September 15, 2009

America's Amazing West - Part 3



by Vickie McDonough

In case you didn’t see my previous two blogs, I’m posting pictures of some of the amazing things I saw on my trip to UT, NM, AZ & CO in June. Last month, I left off talking about Sunset Crater Volcano National Park. The park also had the remains of several pueblos, one being quite large. All that remained were foot-high walls, but you could see the size of the small rooms. I can’t imagine anyone living in such a barren land without any conveniences.

 
Crater National Monument was our next stop. This is the place a gigantic meteor hit the earth, leaving nearly a mile-wide crater. We paid a rather steep fee to look at a big hole in the ground. It was interesting, but um…it’s just a hole in the ground. Okay, there were some rocks and things to see inside the small museum, but the most interesting thing there was the gift shop.


  
Our next stop was super cool! It is the Four Corners Monument where the states of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado meet. Here’s a picture of me standing in all four states at once. I’ve known for a while I’m as big as a state, but four?


From there, we drove through more barren lands where only tiny scrub bushes grow. There was only dirt, rock, and tiny bushes, except along the roadsides there were a myriad of wildflowers—yellow, red, orange, purple, pink, and white. I wish I’d had time to stop and pick some to dry. It just amazes me how the land can be so hot, barren and dusty, and yet tiny wildflowers were in abundance. Isn’t God awesome to create such beauty in the midst of nothing?


 
Our final stop was Mesa Verde National Park where the Anasazi Indians lived in cliff dwellings. We drove up fifteen miles of switchbacks, going steadily higher, up unbelievably steep mountains and around sharp curves with no guard rails and drop-offs of thousands of feet. Talk about scary! We discovered a very nice lodge on top of the mountain, and since it was already 7 pm, we decided to stay there. We ate in their fancy restaurant, overlooking the countryside for miles and miles. A beautiful rainbow formed just after we started eating, and we enjoyed it for quite a while. Robert ate quail for the first time. The birds were tiny, half as big as a Cornish hen—and tasted like chicken. J Afterwards, we enjoyed this gorgeous sunset from our room.


 
As we traveled the West, we saw complete barrenness to abundant fields of wildflowers, flat plains to amazingly high snow-covered mountains peaks. Wild horses (which was so awesome for this historical writer to see), turkeys, deer, and ravens—who knew they were so big? The thing I kept asking my husband was: “How come we’ve never heard of these gorgeous places before?”

Well, now you have. If you ever get a chance to tour the West and visit the many national parks that are abundant there, I hope you’ll go. You won’t be sorry.

I have two Christmas novellas releasing this month. Once is called Wild West Christmas and is set in the Texas Hill Country. The other is called A Blue and Gray Christmas and has four novellas that center around the Civil War. Here are the lovely covers:



 



Visit my website and sign my guestbook for a chance to win a free book: www.vickiemcdonough.com

3 comments:

Susan Page Davis said...

Fabulous pictures, Vickie! I went to Montezuma's Castle in May and was overwhelmed. Great book covers. I've seen them both in my Wal-mart.

Tina Dee Books said...

Great pictures, Vickie. I wish I was a stowaway on this trip! What a great adventure!

Stephen Bly said...

We've enjoyed visiting these same places. Your photos are great!

www.BlyBooks.com