I sometimes think about my travels all through these years here in the US. I have been to both sides of the coast… I used to live in Newport Beach, CA and I like going to Tybee Island in Savannah, GA (that’s the nearest coast to me now). We once cross traveled from here (Atlanta, GA) to Lake Havasu, AZ and back in 4 straight days… I was not the one driving mainly, but it was a remarkable one.
THE DESERT: When you see the sun setting down between those red mountains in the desert, it has a very soothing glow that almost embraces you when you close your eyes. Then in the middle of it all…you’ll hear the howling of coyotes from far away and a distant roar of an RV trailer passing by. I loved those times when I was in the desert. You sometimes think of the past– if the ground I’m standing on could talk; souls that have died– could tell me how they lived and claimed this land, dusty, dry, mean, cruel– as their home.
There are still Natives (modern) who lived there, and believe me, they value their presence, for at least the ones that I knew and encountered. The desert is rough and unforgiving, one goes to Las Vegas in a tour bus in the middle of winter season, and they think they’ve “experienced” the desert…I respectfully disagree. Try getting off in some local town, or city and spending there for a day or two…try ordering Chinese Food in Winslow, AZ in one of the gas stops. Try driving in I-40 in Gallup, AZ in May…you may pass through a snow storm! Of course, the Grand Canyon is a whole different experience! I wanted to go there for the longest time, and when finally I was standing in one of the peaks….of so many plateau-like peaks of the canyon, I was overwhelmed with the vastness of it, I became conscious of how small, tiny I am…smaller than a grain of sand.
We went to this small mining town called Oatman, it’s in the Black Mountains of Mohave County in AZ, it had a very interesting history, the name itself is interesting: it’s in honor of a girl from Illinois, who was captive by an Indian tribe and became a slave, she was later sold to I think, the Mohave Indians and adopted her as a family, her name was Olive Oatman, you can Wiki it if you want more info… of course. History said that Clark Gable often comes by and play poker with the miners… I could see why some people fells in love with the tiny place like that. It’s in the middle of nowhere…it’s rough, dry…but it has it’s beauty. I will go back to visit definitely if ever we venture that way again!
I was once surprised when I woke up and looked around, of course my husband was still driving, I thought we passed the desert already, but I know I never slept that long, just maybe 15 minutes…we were at this Alpine-like town, pine trees were flourishing all over the place, I asked my husband where we are, he told me we were in Flagstaff, AZ … I can’t believe this is in Arizona! It’s amazing to me that in this wild-rough Arizona desert is a patch of land, up high that is so different that the rest of the desert cities…it almost look likes a Paradise lost…
When we think of California, we always think of the pines in San Francisco areas… the beach, Mediterranean weather, …but almost 20-30% of California is desert. A lot of people live in the California deserts…try venturing EAST, rather than just up and down (north and south… stopping in parts of San Diego where the trees are getting lesser and lesser! LOL). Try visiting some parts of the San Bernardino areas… then, Baja California, it’s beautiful there! Or just go to Palm Springs, CA…it’s where mostly tourists goes if they want to see a desert in California!
Bottom line is….do not be scared to venture out, try some place that is not in your “Famous Travelbook Guide” you may find a place where real history happened! …Happy travelling everybody! Do not forget your sunscreen lotions and your bottle of H2Os!