I was instructed to go to Horseshoe Bend by a friendly local Navajo man. It’s free and if you happen to be in the area you must go see it! Of course the heat was simply scorching and the hike was up a number of steep sand covered hills which I’ll admit were a huge challenge to someone as unfit as myself. Weeks driving a Jeep and eating nothing but PB&J’s had taken it’s toll. I felt like a smoker wheezing and gasping for air, clawing my way upwards like I was escaping Hell! Still once I got to the peak the view was staggeringly beautiful, a circular body of water with another piece of mountain jutting up from its center, so massive I couldn’t take a full photo of it. I walked around taking photos. I had a photo taken by a couple from Chicago and paid back the favor. Then I noticed a couple speaking Dutch which was a delightful change of pace from the Germans I saw everywhere else. Greetings were exchanged and photos were taken. I was just impressed by their intense baby buggy which looked like it might have four wheel drive. That thing was hardcore. And the baby? Most quiet and content new human I have ever seen. Apparently they were travelling from here to the grand canyon as a vacation, bringing their little bundle of joy along. I sort of wish I knew a language other than English. Perhaps someday.
When I walked back I saw some tracks in the sand. I identified them as those of a lizard and I were able to trace them to a rock where two adorable lizards were skittering about. On this little off-path detour I also found a weird bug and more brightly colored lizards. One of the strangest realizations I have had since coming out traveling is the fact lizards are everywhere. Hundred s of varieties, all different sizes, clinging to rocks, ground, and trees. I grew up and lived in New England where if you want to see a lizard you have to go to a pet store or zoo. I don’t think these free range reptiles will ever loose their charm in my eyes.
Let me tell you the hike back was brutal. Being the little wuss I am I took two long breaks and then thanked God when I could finally see the Jeep again. It was hot, I hadn’t eaten lunch, and I was both absolutely famished and thirstier than I’d ever been before.
Driving away from the area I passed and photographed the Vermillian Cliffs and a few other things. Everything was just so surreal. I am not sure I will ever believe I was once in a place so beautiful.
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