Archive for March, 2009
Five days. 3000 miles. 50+ hrs of driving. 2 cars. 4 major destinations. A free rental (minivan). 4 drivers, 9 folks. 4 new tires. 2 speeding tickets and a vigilante trooper. Hundreds of pictures. 3 tunnels.
A super-nice Best Western inn keep, a lying ‘Pets Allowed’ Super8 website and crappy non-responsive inn keep, a laid back do-my-web-surfing-on-the-floor inn keep, and a “y’all took all the 3 bed rooms” inn keep and kids running to the school bus inn.
Beethoven. Radio Disney. HairNation Radio. Coldplay. Muse. Holst’s ‘The Planets’. Led Zeppelin. Beetles. Rush! “A Whole New World”. RTF. Quantum Chemistry. Predestination. Relationships. Family. Noxious gas. Windmills and oil wells. Turn around and go back. Slow down and speed up. No cell coverage and wrist walky-talkys.
Carlsbad. 750 feet down. Max: 400 feet from ceiling to floor. Avg: 150 feet tall. 1 mile long. Bacon, eggs, popcorn, an empty snack shop and empty stomachs, a broken ladder leading into eternity, occasionally lost kids, phosphorescence amazement, and “Oh Jiminy cricket – keep it quiet please!”
Grand Canyon. Grand. Enormous. Lots of languages heard. Impossible to comprehend. So big that depth perception fails. Warnings to kids that we’d kill them if they fell off. Daring dons drag and dangle themselves over the edge. A mile from the car, but not so bad. Majestic. God ordained and sculpted.
Zion. Dusk and dawn; enter and exit. Soft beds and “early” evening. Shadows creep away. Morning crawls in. Long, low scary tunnel and a short bedrock tunnel. Amazing cliffs, textured sandstone. Tight quarters, sheer stone, gentle winding creek. Hiking left undone. Beauty left behind.
Bryce. 3 vistas. Spires and caverns. Multiple layers. Smoke and snow, but no lightening. More dangling legs. Columns of sandstone. Colored layers. Freestanding rock walls, gorges, pits, and holes. Trails left untaken. Overlooks forsaken. Ice balls flying. Cameras snapping and videos rolling.