I need to get back to trusting my intuition. I seem to be missing it by seconds or hours and being disappointed. I should have stayed in Montrose one more night and enjoyed the company of my new friends at the fair and rodeo rather than rushing off to Moab, UT.
The red rock beauty was jaw dropping coming into town, but the town itself, and the motel, was dismal and depressing. The staff was more interested in watching the tacky lobby television than checking me in and they acted like I was an inconvenience. My room smelled of some sickening sweet chemical, but was clean even if the internet didn’t work. The accommodations in Moab are outrageously priced for what they are.
There was nothing in the town that I wanted to explore. The restaurants were lacking. I had one meal at a cafe that was ok, with live music, that was ok, and a karaoke place that was terrible. It was a tourist town of foreigners and t-shirt shops. It was fun to hear many different languages, french, german, spanish, as I strolled down the streets. I imagine tour companies push the “wild wild west” theme and big busses of people come from Europe to experience John Wayne and True Grit. I just didn’t find anything there to my taste. If not for the nearby National Parks, I would never need to come back to the town and if possible would stay anywhere else. Montrose was ten times the western town that Moab was and I got to meet the people who live there. I missed their no-nonsense attitudes.
The next morning I was up at 5:00am to see the sunrise in Arches National Park. I hate getting up early but it was worth it! The beauty was enormous and I was struck again by the landscape diversity that I have seen and this is only one tiny corner of the world. There are so many places that I have not yet been in Asia, Africa, Australia, it is boggling to imagine the creativity that thought all this up.
The colors were glowing in the early dawn and I saw images in the red rock walls kind of like when you see pictures in the clouds. One was a lion face that took my breath away. I was inspired by the idea that each person I meet is also filled with such beauty. I meet them all the time, in different shapes and sizes, from the very large mountain man, to Eddie the Cowboy with his face chiseled, like these rocks, from the sun (see Meet Blondie, Eddie and Coon Skinner). I think back to Montrose and a darling lesbian natural beauty with short blond hair and a stocky beautiful body, as beautiful as the mountains I got up at dawn to see. Our judgments from magazines and television tell us what bodies are beautiful, we nip and tuck to make ourselves more acceptable to the norm of the day.
What would we all look like if we stopped distorting our bodies, cutting our hair to the latest style, shaving facial hair and letting ourselves be the creatures we were made to be? Instead we take the sculpting into our own hands, with botox, plucking, enhancing, adding ass here and boobs there. We take what we were given and mold it into something else. I realized this morning it is as shameful as it would be in taking a hammer to these beautiful rocks and rearranging them.
Now some point a finger and let ignorance linger
If they’d look in the mirror they’d find.
That ever since the beginning to keep the world spinning
It takes all kinds of kinds.
All kinds of kinds.
(Miranda Lambert song)
I did a few short hikes in Arches then I drove to Canyonlands National Park. It was like seeing the earth in inversion. If someone took Arches and flipped it upside-down I think it would set in the Canyonlands like a puzzle. At Arches I saw what is left standing from the elements that carved them out and at Canyonlands I noticed more of what was chiselled away from down in the canyons.
I loved the wild expanses in Canyonlands and imagined what it would be like to live there as a native and only having your feet for transportation. You walk for miles and then you arrive at a sheer drop off. I looked at how I would descend, impossible without ropes and the choice of having to return, a mile back, to find another way, only to find another sheer cliff. Pretty tough life.
I took a few hikes that were recommended by a man I met the night before at dinner. They were both amazing and it was encouraging that for the first time in a while I did not feel exhausted going uphill. I was like a mountain goat. Maybe I’m finally adjusting to the altitude and getting my stamina back.
At the end of the day I raced back to see the sunset in Arches, coming full circle from sunrise to sunset.
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears