Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Made it at last

Painted Desert
After I graduated from high school my father gave us the grand tour. Not the grand tour of a year in Europe which some of my later college friends enjoyed but two weeks with the family seeing the parks of the intermountain west. It was an ambitious list of must see's and early on two parks got cut: Painted Desert and Petrified Forest. The argument was we lived in a painted desert and that you could buy petrified wood everywhere. So for years both remained on my must see list if for no other reason that they got cut.

But there always seemed to be grander parks to see or more important places to go. But this vacation with my sister I at last made it to both. Let me say for the record that you can buy petrified wood everywhere. But the colors and scope of the painted desert, which continues into the petrified forest park, is not to be seen just anywhere. And for a photographer it should not be missed.

I really want to go back. Mostly because the light changes the colors so very much. It is one of those places, like the Grand Canyon, I can imagine setting up the tripod and waiting for the sun to rise or set.

My quilted purple mountain

And with the colors there are such interesting shapes and contours. It once was a primordial forest. The petrified wood huge towering trees that grew there. The two parks are joined because the painted desert continues into the once lush forest of the petrified trees.

Cascade of Petrified Trees
We took one of the walks to the bottom of the colored hills. The world above vanished. The trail marker at the top said to take time to listen to the silence. I felt as if I had been transported to a world before there was time or noise.

Maybe another planet.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful. I am pretty sure our travels took us through a corner of that, but there was never enough opportunity to explore at leisure. I love your part of the world, may never see it again, and really enjoy the chance to see it this way.


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