Bryce Canyon is a
collection of towers, steeples and tunnels washed into the soft yellow sandstone
by wind and rain. It glows in the sun like heaps of lost gold. Everyone who visits is forced into metaphor overload as they search for
ways of describing it. Sue suggested it looked like a big... big... castle with battlements and everything,
indicating that they don't go into poetic nonsense down in Oz.
It seemed to me that
the lost souls of hell were reaching up through a primal golden ooze to send their last scream of
penitence toward heaven before being petrified in eternal lamentation... but decided that Oz practicality
might think me a fairy, and said instead that it looked like nature's biggest spitball collection.
I wondered if after a hundred years more natural attrition it might become nature's biggest
yellow sludge pit. Who knows.
Our final hike was in Zion National Park, an area of soaring sandstone cliffs, the highest in the world.
We wandered up Angel's Landing, a 500m sandstone monolith that rose like a defiant fist from the valley floor.
We pulled ourselves up by chains from the knife edged snake path to reach our final summit. We dangled our feet over the edge at the top and stared straight down the cliffs. All around the weathered red and yellow rock looked like confectionery. I had to resist the impulse to jump across the mile wide gap and break a piece off for a quick snack.
Skies above Utah
What was there to expect from Utah? All I had known was that this was the land of the mormons,
and Indians in the south. A land of religion and spirituality. Having seen it, I'm not suprised.
The land lifts you. It has power, depth to humble the greatest will, and then lift you, following the
vast fingers of stone, up, up to the vast enveloping sky, blue and purple, and dark within
a thousand stars, and wonder what might lie beyond.