Sunday, July 25, 2010

Not the usual image you find on these pages, but I couldn't resist. It was just one of the special moments we enjoyed a couple days ago. In fact...

We had the most wonderful drive across US 50, dubbed "The Loneliest Road in America," and for good reason. Not many vehicles on the road (saw, we think, more cyclists on some kind of cross-Nevada rally) than cars/trucks/campers. No billboards. Well, one as you come into Ely, NV (McDonalds). Just a fabulous, well-paved road up and over 8 of the 12 summits (did 2 yesterday; 2 to come on Monday) of the state's basin-and-range land. Utterly exhilarating. We stopped in one of the very few towns for gas then a cup o' java to go with Roger's favorite treat: a cinnamon bun, this one 1.5 inches high and the size of a salad plate. It was so sticky I feed it to him (and had some nibbles myself) bite by bite. So, definitely heavenly. I got choked up three times by the landscape, open and wide across the alkali basins, and climbing into and coming down out of the mountains. Delicious driving. One of the best drives EVER!

And tomorrow, we complete the basin-and-range journey as we head into Great Basin National Park, one where neither of us has been. It's its own geological wonder, called a basin because there is no drainage from the park to the sea -- and we talking thousands of acres. The park, at elevations exceeding 10,000 feet above sea level, is home to bristlecone pine trees, the oldest living organisms on earth. I "met" some a few years ago at Cedar Breaks National Monument in Utah and when I did, I cried. They are the only trees that have ever made me weep. So to see them a second time will be a most joyous reunion.

After four days in Great Basin, we boogie into Utah to Capitol Reef National Park for more geological glory. This will be a third visit there. Hoping to see some bighorn sheep as we did last time...and perhaps receive the same kind of inspiration that led to my poem, "Under the Sleeping Rainbow," which I just learned has received an Honorable Mention Award from New Millennium Writings (issue due out in December).

And following Capitol Reef, on to Canyonlands National Park for a couple days of hiking on the Colorado Plateau.

Looking forward to being off the grid for nine days! No cell, no email, no computer (we won't even have electricity for our trailer). Yay!

May this blog find you all well, keeping cool, enjoying the warmth of summer.