canyon, Lake Mead, Lake Powell with many stops along the way. The sprinter behaved as it should. Though some of the RV “Parks” were a bit austere there wasn’t a bad one. Slept well almost every night and only had to use the air conditioner a couple of times. Most of the time it was cold, actually. Never met an unfriendly person.
I made several but not buckets of photographs. One of the things I suspected before we left was that much of the commercial world across the country would be the same. It was. One Burger King looked like another. There were Home Depot, MacDonalds and Advance Auto stores that all looked the same as Atlanta and carried the same merchandise. I noticed there were distinct differences in advertising along the highway, however, most catered to local demographics, and there were loads of empty signboards.
Next time out I’d like to chronicle the sameness and also the obvious differences along the way. We took the interstates a lot because we had to be at the wedding by when, but after the wedding less so and sometimes we took the next road wherever it lead. Those were the most interesting jaunts. One funny difference is the wording on state signage concerning bridges that may ice before the roads in cold weather. The wording on these signs was different in every state. In some states there were deer awareness signs which we found also included Pronghorns but not Elk. There were different signs for Elk. Not once did I see a Bison referred to as a Bison, always a buffalo. And often the Pronghorns were called Antelope or Pronghorn Antelope.
In Bryce Canyon I had a Stellar Jay land almost on my foot to get to a stray sunflower seed dropped by another hiker. We saw three Golden Eagles in a tiny green valley in Arizona. I loved that valley.
The visual shock of the trip was Utah. The sadness of the trip was Glen Canyon. I have always been a follower of Eliot Porter. Before experiencing the lake and dam it would behoove everyone to read “The Place No One Knew” that Porter wrote and photographed before the Glen Canyon was dammed to make Lake Powell. In addition I’d read “The Monkeywrench Gang” by Edward Abbey,” “Laughing Boy” by Oliver LaFarge and any of Tony Hillerman ‘s books, you know, for flavor.
This is solely for humor. The table was in a park that had much better facilities but left this…
There were some negatives… In canyon lands and across the reservations there are power lines upon power lines. There are pockets of poverty and some signs of ridiculous affluence. The Crystal Bridges Art Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas was amazing. Bryce Canyon was taxing but exhilarating. Almost everywhere after Texas scale was a constant bewilderment. It’s almost impossible to realize it, so vast.
A few more, random.
Worthy of note, in fact a real source of inspiration… We were looking at Jewelry and other Cherokee crafts and art somewhere in Oklahoma and got to know the lady who was tending shop that day a bit as we wandered about. She was very friendly, as all the Native Americans we met were. As we left I said that I now knew the Cherokee word for hello, Osiyo, and I asked her what the word for goodbye was in the Cherokee language.
She said, “There is no word for goodbye in our language.”
Then we can say, ” Until next time?”