Out West Vacation 2010: Wide Open Spaces and Time to Think

Vacation Journal continues …

Our trip covered almost 2000 miles in the SUV, so there was plenty of time to enjoy the views and think. I had a book along (actually, the huge Real George Washington that I reviewed last month), but I felt kind of guilty doing much reading. It seemed like I should look out and soak up the views as much as possible.

Others in the vehicle, however, had no such compunctions.

kids in the car

It’s true that God’s creation is amazing anywhere, really, but the west just has such beautiful vistas. I mean, can you imagine waking up to this every day?

mountains out westToto, I have a feeling we’re not in Indiana anymore …

Despite the natural beauty, one big impression I got was that of poverty. Now, I’m aware that most people living in big houses probably don’t build right along the major roads, but we passed mile after mile of houses like this:

trailer by a mountainIt just seemed really odd:  kind of like a pimple on the Mona Lisa or something.

Lots and lots and lots of Indians around. One indian guy I talked to at the Santa Fe market was wearing an AA T-shirt. I really wanted to take his picture, but thought that would be pretty tacky ( I’m sure we’d all like to be discussed on someone’s blog because we’re a great example of a negative stereotype of our ethnic or racial group).

We drove through large areas classified as reservations (I always thought of reservations being a building, or at most like a 10-acre campus or something, but these were vast, vast stretches of land, mainly filled with cheap houses and the like:

indian reservation trailer tires on roofI’m assuming the tires are to prevent the roof from blowing off? This was a common sight.

One evening we drove through Colorado City, Arizona, near the border with Utah. Having read the fascinating Under the Banner of Heaven, I knew that Colorado City is a hotbed of polygamy, practiced by the mormon’s officially-disowned step-sister, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I was so excited, scanning the horizon for a glimpse of a polygamist compound. You would have thought a Princess Diana sighting was possible. I had the whole family looking:

Mom, what exactly are we looking for?

Well, I wasn’t sure, but I was sure trying to spot something. Maybe there would be some quickly-put-up pole barns and lots of wimmin and chillen running around in Little House on the Prairie garb?

Alas, this would have to do for my exposure to Colorado City:

Colorado City mountains

See anything that looks unusual?

3 thoughts on “Out West Vacation 2010: Wide Open Spaces and Time to Think

  1. I’m glad you didn’t spend most of your time reading. Too bad daughter #2 did!I assume she did this purely for the picture. I trust she didn’t spend her time reading while touring the wild west!

  2. Isn’t it nice that you can relive your vacation for years, in your mind? The pictures you have taken will help keep many memories alive, too.

  3. I was astonished the first time I went to a reservation – I halfway expected teepees! Or longhouses, at the very least.

    (I think most of the Indians in our area have already burned their roof tires, though – the last time the Governor tried to enforce the tax codes. . .stuff of legends right there!)

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