We met a young mother and her child in the otherwise empty park. She and her husband had moved up from Phoenix to get away from the sprawl. She pointed to a line of new and huge houses on a ridge and said that that was where other people from Phoenix also lived.
A very pretty little town climbing into the mountains in Arizona after a rather ugly drive through desolate desert littered with the skeletons of industrial plants and shopping centers and freeways.
Jerome is a small, dense town clinging to a mountain ridge. This is a view out from the main street.
Road starts right behind the fire department in Jerome and very quickly climbs.
This old road bears a sign saying that it's a primitive road and you drive at your own risk. We poo-pooed it having driven on plenty of primitive roads in Mexico. But this was the real thing. It went on for about fifty miles in the back country of Arizona. Towards the end, we met an old couple barrelling down it in their van, happy and eager to see what lay ahead.
Stark. No relief from it. It has a majesty, but it also makes me want to take care of the green places.
It was verrrry hot. In the park newspaper there was a cautionary tale about a healthy young man who set off with a liter of water on what was supposed to be a half mile hike and never made it.
It was also awesome and silent. There were Indians who lived in Death Valley who considered it fruitful and beautiful. It is beautiful. They must have been really skillful and patient and in tune with their world to find it fruitful.
This is where a lot of Borax comes (or came) from. Remember Death Valley Days?
On I 395 north of Lone Pine, the first town after you get out of Death Valley. Bishop is on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountains. It has a mix of hardened westerners, a small Mexican neighborhood and arty people with yearning expressions.
North of Bishop
Drive through Siskyou mountains on back road betwee Medford and Ashland, Oregon
We were skirting the top of I think the Siskyous in southern Oregon near the farm.
The drive from the Nevada border to Salt Lake City crosses endless salt flats. Salt Lake City is at the foot of these mountains. You can see why Brigham Young decided he'd found the place he was looking for.
It was very, very, very hot. Many European and Asian tourists seemed not to notice
NOte the scale from people standing underneath.
The rock that was the bird that found the home of the Navajo. Town and gigantic rock formation made famous in Tony Hillerman novels.