Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Life Is A Journey — Two Parks Along the Way

Life is a journey. An inner one as well as external, a spiritual quest as well as a motoring adventure.

The two interact. You see beauty and it resonates within. You experience peace and it colors how you see the world.

We take our national parks for granted. We shouldn't. They are some of the finest in the world. It is not just the preservation of nature they encapture but something more.

Two of the finest I have seen are Canyon de Chelly and Colorado Monument. For different reasons.

The Grand Canyon writ small ...
Canyon de Chelly is the Grand Canyon writ small. Accessible. Peaceable. Located entirely within Navajo Tribal land. Because of that much of it is off limits without a guide and permit. One exception is White House trail.

Colorado Monument is the face of carved mountain beauty writ large. Here you can walk right to the edge and stare at grandeur across and below and above. And sense it staring back at you, small as you are.

... yet  in incredible beauty.
If the planet is alive. If there is a God. If we are part of something bigger than ourselves ... then what we see speaks to us. It is up to us to listen.

Colorado Monument twenty miles west of Grand Junction offers vistas few will ever see or see again.

A rare shot of Bus Companion. [Click on photo to enlarge.]
There are ledge outcroppings where painters go to paint. Photographers to shoot. But what a challenge! No film, no digits, no palette and canvas can come away with anything but an echo of what is to be seen or felt or heard there: the sun, the wind, the wheeling birds.

Need proof that the planet is alive? Look no further.

What follows are imperfect glimpses in a magical kingdom. [Click on photos to enlarge.]



  1. Gorgeous photos John....thanks for sharing....I so love the southwest....

  2. I have got to go back to the southwest. With yours and Sue's descriptions as well as others lately... I must have missed something.

    These photographs are beautiful. I usually just went through New Mexico and Arizona on my way elsewhere. However, one of those times, I decided I'd finally do a touristy thing and made the swing off I-40 to the Grand Canyon. Absolutely breathtaking.

    I'm planning on a trip back up Highway 1 on the west coast and this time? I'm going to explore these two states.

    Beautiful pictures.

  3. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful stuff. Of all the other places I've seen (and I have to admit to a little bit of anti-jingoism here, which is just as bad as its opposite, in its way) I have never seen the scenes that you are seeing, Nothing like them.

    Michele used to try to decribe to me what the South West looked like, and she was never shy in her descriptions, and she shared the coffee table book that I suppose everyone in Arizona sees and gets used too . . . .

    But nothing as clean, neat, and personal as this. Nicely done.