Twenty-six days and a dozen miles less than six thousand
On October 16th we drove west out of Austin on what became a 26-day trip through the southwestern quadrant of the United States. The car’s odometer reported that the tour through parts of west Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and California covered 5,988 miles. The drive took us to some places we’d been before (for example El Paso, Tucson, Phoenix, Las Vegas, the San Francisco Bay area), but the goal was to see things in those areas that we hadn’t previously gotten to see. We succeeded. The weeks ahead will bring you photographs from some of those places.
One great difference from my usual fare in Austin was the continuing presence of Landscapes with a capital L. From the time we got a few hundred miles west of Austin on the first day of the trip until the beginning of the last several hundred miles on the final day, we were never out of sight of significant mountains. With that in mind, I’ve begun with a couple of pictures from the afternoon of October 18th as we approached Sedona from the south. After our trip to Arizona in 2014, almost everyone who heard that we’d gone there asked if we’d visited Sedona. We hadn’t, so that was a goal on this visit. Our first stop in the Sedona area was the Red Rock Country Visitor Center on Arizona Highway 179, a bit south of the village of Oak Creek. The photograph above shows the vista from there.
As the sun continued to get lower and the shadows longer, we hurried to see more of the rocks further north toward Sedona itself. In the second photograph, taken 52 minutes after the first one, look how much extra warmth the last light of the setting sun had added to the colors of the reddish rocks for which the region is so well known.
© 2016 Steven Schwartzman