Saturday, September 24, 2005

Wide Open Spaces

I know that the Dixie Chicks are from Texas and I am pretty sure that their song Wide Open Spaces was written about their home state. However, I have seen some pretty nice and incredible wide open spaces along our travels thus far. Today provided even more great views along highway 93 in Arizona. One of the strangest things we noted was how fast the scenery changed. One moment you are in the desert surrounded by brown baron land complete with tumbleweeds and cacti. The next minute you are in rolling green hills flushed with trees. Sometimes the scenery looks just like home or a trip over the pass to Eastern Washington. Other times the car window was like a movie screen showing a movie never before seen.

This trip has shown us so many things that we haven't seen before. A few days ago as we traveled California Highway 15 prior to reaching Calico, we drove through miles and miles of cotton fields. Real live cotton fields. We didn't know such things existed in California – for a minute we thought that we had taken a very wrong turn somewhere. A few miles later we saw fig, almond and orange trees. Before reaching Morro Point we saw avocado fields. A few days before that, on the way to Monterey, we drove through several miles of artichokes.

This trip has been a real agricultural experience for us. Today we shifted gears a bit and moved into geology phase. First up was the Grand Canyon Imax just before we entered the park. It was pretty neat, part of me wants to shoot the rapids of the Colorado River and part of me thinks it is a rather stupid idea. We stopped just inside the park entrance to see the Grand Canyon for the first time. Well it was the first time for Ainsley and I. Christy came here back in 1993 on a geology class field trip. The trip itself was the class. So I am expected to learn a whole bunch of stuff from her while we are here. I am sure that she will ask me to put on my continuity glasses so that I can see how the area looked before the canyon was carved out over millions of years.

I will say that the first view of this wonder of nature truly inspires shock and awe. Looking across the canyon and seeing each strip of different colored rock – each one represented a relatively small swath of time, each one representing a major event in the earth's history and each one proving just how little time we have been here and how incredibly power nature is. There is a movie called Grand Canyon, the character played by Danny Glover states that standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon makes you realize how insignificant you are in the grand scheme of things, that we populate our place on earth for such a minute amount of time. The movie is really good and makes you think.

Despite the fact that that we are here only a fraction in geological time we must do our part to keep things in balance and minimize our impact. Not to get too preachy but I implore people to do what they can.

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