South West Part Deux

... insert flu here ...

And I'm back. The second week of our Road Trip - Southwest Style featured Napa and San Francisco and Yosemite and Death Valley and Las Vegas and Zion. Yup. Whirlwind tour a la "If it's Tuesday, this must be Belguim". So many places. So little time.

I'm not sure why I didn't take any photos of Napa other than I was totally underwhelmed. If other wine growing regions aspire to that over-hype? I suggest they rethink the whole idea. And while I did take an obligatory crossing the Golden Gate Bridge photo I was less than impressed with San Francisco as well. Musta been the day!

As we left our overnight in Hayward CA I was taken with what I would consider this "quintessentially Californian" scene. I see those hills (sans windmills) so often in our advertising it has become part of my visual lexicon.

Go figure!

And as we headed into Yosemite we witnessed the aftermath of all the forest fires that ripped up so many acres ... so dry. so much destruction. It went on and on. And on. Though as we learned certain species of pine can only regenerate through fire. So there's that.

Yosemite was pretty. And busy. We didn't realize we'd chosen to drive through on a National Park free fee day. (uhm. dudes! it's only $20!!) And even though the understory was different from our West Coast (and East Coast) I felt like I might have seen the topography before.

We did get to see a small black bear run across the road. Bonus points!

And then ... Death Valley.

I'd kinda sorta anticipated the nothingness but was wholly unprepared for its vastness. I felt as if all of earth's predecessors were reverberating through my body. It was a visceral, spiritual experience.

 And as we headed out the other side of Furnace Creek ... this (above), Furnace Creek Resort. uhm. wtf?!?

Which kinda led into our evening in Las Vegas and I couldn't help thinking that Las Vegas just might be the sum of all that is wrong with our world.  I know. I know. Lighten the fuck up Jen, right? eesh!

 And then there was Zion. And the planets aligned and the world came into focus. In some bizarre part of me I felt I'd arrived "home". Maybe because I've been waiting so. long. to see big skies and red rocks. Or maybe in some previous life I was a warrior indian crossing the plains bareback, wind in my hair.

 Part of our rationale for covering so much ground in so little time was to get a glimpse of where we might want to spend more time. And Zion, for both of us, definitely filled that bill. We were completely enamoured with the topography. Springdale UT in particular but I'm sure other towns in northern AZ & NM would work too. Smitten!

And there you have it, our 2 week southwestern zippididoodah road trip ... Sayonara from Zion, yo!


Sweetpea said...

Somehow I missed part one and didn't even know you'd gone [ I live in a cave, really ] so what a surprise to see this foto-packed post from the West .... yeee haawwww! Funny that out of all the spots you visited the one you liked the best I've never visited - Zion looks gawgeeous!

Can DEFINITELY see you as a warrior indian ;>]

Just Jen said...

I *feel* like a warrior indian having just finished The Orenda (by Joseph Boyden ... highly recommend)! Yes. Zion NP is amazing. As is that general area. Wish we'd had time to go to Bryce ... and the Grand Canyon ...and Flagstaff ... and Sedona. hahahaha! next time! xo

Karen Isaacson said...

yes yes yes about Zion (and about Las Vegas too)
I was in Zion in '98 and I've always wanted to go back.

Just Jen said...

Yep. there is something very grounded about Zion. In fact I'd go so far as to say that as grounded as Zion is, Las Vegas is the other extreme. *shakes head*

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