The Grand Tour- South Western United States


Once we arrived in New Mexico, the landscape dramatically changed. I was new to the desert, so the tall mesas dotted on the treeless plain were like nothing I ever saw. We visited the Acoma Pueblo in western New Mexico, an Indian Community built 1,000 years ago on top of a mesa. It made it through the Spanish’s search for the City of Gold in the 1500’s, Christian conversion, and modern culture. Although they play baseball, wear modern clothes, and watch The Bachelor on television, the Acomas still live in the same adobe homes their anscestors built and observe many of the same traditions.

As we entered Arizona, we drove through The Painted Desert and The Petrified Forest. The landscapes resembled the moon, and the colors were beautiful. As we continued to travel west, we saw a meteor crater 3 miles in diameter. The astronauts used this crater to practice walking on the moon. From there, we traveled north to the southern rim of the Grand Canyon. Nothing will ever make me forget my first glimpse of this natural wonder. Pictures cannot accurately portray its size.

We drove around the canyon, passed over the Navajo Bridge, and continued north into Utah to visit Zion National Park. We also saw Bryce Canyon National Park while in Utah. After we saw almost every national park in the area, we were in the mood for some good, old, commercial fun. We took off for Las Vegas, Nevada, and I was excited. I saved $300 for fun in Vegas, and lost it all in five hours. I guess that’s how it goes in that town, but I wouldn’t mind going back and challenging my luck again.