David S. Silverman 2016-09-01 12:49:18
LAST WORDS ON WHERE WE TRAVEL AND WHY The American Southwest is one of my favorite places to visit and photograph. Between the red rock mountains, slot canyons, arches and other natural wonders, the region is a real national treasure. And so, with this vast expanse of scenic landscape to explore on one of my trips to the area, I struggled on a cold February night to map out how I could see everything in the three days I had to myself before picking my wife up from her conference in Phoenix. I decided that I would leave it up to fate and see if I could “win the lottery” and obtain a permit to go to The Wave or Coyote Buttes. In an effort to protect this natural wonder, only 20 people are allowed to visit these landmarks each day. Half of the daily permits are given out to those well-planned travelers who apply for them months in advance online, while the remaining permits are handed out via a daily lottery at the Kanab, Utah, visitor’s center. With the 10th and final permit left, my number was picked. The trail to The Wave is an arduous one—no paths, no signs—with just a wide span of desert and rocks for miles. Thankfully, having been warned ahead of time, I hired a professional guide, Dreamland Safari Tours, to take me on this half-day adventure. The journey was well worth it. The hypnotic, colored layers of the sandstone and ripples in the rock transport you into a dreamlike state of amazement. Oftentimes, we witness the power of Mother Nature through news reports of hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters. We are taught to fear nature’s power. But standing on the foot of the ridge and looking down on this spectacle, I had the opportunity to witness a different side of Mother Nature: her raw artistic beauty. It reminded me that even in the middle of nowhere, amid miles of brown rock and desert, unexpected marvels can be found.
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