Thursday, March 15, 2007

SW+1YR-THREE: Canyon Crossings

And so we left Sedona, following Oak Creek Canyon northwards, until we began to ride the switchbacks to the edge of the Mogollon Rim, an escarpment of the Colorado Plateau and edge of the Arizona high desert. We looked back a moment towards that direction where Sedona remained and remembered.

But on through the juniper and sage towards our next destination: Grand Canyon. Taking Highway 180, we ran straight towards it, heading for a place I had always dreamed of seeing. It had become my fallback strategy for any dire circumstance. No thought of suicide was possible because the Grand Canyon stood in its way: I would have to see it first come cancer or high blood pressure.

And in the distance I saw a bluish gulf, as if miles away the earth ended at a sea of some immensity. The air looked different there. I couldn’t make any positive sighting, but something stood between us and the far horizon. Less than an hour later, there it was. a glimpse!

But we averted our eyes. We didn’t want to experience it through the windows of a car. We found the motel we were staying at inside the park, took care of checking in, and then walked towards the rim. If pictures can’t do it justice, neither can words. It was the depth of land made visible. It was geologic ages told in color. It was distance sung near the end of the world.

And all we could do was stop, look, and listen.

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