When you turn off Interstate 15, north of Las Vegas, and drive eastward to Valley of Fire State Park, you will at first wonder what all the fuss was about, the glowing reports you’ve heard of fantastic shapes and colors sprayed across the rocky landscape; as you start, the scenery is unrelentingly boring for mile upon mile. Browns, grays, and duller.
Don’t let that stretch of highway fool you. You’ll finally round a corner, about 25 miles out from the freeway, where your surprise will be sudden and complete. From there , it’s all unlimited discovery.
We are prone to speak of the resources of this country as inexhaustible; this is not so. —Theodore Roosevelt
In late April and early May, it is indeed easy to be green in England. There’s so much to see—curious lambs, bluebells blooming, sparkling rivers, fence stiles, country pubs, deep woods, wonderful fell views, The Lakes, ancient stone buildings, all of it seemingly divided by countless dry stone walls.
The photo gallery below barely touches on the possibilities. These were taken along the Dales Way, a fine 81-mile path from Ilkley to Bowness, on Lake Windermere. For the best information on walking in Great Britian, I recommend The Walking Englishman.
Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises. —Pedro Calderon de la Barca
I will walk under a ladder, but (unless it’s very short) I won’t climb atop one. Metal, wood, plastic … whatever it’s made from doesn’t matter. It’s the balance/height combination that makes me shy away.
I almost fell from a tree when I was seven years old, though. Luckily, it was a friendly willow.
These days I usually drive up to look down.
Death Valley is famous for SCORCHING HOT weather. But at Dante’s View (above) you’ll appreciate a fleece jacket in the mornings—even in late summer. And at an elevation of 5,476 feet, you’ll feel like you are on top of the world.
The photo below was taken from Zabriskie Point. It’s much lower than Dante’s, but still able to separate the foreground/background and give depth to the view.
I’ve been a big fan always of getting my camera in different places and trying to seek the unusual vantage point. —Joe McNally
Four Corners is the only location in the United States where the borders of four states meet. Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico. Native peoples have lived in this area over thousands of years, yet it remains scarcely populated. During my brief visits I’ve felt its remoteness, especially at Hovenweep (above), and the loneliness at Ship Rock. There is beauty in every direction, but it can be hard-earned.
I love the feeling of the fresh air on my face and the wind blowing through my hair. —Evel Knievel
The day after hiking to Monarch Cave, Ulrich and I drove north and west to access a hiking trail into one of the small canyons in the Butler Wash area. The weather, as it had at Monarch, threatened, but held off until we’d returned to the truck.
The little town of Bluff, Utah, is one of my favorite places in the Southwest—I could devote an entire trip to the area and discover but a fraction of the surrounding landscape. Add in friendly people, a variety of lodging (or camping), a good coffeehouse…and it’s pretty hard to beat.
Recapture Pocket is a small area about ten miles away from town; half on paved highway, half on a bumpy sometimes-4WD-track. Get directions at the Bluff Fort Visitors Center before you go out.
Intent on our destinations, how many anonymous places do we pass along The Road without slowing, or glancing out a window to see what we’re missing?
Driving southeast from Hanksville, Utah, towards Blanding, I pulled into an unnamed, unsigned graveled area off the highway and parked my truck. A few minutes to stretch the legs, rest tired eyes, listen to the quiet (which hummed in the twilight), and look around. That was all I wanted. This is what I found.
The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see. —Gilbert K. Chesterton