By now I have come to realise how vast The States are and how much the landscape changes by every turn. The scenery goes from bone dry to lush green just by driving uphill through an arrow straight road. Yes, there is still land and sky and clouds and grass and all the rest, but the details are different and changing all the time. Just by crossing the state borders from California to Arizona the dust around has turned from yellow to orange and Joshua Trees were replaced by cactus's and Aloe like short bushes... Driving a little further that morning I have decided, on Majka's advise, to take the 'back roads' where very soon a road sign informed us that 'You are now beyond Hope.' Frankly, I though that I've passed this milestone a while back, but thanks to this sign my horizons were broaden once again. Beyond Hope... Still makes me smile. Because it was misspelled. ...and a little proud! One can sit in Hope or get up and go. That was deep! My apologies! :)
Roads were long and straight, driving was boring therefore exhausting. Whole morning I've wished for a coffee, but other than red dust and prickly short plants there was not much to stop for. The first stop I've made my hopes were high. But I've got to learn that the coffee shop sign I've stopped for is out of season right now. So I've got us a couple of real fruit ice creams. The ones that you can see in my 'California' entry, for some reason. It just happened, don't ask why... to be honest I didn't have my coffee for a whole day. And probably few days that followed. There just wasn't any coffee in Arizona. But we didn't come for coffee, right?! We came for the... Well, I wasn't quite sure, but I knew it will not be a disappointment. And to be honest it was on our way to New Mexico where I wanted to fulfil a couple of warm invitations. Mark made me cross my heart to meet him if we are going through and Deborah with Lou are new friends I have made a few months back in Myanmar. So even if I didn't think of New Mexico until these invitations, now I considered these as a sign. But right now I'm not here to talk about New Mexico, but Arizona which turned out to be the centrepiece of our American road trip. We have been in and out of The Grand Canyon State on several occasions. First on our way to NM through Jerome, Sedona, Two Guns and several more Route 66 remains, Barringer Meteor Crater and The Petrified Forrest National Park. Later on our loop back through Antelope Canyons, Lake Powell, Horseshoe Bend and of course The Grand Canyon. There is so much to see... All the natural monuments, valleys, craters and parks that showcase the power of natural forces given the time. They are like wrinkles in the face of our planet ready to reveal the natural history. These are incredibly fascinating places not only for palaeontologists, archaeologists or geologists, but for any regular nerd or anyone with a bit of curiosity.
I can't even begin to put these sceneries into words, so unless you have the opportunity to hop on the first plane I would like to invite you to flick through some of the photos I took. The biggest one surprise on the way was The Horseshoe Bend. Where usually the photos of places and landscapes look better than reality, this bend carved into the red stone by Colorado river looks every bit as impressive in reality as any photo would.