Horse Shoe Bend
Navajo Lands, Arizona.
We have come here to gaze across the chasm, into the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, a landscape every bit as rugged as it looks. We stand in awe of the spectacle created by a great sandstone penninsula that forced the river around rather than through it. Eleven hundred feet staight below my feet, the Colorado River is a moving oasis through sheer geology. Less than a mile from the highway, this always felt like wilderness, a little known place passed by for more exotic destinations in the area. Until it was "discovered". This far above the river, you don't hear the boats, though they were far more occaisional than now. But you do hear the hordes of tourists, exhaled from the busses that pull in every half hour. They clamber about the cliffs complaining of the inconvenient walk in from the dusty pullout, hooting and yelling because they must be heard, and carving their names or initials into every available surface. Nothing is sacred, the mass manners rule. But if you wait out the big intrusions, the place is too big, too grand to destroy, and between rotating crops of humanity, you can still have a little while alone to admire the divine handywork of Horsehoe Bend.