June 21, 2011Woke up this morning and took a stab at a wonderful scene I witnessed about ten miles east of Tuba City on the Navajo res. I left Kayenta at six in the morning and I really enjoy that time of day on the road. As a matter of fact, this is the aspect of road trips that I love the most—long vistas, serene driving with no one ahead of me and no one behind me. It is very spiritual to me.
Anyway, looking towards the north from the two-lane blacktop I saw these vermilion cliffs lit up by first light. This is my memory of that scene:
I have to fight two opposing sensations. I have a tendency to blast through these areas, intent on making time, getting home, etc. And the opposing sensation of, Hey, wait a minute, this is why I love being on the road, this exact spot. Be in this car, right now, and enjoy THIS. I often want to stop, but I rarely do (got to make time). And so it goes.
Speaking of road trips, Paul Hutton is in Bismark, North Dakota for the 2011 Western Writers of America Convention. He had a challenge getting there by car, with road washouts all the way from New Mexico to North Dakota. He texted me that highway 83 was closed by high water just south of the North Dakota border. He had to take a 75 detour to the east. Water came right up the road on both sides. Spooky. Convention opens today at one to six. Our Editor-In-Chief Meghan Saar will be attending. Hutton is moderating a panel on Custer with the usual suspects: Brian Dippie, Gerard Baker, Tracy Potter, Bettina Gilois and Christopher Cleveland.
"Never trust a man with a riding crop and jodhpurs who doesn't own a horse."
—Old Vaquero Saying