by cheri block
The dry and endless desolation that I had expected in Nevada never materialized and this morning, as we headed southeast from Ely, Nevada (birthplace of Patricia Nixon) on a sparsely traveled road, we feasted on some of the most stunning scenery I have seen in many a harvest moon.
This strong shoulder of a mountain and that gravel road below it invite me to fantasize about my days as a horsewoman. Oh! To be walking along aboard a young and sturdy quarter horse, hearing the rock crack under the rhythmic plodding of those enormous hooves, on my way out to the ridge where, after a considerable period of time, I will dismount, tether my horse to a tree, and have a beer. But, I digress!
We travel to Delta, Utah, a characterless place, mainly agricultural, and decide it will be a perfect place to have lunch. The Rancher’s Cafe, a popular local eatery, serves up a BLT for me and a breakfast for the Judge.
On to Scipio, Utah, where the Judge finds a sweet antique store, supervised by Gary, a former gold miner from the Yukon Territory.
I am busy charting our route (and eating one of those killer oatmeal raisin cookies) when the SUV comes to a grinding halt and is whirled around in a U-turn that would curl the hair of the best NASCAR driver. The Judge has seen the photo-op of the day, which I admit, I missed.
South central Utah is a series of diagonal lines of mountain muscle with ripples, tendons, and ligaments that flex their way out from the Underworld, as if Hephaestus himself has been hammering his iron over the fires with such weight and power that his earthen ceiling has given way to His pressures of heat, fire, and industry.
I will leave you with a few parting photographs taken on our way down the ridge, on our way to Green River, Utah, where we are resting tonight. ( I should be honest here. The Judge is resting because he drove the entire way, while I entertained myself taking pictures, eating cookies, and reading Guidebooks.)
Looking at this last photo, I am struck by the other-worldliness of this red-rock castle, an edifice that rivals any European castle I’ve ever visited. Here’s to that Clay Sculptor who insists that we pay attention to Its handiwork, works of Natural Art that defy description.