Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dark wedges in the starry sky was the form that the sandstone skyscapers of park avenue took the first time that I saw them. I was heading into Arches for the first time ever at 4 in the morning. The sun had not yet started to glow behind the La Sal mountains in the distance and I was driving the winding road up into the park. Looking ahead, I could not tell whether I was looking into the distant expanse of the petrified dunes or surrounded by cliffs looming overhead. Then I turned the corner leading to park avenue and I realized that the sky was not black, but riddled with more stars than I had ever seen. What I thought had been the black sky were the forms of sandstone cliffs towering over the road leading into the park. Having no sense of where I was, a strong feeling of uneasiness set in as I looked up at these dark forms that always appeared to be moving from the corner of my eye. However when I turned that corner and saw the shapes of these rock formations outlined in stars I knew instantly where I was. This view had become very familiar to me through the countless pictures I had found of the site while I was longing to visit Arches. They were unmistakeable, but so much larger than I had imagined. It was when I saw this that I finally felt that rush of being "there" where I had wanted to be for so long.

The effect may have been comparable if I had seen all of this for the first time during daylight, but I don't think that anything can compare to those magical hours that I spent in the park before sunrise that first day. Both the familiar and unexpected where slowly revealed as the sun rose, allowing me to compare what I had imagined during the pitch black drive in to the reality of my surroundings.

No comments:

Post a Comment