Utah the Beautiful April 15 - 19/2012

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June 1st 2012
Published: June 2nd 2012
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While we drive over Kerouac's Route 66 we feel ourselves King of the Road in our monstruous big 26 feet long motorhome. But we as soon as we land at a campsite we realize that our motorhome only has a modest size. Actually it is the smallest one. Next to us stands a big rig, which is definitely twice as big. It came in towing a spare car with on the hood the bicycles of all family. Everything is big in the USA: the motorhomes, the Sequoia's, the distances, even the pizza's are big. But when the door of our neighbour's motorcastle swings open the first thing what comes out is a dog so small, that you would rather call it a squirrel than a dog. Now we pay attention to it we come to the awkward conclusion that though megalomanious in everything Americans have at least the tiniest dogs of the world. We even think that the size of the dogs is reversed to that of the motorhomes. We have enough time to theorize about these interesting relationships and the deeper motivations of the American society behind it, when we are driving over endless highway 160 and 163 to Monument Valley in Utah.

After passing Painted Desert with its pink/orange/vermillion colours we finally arrive at a campsite with a view over the valley, I always wanted to visit since I saw 'Once upon in the West': Monument Valley. Next day it is beautiful weather with sunshine and a cool breeze, so that we make a hike of several hours through the valley. Automatically the lonesome music of Enrico Morricone jumps to my mind. I try to sing it, but Linda points to the monuments which arise like Islands out of the valley. 'It looks like the Forum romanum', she says, 'but far bigger of course'. How can such an awkward landscape been formed, we ask ourselves. We look it up in the brochure we took from the visitor's center. 'Once a sea' we read, 'sediments...uplift 65 millions years ago...collision Pacific and North American tectonic plates...chisellised by wind, water, and ice...volcano plugs...igneous rocks...between Permian sandstones...' Mmm...what would John Wayne have made up out of all that jazz?

We would like to see 'The Wave', those unbelievable rockformations near Page. Only 20 people a day may come in via a lotto system, 10 by arrangement beforehand and 10 on the day itself. We tried to arrange it from home but we did not succeed. So we try our luck by just passing by, but we hear we cannot go there, because the road has fallen in the river(?????). Instead we go to that other otherworldly national monument near Page: Antilope Canyon. It is as if we walk in the intestines of mother earth. Via a long tunnel surrounded by reddish sandstone tissues, rich of vessels (the oviduct) we arrive at her womb. Somewhere there must be a foetus, connected with an umbellicord to a wondernet of arteria. But before we can do further research we stand in the open air again. How did we come out? It must have been the vagina.

Reborn by this wonderful experience we drive further to Bryce Canyon. It is not so far from Page. We are amazed while we hike across this wonderfull landscape with its hoodoos and orange and white colours. It is as if we are walking across the excavated holy city of a rich precolumbian Indian culture. Everywhere I see fortifications and Birmese pagode like temples. Again we ask ourselves how can such a landscape originate? And again the brochure helps us: 'chisselised by snow and (acid) rain...orange colour by oxidized iron...helped by roots of plants...limestone sediments magesium enriched by cyanobacteria...dolostone...important for forming hoodoos...important...important...waterdepth grew...water cleaner...less iron...white colour...important...'

Right at the first National Park we bought an "America the Beautiful Pass" for 80 dollar, which give us the right to enter all NP's of the USA. In fact we used it foremost in Utah. So it can be better called 'Utah the beautiful'. The last NP we see in Utah is Zion NP. Not because we want to visit this Park (even the road with its yellow line between both lanes matches astonishing well with the surroundings), but because the road leads back to Arizona and from there to Nevada, our next destination.

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