Lonely Highway 50: We take a detour

by cheri block

The lonely road isn’t so lonely, especially when The Judge decided that it would be fun to listen to all 27 disks of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and we are! In The Fountainhead, we meet Howard Roark, an architectural purist, who refuses to compromise his designs.

Were we purists, we would not have drifted off Lonely Highway 50 for 4 hours south, magnetized by the pull of red iron rocks and lured  to the Colorado River’s canyon carvings. I will confess. It’s all my fault. I led the The Good Judge astray, off the appointed route, to a resplendent place where only pictures can convey its  grandeur. That place is Arches National Park, three miles north of Moab, Utah.

Some of you may have traveled the winding road through this brick-red Godly quarry that reminded me, for some odd reason, of Ancient Rome.

Let us take a look at the Three Gossips from a closer vantage point.

Below  is one of the 2000 arches that formed under a salt bed 300 million years ago.

At Eclecticafe in Moab, over the best lunch we have eaten since on the road–a killer tuna melt with grapes, celery, onions, and Swiss cheese toasted on swirled rye and sourdough bread for me and a smoked turkey wrap for Hizzoner–we charted our way back to Highway 50.

Should we take Route 128?

O.K., just for the heck of it, let’s drive a different road out of Arches.

Sometimes, the most extraordinary experiences are those we don’t plan, the ones that are as uncontrolled as the turn of a wild river or as spontaneous as the leap of a trout toward an unlucky fly, the ones that blindside and then thrill you, after you have caught your breath.

We had NO idea what we were about to see.

Now to get some human perspective.



















On our way out of this humbling assemblage of water and rock, of roan and swirl, in our red arena, we did feel like triumphant gladiators, leaving a Coliseum of ancient history and transcendence.

About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
This entry was posted in Life, My photography and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Lonely Highway 50: We take a detour

  1. Richard says:

    Even the tuna, it appears, are killers in this lawless country. The judge has a mighty job on his hands.

  2. dafna says:


    i have never been through this part of the u.s. thanks so much for sharing!

    your words and images are connecting beautifully. these images do look as if they are impressionistic clay sculptures. i see the castle and the “quarry” looks more like a worn tanker than the coliseum to me. but yes, the area is awe-inspiring and begs the question could such beauty arise unassisted?

    i especially enjoy the paragraph “Sometimes, the most extraordinary experiences are those we don’t plan..” for me it is almost always the fun of not knowing what will be around the next corner when i leave the house that is the spice of life.

    this series of posts would make a wonderful picture book, you could make it available as a PDF for friends and family to download.

    • Cheri says:

      Hi dafna,
      Our eyes do see the same. My captions needed to be better attached to the photos. I too saw that large slab as an old tanker…the Coliseum, which I coudn’t capture adequately in photos is the last one. That valley with the road halving it, was almost completely surrounded by that wall…and thanks for the idea for a picture book. I’ve done one of those recently and it was quite a task to select the photos. And, yes! to your third paragraph.

  3. Don says:

    Of ancient Rome, it reminds you. Properly so. I was minded of Venice, and made pictographic comparisons here.

    • Cheri says:

      Terrific! The likeness in the picture pairs is amazing. Your creativity, too.
      The photo of the gondolas and the kayaks I especially liked. Well done and thanks so much for sharing Venice and the “Green River”.

  4. Richard says:

    I had not previously heard of Ayn Rand or objectivism.

    Was it the philosophy or the fiction that affected your sense of loneliness ? Did you welcome the loss ?

  5. Cheri says:

    Hmmmmm…not sure how to take this comment or to respond. Calling the Highway “Lonely” for reasons already written. Not prepared to discuss objectivism because then, I’d have to review.
    Listening to the Fountainhead is the Judge’s call. I also brought The Help, and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Riding (or something like that). I will say that Ms. Rand is overly descriptive.

  6. Christopher says:

    Lots of people are reading Ayn Rand right now, so I’m led to understand. But, will the current Ayn Rand fad suddenly vanish on the day after this November 6th?!!

    Will you be visiting Zion National Park? If so, I do hope your camera-work will do it justice, for Zion is something to behold.

  7. Cheri says:

    Hi Christopher,
    I’m here in Cimarron Kansas w/o wi-fi,
    so I cannot upload pictures or text.
    We only had time for Arches as the trip is a Highway 50 drive.
    We have driven thru Colorado and now part of Kansas.

    I have many pix and stories.
    Not sure when or if I can post them on this trip as I had hoped.

    The Judge likes Nietzsche and Rand had definite thoughts about him, do in our case, the upcoming election had nothing to do with selection.

    Thanks for checking in.

  8. bogard says:

    Spectacular!! Was through Moab and Arches Nat’l Monument on my trip around the country after grad school in ’77 with a classmate. We wanted to camp by the river in the canyons but the wind and sand were just too much that day. Ended up at a KOA just outside Moab. Bit what one would refer to as an upgrade. Did have a shower, though. (It wasn’t the last KOA we hit on that trip either). Just a spectacular part of the country. Thanks for the great photos, Cheri. Hope Hizzoner enjoyed the detour as well. Continued ‘Happy Trails’ to you two. Can’t wait for the next post.

  9. Good observation Christopher! I agree that on November 7, Ayn Rand will be placed right back on the bookshelf for another time.

  10. Pingback: Was I in a vortex? | Notes from Around the Block

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