A slight change of plans had us drive from Dinosaur National monument toward our next stop today instead of tomorrow.
If you like to go back in time this is the place. Fossils and petroglyphs dot the landscape.
But what struck me the most was the stark silence of the desert.
For most of our journey the only sound we could hear was our footsteps.
It was interrupted only by others speaking foreign and native tongues, with and without the next generation. Peggy and I would wait until they passed and the silence would return.
I think we forget how spiritual a simple silence is. We might even think we encounter it in the spaces of our city lives. But, as I discovered in the desert, that is merely muffled sound.
We left the desert of Vernal, Utah by US highway 191 which has to be the most spectacular drive I've ever taken.
We passed through the Flaming Gorge National Forest observing the constant road signs that indicate the era of time the land was created. What we drove through was all under water 150 million years ago.
Where did all the water go?
When we left the Flaming Gorge Dam which supplies water to a great deal of the southwest the road ascending about 3,000 feet.
The road rises and falls between roughly a 5,000 foot to 8500 foot elevation.
At unexpected turns the hills simply disappear into canyons of incredible beauty.
There are escarpments which line the horizon as far as the eye can view, canyons which dive below the surface beneath one's ability to see and valleys which have no other side.
All of which are mottled with a cacaphony of hues. The canyons with brilliant reds, golds, oranges, solitary and blended, the escarpments with shades of mocha, ochre, iron, mauve and mixtures of colors that there are no words for, the valley with tones of mint, sage, amarinthine,aqua and teal.
the entire drive I was soaked in colors.
It even rained, here in the desert where it gets less than 10" of rain a year, and a rainbow crowned the mountain. A glorious, spiritual experience. Peggy slept.