GREEN IN THE DESERT

 

 

Meandering through Arizona, drifting leisurely along the trails of a desert whose essence is so elusive, is like entrusting your soul to a merchant of emotions. 

 

A journey towards infinity, though an optical funnel of highways that run through the middle of nowhere; where the savannah flourishes in the arid terrain, defying the summer heat, one of the fiercest in the world.

 

 

After the velvety rocks of the Grand Canyon, the red that filled the eyes when flying over the desert in Google Earth before setting out on the journey suddenly succumbs to a swirl of colors. The green carpet of the savannah often bedecked with colorful flowers follows the descent towards the south-east to the art store of the Painted Desert, with its stratified rocks and myriad of colors cascading down the gentle slopes, scattered with the Petrified Forest’s deposits of fossilized trees that give the environment an almost alienating atmosphere. A leap backwards to a prehistoric age that no words can describe. Towards the north, the bright green of the forest set in the fiery red stone chest of the Canyon de Chelly, creating a surreal environment. A movie set, seen from above.

 

 

Red definitely prevails in the enchantment of Monument Valley, in the artistic rock creations of its Buttes and in the labyrinths of the Antelope Canyon created by the wind and rain and that spark the imagination.

The extraordinary concentration of natural masterpieces puts Arizona at the top of the list of “must visit” destinations. Visitors from far away are often forced to make short stop-overs and hurried visits to wonders that would better deserve days and days of respectful observation.

It is almost impossible not to lose yourself in the rocky setting of the Grand Canyon, relishing the spectacle along the trails that lead down from the road that runs along the South Rim. From the rock charred by the sun to the valley crossed by the Colorado River that gently flows in deferential silence. From sunset to sunrise it is a continuous experience of chromatic emotions, special encounters with wild animals, as fleeting as a sip from the water bottle needed to survive the aridity of the hottest days.

Immersion in the peace of Monument Valley is like taking a deep breath, total escapism, free from the daily routine. The magical atmosphere is a constant regardless of the changing hues and play of lights and shadows. An experience that needs time to internalize and meditate. Especially with the flaming red hues of sunset that emphasize the colors and the pale shades of dawn that sharpen the shapes of this natural theater. The sensation of being part of the history of the native Navajo people who make respect for nature a founding and binding principle is constant. You may often happen to meet them along the road, with their hollow cheeks and pride of belonging, behind the stalls of their handcrafted products.

It would be a real challenge to roam around the labyrinths of the Antelope Canyon in solitude, stopping whenever you want in the large chambers and wandering along the corridors of friable stone, smoothed by nature with the mastery of an artist. Chasing the sunrays that infiltrate the chambers through cracks without minding time. For safety and entrepreneurial reasons you can enter the canyon only on guided tour. Colors, sensations and visions that enter the soul so quickly remain there forever, eternal.

The 300 km long snake of blue water of Lake Powell deserves a slow sailing cruise along the red rock to the Glen Canyon dam on the Colorado River. Then, the sensation of flying when you reach the edge of the cliff at Horseshoe-Bend, created by the water of the river itself which becomes green just beyond the bottleneck of the dam. A unique panorama, with a fairy-tale atmosphere at sunset.

 

 

Arizona is a constantly evolving theater. A land where it is easy to lose yourself in the countless natural wonders all around you, besides the more popular tourist attractions.

Arizona is… losing yourself to find yourself.

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