Monday, January 2, 2012

Walkabout - Beginning the Long Journey Home

I'm headed home, and this is as close as we came to the Wave, my goal for the Utah leg of this trip:

Although I did have an interesting conversation with a couple of locals we met in Kanab, Utah at the vegetarian restaurant Laid Back Larry's. Valerie (the most honest small business owner in southern UT) and her customer suggested that the fine that they charge for trespassing on the Wave without a permit was not steep and worth it to see the Wave if you didn't make the lottery to get a hiking permit. I can't find anything that lists the actual fine, just a few forum websites that call it 'astronomical'. This is an idea for the future... as it is, my suprise from last Tuesday wouldn't have survived the hike today after the tough climb yesterday, it was wise to drive today instead.

Since we were out of luck for the Wave, we played around with some time-lapse as we left Zion, watch the background as we exit through the switchbacks.

Since our route home backtracked over something we'd already driven, we saw the other side of some really fantastic views and were able to prepare for them. Lake Powell is even more jewel-like from the West:

We passed through a part of northern Arizona near Bitter Springs that looks out on the valley above Lake Powell, this time with the time-lapse turned on... this is amazing:

After that, we passed the rest of the state of Arizona in the Navajo and Hopi nations, in big stretches of open terrain, surrounded by strange little outcroppings of rock. Some that looked like bricks, some that looked like chewed-up chewing gum.

Parts of the countryside appeared to be flat until the road turned and opened unto a huge basin below the blind plateau.

It seemed like the entire state was populated with roadside jewelry stands and prefabricated housing. There were many sad-looking homesteads. We passed into New Mexico just after sunset, which we caught - for the first time this trip - in the rear-view mirror. This was the first day we weren't headed north or west.

We made it to Albuquerque long after dark, and plan to putt around here in the morning until we have to head east again. Many more hours of driving before we are home, not that we really want to get there before we have to.

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