The Big Trip : Part 2

The day after the memorial service we headed south to Moab, the entrance to Arches National Park. It very much reminded me of Pilgrimage, by Zenna Henderson, one of several stories about an alien but humanlike race stranded in the desert Southwest. Back when I first read it as a child I knew nothing of Roswell -- I wonder if those stories influenced Ms. Henderson, who obviously had a firsthand knowledge of that part of the world.

We made it to Moab in early evening and drove into Arches just a little bit before heading back to our motel to hang out by the pool and then catch some dinner across the street at a cute touristy restaurant whose name escapes me now. We were surprised by the seemingly huge number of German-speaking tourists. It seemed like half the people in the motel and at the restaurant and at the shops we visited were...well, what? Swiss, Austrian, German? It wouldn't have occurred to me that SE Utah was a major tourist destination for people from Central Europe, but what do I know?

Arches is spectacular and we got lots of good photos, which I will scan and post at some point in my life. Do I know how with my new(ish) computer? Of course not! Yet another thing to figure out, dammit. At any rate, the landscape is amazing. The time it took for the wind to carve those gaps. Well, it boggles the mind. Sometimes I think I suffer for lack of scenery. Houston is pleasantly green but it's flat as a board and the only noteworthy geographical features, besides the skyscrapers and freeway overpasses, are Galveston Bay and the Gulf, neither of which I ever see on any regular basis, both being 30-50 miles away from my part of town.

Before we left Moab we picked up some nice souvenis, including some Moab rocks painted with traditional figures employed by Southwestern native peoples. And a cool brass wall sculpture called "Two Men Walking Abreast," although the people who sold it to us told us that it's more commonly known as "Two Men Walking A *Breast*" since the cone shaped circle of life between them has a certain nubility to it. I think they were amused by mine and Eden's blank looks. "Ohhhhhh," we said at last. "I gotcha."

From Moab we headed to Cortez, Colo., and Mesa Verde National Park, a World Heritage Site and a place I've wanted to see since I was a little kid.

RPJ

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